There is a fine line between nice-casual and sloppy-casual, and when sending out party invitations, you want to get your point across about the suggested dress for the event. When the dress code for your party is casual, you want your guests to be comfortable, but you may not necessarily want them showing up in jeans and flip-flops. The word “casual” paints a broad picture, so you want to be as specific as possible in your invitation without coming off as tacky.
Five Categories of Casual
“Business” casual–also called “executive” or “corporate” casual–is a pretty straightforward category and is a suitable style of dress for an office party. A man does not need to wear a suit and tie, but a sports coat or sweater is fine; ties are optional. A woman could wear a dress or a skirt and top. Dressy slacks with a nice top are also appropriate.
“Dressy” or “resort” casual may also be referred to as “casual chic” or “country club” casual. This is what you would wear at a private country club; sport shirt dress shirt or polo shirt with nice slacks for men, nice slacks with a tailored top for women. Women can also wear a dress or skirt and top. You could wear this to a restaurant or friend’s house, besides the country club.
If you want your guests to dress for a sporty outdoor event, tell your guests to dress sporty or rugged casual. This is great to watch a sports game or out for pizza with a bunch of friends. This would consists of a polo shirt and jeans. It involves coordinating the outfit and not wearing a t-shirt.
Leisure casual or Saturday casual is what you would put on the invitation if you were inviting your friends over to hang out on the weekend. This would be a time to wear your normal weekend clothes, as long as they don’t have any holes and at least match.
If you are going to work out and are issuing invitations, for some reason, you would put active casual on the invitation. This is work out gear, clothes you’d wear to wash the car or cut the grass. It’s normally what you would wear at home when no one is coming over.
Hopefully with these tips, you can word your invitation correctly so that no one will show up to your house in active casual gear when you have a party with people wearing business casual attire.
Sample wording of invitations
For business party where you would wear business casual, you could word it as follows:
Johnson & Johnson, Inc. cordially invites you to an annual Company Party
Saturday, the twentieth of December two thousand and nine
Six o’clock in the evening
1019 Crane Boulevard
Van Nuys, California
If you were hosting a party to decorate your house for Christmas, where people are expected to be outside, consider this wording:
Christmas is coming, it’s time to get in the mood. This year we’ll approach decorating with a new attitude. We want help from all of our friends and we’ll serve drinks, cheer and food!
A light hanging party at Chuck and JoAnnes
Saturday, December 16, 2009, 1:00 p.m.
R.s.v.p (805) 222-0705