'Black Tie'. Formal attire. I just don't get it.
As an adult I've turned down every invitation I've ever received that has had a dress code. Not always solely for that reason (I'm not really a party person) but it has certainly been a large contributing factor. The last wedding I attended was at age 12!
It's just not me. I don't enjoy dressing up, formality makes me uncomfortable, and if I'm honest I just really object to other people specifying the type of clothing I may or may not wear. Whilst there can be various interpretations of 'black tie', I don't own anything that falls under that category and would prefer not to have to buy an outfit I don't feel comfortable in and will probably never wear again.
I enjoy wearing all sorts of things - trousers, shorts, skirts and even dresses if they're casual enough, but anything formal just feels alien to me. I've never owned an evening dress (what my father refers to as a 'gownless evening strap'), I've never worn heels, I seldom wear jewellery, and I never even got the makeup memo. Casual can look good too, and you always look your best when you're wearing something that feels like you.
I'm grateful I've never had a job where I've had to wear conventional office attire. When I was in Hawaii I loved that people in even the most formal professions were wearing shorts and Hawaiian shirts.
People always say that dressing formally makes an occasion feel more special, but I disagree. How much more special would a room filled with people wearing outfits that bring them immense joy feel?
A friend recently told me that her bridesmaid dress required a particularly unsupportive strapless and backless bra, and stiflingly hot chest-high thigh-length underwear, all of which was incompatible with dancing, breathing and digesting wedding cake! Surely that's not a fun day! I've always thought that if ever I chose to get married I would have a picnic in a field and invite friends and family to come wearing whatever made them happiest - jeans, tiaras, tutus... whatever does it for you!
I realise I'm probably in the minority here - I know a lot of people love getting dressed up and I can see its visual appeal in a sort of theatrical way. But other than royal pomp and ceremony which is a very theatrical thing, I've never seen any need for formality. I would be more than happy to see the Queen attend any of her engagements in a pair of jeans.
Apparently I feel quite strongly about this! So I'd just like to say for the record, if anyone anywhere would like me to attend any occasion, please just let the real me attend!
(Oh dear, I've just re-read this and it sounds like a grumpy rant! It wasn't meant to be!)