Darwin Blog

Party Time!
Thursday, 7 June, 2007, 12:25 am
Filed under: Mind Your Manners Miranda, Observations

You have the right to wear and behave how you want.  Anything you wear, say or do will be used against you.  You have the right to seek advice to ensure you do not make a complete ass of yourself.  If you do not know how or where to get advice from; you shall be Mirandarised!  

Invitations are starting to arrive in mailboxes across the Territory seeking willing participants at gala balls, weddings and even cocktail receptions at Parliament House. 

Often there is a dress standard specified on the invitation and in the Territory this can be interpreted in many different ways.  Of course, how it is interpreted can led to embarrassment, disappointment or a memorable evening of finery.  If the dress code is not stated – ask if there is any doubt.   

Invitations from Parliament House include the dress code on the back to assist.  Other organisations utilise these forms of dress codes for functions and they are:  Territory Formal; Territory Rig and Territory Informal. Although they may be unique to the Territory there is not much difference as to what is expected dress-wise elsewhere in Australia or overseas.  All you need is some common sense – let me provide some tips. 

Territory Formal – for gentleman this involves a dinner suit or dark trousers with a long sleeve shirt, bow tie with vest or cummerbund or a tuxedo.  Ladies should wear appropriate evening wear and certainly nothing cheap and nasty!   

If the invitation stipulates Black Tie, women must wear a ball gown, evening dress or skirt that the length is to the floor.  Also remember in a town this small, it pays to wear something only once to a black tie function and if possible have it made, so another does not appear in the room on the night.  Older ladies should ensure they cover up the lower chest area and upper arms – you don’t want to be flapping! 

Territory Rig – the most common dress code on invitations.  Gentlemen should wear long trousers and a long sleeve shirt and ladies, a day dress or After Five.  Therefore if you wish to wear what you are wearing to work that day and it is respectable, by all means do so.  I would strongly recommend that no singlets (and that includes females) and thongs of any sort should be worn, no denim and definitely no minis no matter how good your legs are! 

Territory Informal – for men this is neat casual trousers such as chinos and an open neck shirt ie. a good quality polo shirt and ladies neat/ smart casual. I would strongly recommend that if you are someone who attends functions on a regular basis, invest in some good quality classic basic pieces that can be mixed and matched with equally good quality separates to give you a new look at each event. 

Whilst dressing appropriately sets the tone of the function for yourself, guests and the host, remember that you do not want to be the one who is talked about for wearing the most inappropriate attire – and believe me they do talk!  As Thomas Fuller once said, “Good clothes open all doors”. 


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