If there is a dress hanging in your closet that is experiencing a dry spell more profound than those of two celibate elbows because you’re waiting for the right occasion to wear it, grab it. Now. Dip it toward the floor like it’s your wedding dance and you’ve practiced on the down low with an instructor to impress your spouse. Give it a quick kiss so long as your lips are naked and let’s go! It’s black tie time.
Our first cause for celebration is a really terrific party being hosted at the corner of your actual apartment and your imagination. Send out hand-written cards — DO NOT EVEN LOOK AT ME IF YOU’RE ABOUT TO BRING UP PAPERLESS POST — with your address, a time past 9 p.m. and a call-to-action. Something like, “Friends, it’s going to be Wednesday eventually, and I have champagne.” Set the dress code early and stress the importance that though cocktails will be served, this is no place for mere cocktail dresses.
Do meet halfway on the shoes, though. A simple note that says “footwear optional” will do.
Next we are celebrating the temporary end of cell phones. You heard me right. Get together a group of friends who aren’t bad at following rules or adhering to plans. Create a short itinerary: date, time and location of first meeting. No one can bring their phones, no matter how smart — though disposable cameras and new friends are welcome. Wear the best gowns you can find. Add lipstick. Add hairdos. Don’t just go out on the town, go to town and make sure your heels are high. You only have to be able to dance in them long enough for your full outfit to be captured and absorbed before you go toe-commando. Fifteen minutes, maybe? Cool.
Finally, get a group of people together who you don’t know well but who you’ve been meaning to turn into friends. Suggest somewhere with waffles and tea — or pancakes and coffee? The goal is a buttery breakfast. And the outfits will be formal attire. You’ll find that strong friendships are formed over muffins, ruffles, dangly earrings and the bubbles of your choosing.
Black tie looks especially bright when worn in the anything-can-happen light of day. Lesson learned?