Is it my imagination but are our standards slipping?
In the good old days (!) if you were invited to a Black Tie event, anywhere, it meant that the men should wear tuxedo, or dinner jackets, formal white shirts and, yes, you got it, a black bow tie. The girls should wear long dresses. That was it.
Then we moved on, with guys still wearing their tux jackets and the girls maybe something a bit shorter, but always extremely glam. It's supposed to be fun to make all that effort, after all.
At the AW black tie dinner last week just about everything seemed to have gone out of the window. Yes the better dressed men (notice that phrase) wore the 'right thing' (although there were some abominations, and don't get me on the subject of tartan), but the girls seemed to have no idea at all, well most of them, anyway. Gone were the long dresses, gone were the 3/4 length dresses, gone were the glamorous cocktail dresses and in was something you might just get away with in a reasonably smart bar or club. Shame on them.
There is no excuse, with brands such as Karen Millen, Reiss, Coast and others offering reasonably priced glamorously wearable and versatile dresses, and men's stores with everything from bow ties to dress shirts to the works, such as TM Lewin, why not wear the right thing? Is it really more fun to not get dressed up? - I may be a bit old fashioned on this subject but what's the point of going to a glam event in an amazing venue and not going for broke? Tell me, someone, please.
Someone's going to come back to me I know and say that all this is expensive and ok, it can be, of course, but there's always borrowing and hiring don't you think? My bleat is more about making the effort.
I'm lucky without question because all the men in my family - and there are three - have adopted their Scottish heritage and wear the kilt at weddings and parties, and bearing in mind the fact that everyone's looking at them, and not me, I can get away with a simple, sleek lbd that's been on show many a time.
So there's the answer - go and find yourselves a man in a kilt, girls (provided he has great knees) and you'll never look back!