Thursday, 22 January 2015

Invited To A Lavish Wedding At The End Of January.

“As the French say, I have somewhat of "une pickle". I have been invited to a lavish wedding at the end of January at the Beverly Hills Hotel, and have no idea as to the etiquette dress-wise. My worry is my usual wedding outfit of pinstripe suit and purple tie may make me look like the hired help. Can one carry off something more outlandish? Or, should we Brits keep it traditional, leaving the crazy outfits to our Californian compadres?

Confused of Brighton" 

Gatsby says... My wife will be very happy with the French reference Confused. Dress codes are always a nightmare (never mind in foreign countries) - leaving you with no idea of what to wear or, worse, having to wear something hideous. In Australia, for example, they tend to have "groomsmen" at a wedding, which are essentially male versions of a bridesmaid. And as such, have to tone in with their female counterparts. Which could leave you with no choice but to spend one day dressed in an over-tight tuxedo, sporting a huge apricot bow tie and looking like a Seventies Tom Jones at Caesar’s Palace? 

At the other extreme some dress codes are so vague as to be of no use whatsoever. For example, for functions in American embassies overseas, invitations tend to stipulate "business attire", which doesn't sound much fun. Indeed. Admittedly that may be someone's idea of fun, but you can be sure it isn't mine. 

Having said that, it is always better to be overdressed than under, so I recommend to treat yourself to a sharp navy Richard James 3 piece shark skin suit (it’s not really made of shark, its Richards description of the subtle sheen on the 100% wool) , pink shirt and maybe a splash of red in the tie and pocket square. We're British, damn it. People expect us to be stiff and we shouldn't disappoint them. 

So get yourself all buttoned up, in more ways than one. And if people dare ask you to serve them a drink, just give them a withering stare. Believe me, I have realised that Americans tend to believe that Brits possess a mysterious rule book to life that they have never had a chance to read, so in this circumstance they will feel more in the wrong than you.

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