SOCIALISE IN STYLE: OCCASION DO’S & DON'TS
From weddings to the races, sail through occasion season and be the perfect guest with our guide to social etiquette….
Jaime Chung and Cara Santana looking stylish at the Veuve Clicquot polo
You know that slight feeling of irritation you get when your friend/other half/mother doesn’t reply to your text within an acceptable time frame? Well, multiply that by about 100 and you’ll get an idea of how frustrating it is when people don’t RSVP to an event that’s been months in the planning. Always do it, and do it on time. It’s just plain old good manners.
BE ON TIME
Nothing ruins a perfectly put together outfit like a last-minute sprint to the venue – and the resulting glimmer of sweat – so plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early (and up to 30 minutes earlier for weddings) or be fashionably late. By which we mean 15 minutes max, not 2 hours. An explanatory text blaming traffic is always handy if you’re fast-approaching that 15-minute mark.
Yes, small talk with strangers can be excruciating, but if you find yourself on the extended family table at a wedding or standing next to the host’s boss at a summer BBQ, you’re going to need it. Try a common ground or something topical to get the conversation started, and, unless there’s a freak tornado coming right your way, avoid weather chat – it’s way too clichéd. Want out of a conversation pronto? A simple “It’s been great talking to you, but please excuse me while I say hello to someone” should do the trick.
Isla Fisher and Mandy Moore at the Veuve Clicquot Polo
CHECK THE DRESS CODE
We get it, occasion dressing can be a sartorial minefield. Weddings, races and even garden parties all come with strict dress codes, and deviating from them can leave you rather red-faced. Take Ascot, where each enclosure has its own extensive set of sartorial rules – no rocking this season’s must-have Bardot in the Royal Enclosure, where dresses and tops must have straps of one-inch or greater. Likewise, there’s nothing worse than turning up to a city chic wedding wearing a floaty boho frock. Do your research – knowledge is power ladies.
Free-flowing booze, summer sun and high spirits – it’s a potent cocktail and a slippery slope. Drunk in a chic dress is never a good look (and high heels don’t help the situation) so take it slow – try setting yourself a 1-2 drink maximum rule pre-food. Water in between each glass of booze is always a good idea, and avoid mixing your drinks. And shots. Nothing good comes from doing shots.
PUT YOUR PHONE AWAY
After you’ve nailed that perfect Instagram shot obviously. Constantly checking your phone will make you look like you don’t want to be there, so take a break from social media, live in the moment and put your mobile in that beautiful clutch bag you bought especially for the occasion.
Vanessa Hudgens enjoying a tipple at the Veuve Clicquot polo
WEAR WHITE TO A WEDDING
AKA the wedding guest golden rule. Don’t even think about it. A white background with a print or motif on is permissible, but don’t push it. It’s her day, not yours, and you’ll feel foolish all day. Black however, is no longer out of bounds – we recommend adding metallic or pops of bright colours to liven up a chic black dress.
FORGET TO PACE YOURSELF
Free-flowing booze, summer sun and high spirits – it’s a potent cocktail and a slippery slope. Drunk in a chic dress is never a good look (and high heels don’t help the situation) so take it slow – try setting yourself a 1-2 drink maximum rule pre-food. Water in between each glass of booze is always a good idea, and avoid mixing your drinks. And shots. Nothing good ever comes from doing shots.
WEAR RIDICULOUSLY HIGH SHOES
We’ve all been there, cursing at (and kicking off) the shoes we’d been declaring our love for only hours earlier. The thing with most special occasions is that they tend to go on a bit, so comfort is key. Generally, if shoes hurt even a little bit when you put them on, it’s not gonna get much better. Not accustomed to heels but need a little extra height? Try an on-trend block heel, wedge or platform. Handily, our heels are all designed with comfort in mind…
LEAVE TOO EARLY (OR TOO LATE)
Punctuality is the pinnacle of good occasion etiquette. Just as it’s rude to arrive late, making a hasty exit – without forewarning the host – is guaranteed to cause offence. Likewise, you don’t want to be still there, wine in hand, when everyone else has gone home and the aforementioned host is yawning on the sofa in their PJs. If the music is off and the lights are on, the party’s over.