What do I wear to this reception?

So next week there’s a reception for the seniors at my school, because it’s right after our Big Senior Thesis is due. As much as I loathe things like this I kind of have to go.

“This is a special occasion at the [president of the college’s residence], please dress accordingly.” It runs from 9-11pm and, obviously, is for college students.

I haven’t the slightest clue as to what dressing accordingly means. Nice slacks and a blouse? Do I need to wear a dress? What sort of dress does one wear to a formal-ish occasion in February?

Obviously, I don’t really do formal; other than a couple job interviews my formal occasions have all been when I’m playing music, so black slacks plus a black or white shirt and I’m done. Would that be appropriate, d’you think?

I work with a lot of 20-something women interns in a business setting. I’d say that the black slacks and white blouse with some nice jewelry and dressier shoes would be fine.

I think that sounds fine too. If you aren’t comfortable in dresses or skirts don’t wear one because it will show and you’ll feel awkward all night. Just don’t chicken out on the shoes and jewelry.

I’d go the business route, rather than the party route. So, no dresses or anything frilly or fancy. Dress pants (or a skirt-- I think the two are somewhat interchangeable), a nice shirt or blouse, jewelry, and nice shoes. Maybe a casual jacket or scarf if you have something complimentary. I’d stay away from just the black pants/white shirt look, because you might look like one of the wait staff. But, add a little color and you’ll be fine.

Since this is aimed at college students I think they mean, ‘No gym shorts and tank tops’. I think your concert outfit will be totally fine.

So far you guys match the consensus amongst some of my friends who are also going. Most of the women-folk will probably be wearing dresses, but a friend also did agree with me that it would be kind of strange if I were to show up in a dress. Thanks.

I think a nice trouser can be very pretty and dressy on a woman. I agree with wearing a dressy shoe - a heel for sure, and some pretty jewelry. I think you don’t typically wear much makeup (am I remembering right?) - if that’s you, you might consider a bit of lip gloss and mascara - for a more sporty looking woman that can go a long way to making her look polished and ‘dressed up’.

Above all, make sure you’re wearing something you’re comfortable in. There’s nothing worse than seeing someone wearing something that they’re REALLY not comfortable in.

I agree with several of the other posters: Wear professional attire, not party attire, but dress it up a bit – fancier shoe, jewelry, and make-up, maybe a bright or beaded sweater or scarf.

I agree. I presume this is a liberal arts college (since every senior does a thesis and they all fit in the president’s house) in which case it probably means “A photographer will stop by, please don’t wear anything embarrassing.” As a guideline: no jeans, no shorts, no sneakers. But if you had dress jeans with a blazer and nice shoes then that would be fine. Black slacks and a white top would be great as well.

IME if business dress is expected they the specifically say “business dress” on the invite. Ditto for “semi-formal” or “formal”. Writing “please dress accordingly” is actually a rather … odd way to phrase it, a gracious host would assume their guests always dress according to the appropriate level of formality, they just need to be given some clue what that is.

My first thought on reading this (other than that it is indeed a strange way to word it) was that it was just begging students not to wear jeans or flip-flops. Almost like they don’t dare make any other demands, just please don’t dress like you’re going to the beach.

For what it’s worth, I would wear a skirt and a nice top, just because I like an excuse to wear a skirt and I don’t own any dresses. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with dress pants, either, in this situation.

well, depends where you live. See, I went to school in Santa Cruz, California, and “formal” simply meant “don’t wear birkenstocks you fucking hippies” :smiley:

Seriously though, you’re a ninjachick, wear your dress tabe, a nice clean gi, and make sure your ninjato and your tanto have been sharpened and shined :wink:

nod Tiny liberal arts school in Santa Fe. I’m (obviously) not a big fashion person, but I’m just pleased when my classmates have bathed sometime in the past 48 hours.

I still live here (and have a pair or 2) and I never could get half the people at work to stop wearing them. I just wanted them to bathe and wear clean clothes. The next level up of hippie formal is dockers and a button down shirt, hopefully without a tiedye underneath, and that’s considered appropriate for a wedding or funeral. High heels alone would be considered formal. Hell, makeup is formal here in most places. I don’t think that even the nicest restaurants here mind if people wear jeans and no jackets but that might be because of how tourists dress on vacation.

hehehe. When I moved from teh dorms to my first aparment (me and 3 guys) we made the condition that one of the guys had to bathe at least 4 times a week, which included the brushing of teeth

oh? where do you work? And I must confess, I brought my birkenstocks with me to japan… And I never wore more than jeans and a button up the entire time I lived in Santa Cruz unless I was on a job interview (had me a tie for that! A real one, too, none of this clip-on crap :smiley: Now, in pennance I guess, I wear a suit and tie every day to school)