ASK MR. ETIQUETTE
Q. A lot of invitations these days say “cocktail attire.” What the heck does that mean? —Mystified in Middletown
A. Your host is saying, “Get out of the business suit, lighten up and let’s have some fun.” That could mean no tie. It’s your option. A sport coat, however, is a must—paired with an exciting shirt and a great pocket square. Depending on the occasion, the party location and what your spouse is wearing, jeans can be appropriate. Trousers will certainly give you a dressier look. Naturally, accessories are key—shoes should be less serious, the belt should work with the shoes. Last but not least, make a splash with your socks. Colorful socks show a little more sartorial character when you’re kicking back with a cocktail.