Thank Goodness We Don’t Have to Do That Anymore: Distinguish Between Daytime and Evening Attire

The author dressed for Junior Prom- clearly evening wear.

The author dressed for Junior Prom- clearly evening wear.

I am putting this in “thank goodness we don’t have to do that anymore” because really these days, you can wear whatever you want. Wearing “evening” clothing pieces during daytime cycles through trendiness pretty regularly also. However, there are plenty of people who still see certain things as being for nighttime only. I was shopping with my mom a few years ago and she wouldn’t let me buy an otherwise office-appropriate cardigan because it had sparkly buttons.

While we don’t have to follow Emily Post’s rules about what is appropriate to wear in the morning, the afternoon, evening, dinner at home, dinner out, and in the ballroom (and believe me, there are many, many rules), there are some basics that you can remember.

Things that are for evening only:

  • Shiny fabrics: these are your satins, sequins, some silks (more matte silks are fine for day), velvet, lamé, etc.
  • Sparkles: beading, rhinestones, sequins
  • Evening shoes: very high heels, very strappy/sexy, lots of jewels, metallics (though there are many nice daytime appropriate metallics)
  • Major cleavage is generally considered to be mostly for evening
  • And for the guys: tuxedos. Never wear a tuxedo before 6pm (and yes this includes for weddings. A wedding starting at 5 or so is fine, but not 11am, 2pm, etc.)

Even though we don’t REALLY have to follow these rules, I still find myself packing my fancy rhinestone earrings in my bag and swapping my work earrings if I am going to something fancy after work. What is everyone else’s opinion- are day and evening clothes still a distinction we should make or does anything go? Mariah Carey definitely does not care a bit about what is appropriate (but honestly, Mariah Carey is an exception to everything.)

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