“Cocktail Attire” … Definition?

RSS

Super Member
1,327
United States
Washington
Bainbridge Island
I received an e-mail from long-time friends asking if I'd be a "last minute" substitute at their table for a charity dinner/auction ... and the dress reads "cocktail attire". Sadly they are out of reach until the actual day of the event ... later this week.

I'm home alone this week -- probably the reason I was asked -- so am thinking you fellows might be the most appropriate place to turn.

Are we talking informal (dinner jacket and matching trousers) or dark lounge suit? There is the new A&S DB in navy with chalky windowpane ... but that might be too much. Of course, this would be a good opportunity to get a photo to post.

EDIT: This might be an appropriate time to ask a second question ... which while more appropriate to the Interchange ... might get more answers here.

At a recent concert during which a new piece was given its premiere ... the composer presented me with his original handwritten score. After the concert the head of a college music department came to me and requested that I donate it to them. What is one expected to do in such a situation? My initial thought is to donate it ... but it is a gift presented to me ... am I expected to keep it?

In a quandary! --RSS
 
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Concordia

Advanced Member
2,647
United States
Massachusetts
Newton
Varies by location and time of year, but normally this is jacket and tie, of the sort you might not use for business. So, a blazer, sport jacket, or suit designed for evening. This is one occasion where women don't calibrate their dress based on what the men are wearing, but rather, the other way around. Figure that the ladies will wear something silky with a bit more than the usual jewelry. Complement that.

Not black tie.
 

yachtie

Advanced Member
2,748
I'm thinking "dark lounge suit". Don't you hate it when people get "cutesy" with invitations?
 

Mark from Plano

Super Member
1,408
I received an e-mail from long-time friends asking if I'd be a "last minute" substitute at their table for a charity dinner/auction ... and the dress reads "cocktail attire". Sadly they are out of reach until the actual day of the event ... later this week.

I'm home alone this week -- probably the reason I was asked -- so am thinking you fellows might be the most appropriate place to turn.

Are we talking informal (dinner jacket and matching trousers) or dark lounge suit? There is the new A&S DB in navy with chalky windowpane ... but that might be too much. Of course, this would be a good opportunity to get a photo to post.

In a quandary! --RSS
I've always understood "cocktail attire" to be suit and tie for men and have dressed accordingly and it's always worked out about right. Unfortunately, its one of those common, but misunderstood terms that means different things to different people.

At one event last winter (a birthday party held at a local art gallery), nearly all the men interpreted it as suit and tie, but one fellow interpreted it as sweater and khaki's. He was pretty embarrassed and nearly went home to change, but we encouraged him to stay and it was fine.

I don't think that if dinner jacket is what was meant they would have used "cocktail attire" in the invitation.
 

agnash

Super Member
1,318
At a recent concert during which a new piece was given its premiere ... the composer presented me with his original handwritten score. After the concert the head of the music department of well known music school came to me and requested that I donate to them. What is one expected to do in such a situation? My initial thought is to donate it ... but it is a gift presented to me ... am I expected to keep it?

In a quandary! --RSS
I do not know the particulars of your relationship with either the composer or the head of the music dept. That said, it appears that the score was given to you as a gift by the composer, and how you use or dispose of the gift should be your personal choice, so long as you do so with respect, and without deliberatley going against the pesonal wishes or beliefs of the giver. In this, it is not unlike any other gift. It would seem to me that the head of the music dept was somewhat forward in making the request, particularly in that the request was made at the event.
 

Acct2000

Connoisseur - Moderator
9,600
United States
Michigan
Lansing
I think Cocktail attire is one a lot of people would recognize as (dark probably) suit and tie for men.
 

wgb

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
371
United States
Georgia
Alpharetta
EDIT: This might be an appropriate time to ask a second question ... which while more appropriate to the Interchange ... might get more answers here.

At a recent concert during which a new piece was given its premiere ... the composer presented me with his original handwritten score. After the concert the head of the music department of well known music school came to me and requested that I donate to them. What is one expected to do in such a situation? My initial thought is to donate it ... but it is a gift presented to me ... am I expected to keep it?

In a quandary! --RSS
Well, it was a gift to you, you should have no qualms about keeping it. The composer wouldn't have given it to you if s/he didn't want you to have it. Given the tax considerations around charitable donations, I likely would have said something to the effect that I was honored to have received the score as a gift and just wanted to enjoy that moment. Pretty cheeky to ask for the donation right there, if you ask me -- it sounds like it definitely took away from the moment, and that's a shame.
 

Rossini

Honors Member
3,362
Aaland
Dunno
Dunno
dark suit & dressy, unfussy, tie (probably not stripes), best accompanied by a handkerchief. Black shoes.
 

eagle2250

Connoisseur/Curmudgeon Emeritus - Moderator
29,373
Harmony, FL
United States
Florida
Harmony
I do not know the particulars of your relationship with either the composer or the head of the music dept. That said, it appears that the score was given to you as a gift by the composer, and how you use or dispose of the gift should be your personal choice, so long as you do so with respect, and without deliberatley going against the pesonal wishes or beliefs of the giver. In this, it is not unlike any other gift. It would seem to me that the head of the music dept was somewhat forward in making the request, particularly in that the request was made at the event.
+1. It would also seem, given that you were both at the concert, the composer would have presented the gift to the "head of the music department," had he wanted it to go to the school, rather than yourself.
 

daghastly1

Starting Member
3
I would keep it. As a previous poster stated, since the head of the music department (referred to as HoMD from here forward) was at the event, one could assume that if the composer wanted the school to have it, he would have given it to him/them. On a side note, the brashness of the HoMD is intended (almost if not outright) to move one to believe that the school is somehow entitled to the original score. This is not the case.

I would tell the HoMD that I'm leaving it to a museum of some sort in my will for safe keeping and that I'm more than willing to make a copy of it for the music school for academic purposes. After all isn't the purpose of a school to teach and the museum to preserve?