Friday, October 17, 2014

The Age of the Cocktail Party

Why have we become so informal?  I miss the age of the Cocktail Party.  Growing up my parents went to cocktail parties routinely and one old family friend used to have this extravagant party every year on Christmas Eve. We'd get dressed up, the house was packed.  Waiters everywhere served drinks off real silver platters.  It was divine.  When the head of the household passed probably 7-8 years ago the parties declined, moved to the daughter's house which was smaller and could not accommodate us all, everyone showed up.  No one wanted to miss the coveted invitation.

Why have we gotten away from dressing up, having a nice cocktail party?  I would love to host a fabulous cocktail party, IF everyone would dress stylishly and come like we all used to do. Why don't we do this anymore?  Do we not appreciate a nice stylish function? 

There are some great clothes out there now just waiting for an invitation like this tunic from Tory Burch.  Tory probably goes to a lot of parties in New York and needs an entire cocktail wardrobe.  Many years ago when I lived in DC, I had a cocktail wardrobe although I didn't use it as much as I would have liked.

I despise the informality of our lives now.  Jeans to work, sweats to work, grunge everywhere. Just look at J Crew now, all sweats, sport shoes, nothing tailored and nice like they used to produce en mass.   I wore panty hose, dresses and heals when I worked in DC and never wore pants to work.  We just didn't do it and were expected to look nice. But I did work in a big law firm.  But still, why have we become so slovenly?

New resolution - party on the horizon, formal cocktails or bust.  Spread the trend, please!


  1. Ann- thank you for bringing this subject to light. I was having this conversation with a dear friend the other day and we were discussing how disappointed we were in how casual the world has become. This past Thursday, I attended a cocktail party fundraiser at Sak's. I couldn't believe people were wearing jeans. One of my friends and I jumped at the opportunity to buy new dresses and fun jewelry. Even on casual Friday at work if (and only if) I wear jeans, I always wear a button down shirt, blazer, jewelry and heels.

    1. I think that's tragic that people don't know how to dress anymore and we've dumbed down our wardrobes like we have our educational system. Everything always falls to the lowest common denominator. Some of us will stand out, and for the better!

  2. Love that black sheath dress! If it makes you feel ANY better, my mother is still throwing cocktail parties. She and my dad either hosted cocktail/dinner parties or went to one darn near every weekend when I was a kid and Mom at least is still carrying on (in Normandy Beach, NJ and Daytona Beach, FL). Sadly, I personally (and I'll just tell you I'm 50) have never, not once, been invited to a cocktail party. Granted, I live in the Midwest and don't belong to a tony social circle. For all I know, maybe there ARE homes full of St. Louisans having drinks parties every weekend. However, I take advantage of the events I do attend, and make an effort to look nice for work, even though the office is very casual and the majority of my coworkers wear jeans every day. I am excited to be going to a ball in December and am already working on a splendid new outfit for that! Haven't had an excuse to buy a long dress in quite a while so this is a real treat. (Courtesy of my son who's attending the United States Merchant Marine Academy - *proud mama* here)

    I agree about the "dumbing down" of everything in our world. Everything has to be comfy, convenient and fast.

  3. As the young wife of a Second Lieutenant, I remember being required to attend cocktail parties, coffees, and military balls, each with distinct rules of etiquette that threw me into a panic. I especially miss the good china, fresh flower arrangements, and the grand piano playing softly in the background. Those days are over. Coffee was served in paper chinette cups at the last coffee I attended before my husband retired.

  4. And traveling today is a nightmare. I vaguely remember my mother wearing a boucle suit and a hat the very first time I flew overseas. And the flight attendants were the very last word in glamour. Today people dress in clothing more appropriate for the gym or yard work.

  5. In all honesty, because of my own upbringing, I tend to overdress in everything I do. It is sad people don't know how to dress for a proper party now.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...