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I've been invited to a 50th Wedding Anniversary party - black tie optional. The hosts are hoping everyone will wear white or black. I have an off white sequined top. What would be appropriate to wear with it? In the past I've worn black pants. Are pants appropriate or does it need to be a skirt? What kind of shoes would be suitable?

Dressy style pants are indeed acceptable. Be sure that the pants are a dressy cut and not a cuffed trouser style. Dressier pant styles generally have a fuller cut leg with a side or back closure, rather than a fly-front one. The pant fabric is also important in formal wear. Fabrics well suited for wear with a sequined top and for black-tie fall into the dressiest category, such as silk, satin, georgette, wool crepe, chiffon, velvet, etc. Dressy black pants would make an elegant combination with your off-white sequined top, as would off-white (in the same tone as your top) silk or chiffon pants.

Ideally, your shoes are quite dressy, such as those appropriate for evening wear. The precise style can vary widely since this is a social affair. Dressy heels (sandal styles or pumps) are proper. Daytime kid-leather shoes are not considered dressy enough for semi-formal or formal attire. Opt for true evening shoes, styles that have some sparkle or those made of silk, satin, suede, a microfiber fabric, or a metallic. If you wear black pants, wear black shoes. For off-white pants, select metallic shoes either in a pewter/silver tone or in a golden hue, one that suits your jewelry accessories and tastes.

No regular purses allowed in formal wear. Carry a cocktail bag that coordinates with your shoes.

Enjoy the celebration!


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