What to Wear

It’s that time of year again when the Oklahoma Legislature heads back into session and the Senator becomes a POW of sorts. By that, I mean he typically spends most of his time down at the marble palace, also known as our State Capitol…as opposed to his regular business office….or hanging out here at home.  And, I like to think he is being held prisoner down there because maybe I’m attempting to fool myself in that way.
All kidding aside, with the upcoming legislative session there are many events, meetings and dinners that take place.  In fact, this evening there are seven, separate political fundraisers happening at the same time.  All this political activity keeps the Senator busy and sometimes, these events include me, the Senator’s wife.  For example, on the docket next week is the first day of the legislative session at which time the legislative wives get together at the capitol.  These are wonderful women and some men, who gather together  just for fun and photos.  Let’s call it group therapy.
Tomorrow evening there is the Speaker’s Ball which is usually held the weekend prior to the opening session.  This is the calm before the storm where all these elected officials are on their best behavior. It could be compared to that first day of school where everyone is still friends… I think.  Even so,  this particular event has me continually perplexed and for a really random etiquette reason.  Because it is called the Speaker’s Ball, (emphasis on the word, Ball) don’t you think it is safe to assume this is a nice, formal event?  I have written about this before. And no one, absolutely NO ONE, ever seems to know what to wear to it.  Further more, according to my etiquette books, a Ball of any sorts would mean that the women wear long and the men are in black tie.  If the word Ball happens to be left off , but the invitation reads: Black Tie, then women should probably wear something nice, probably not long, and the men…well, it is conveniently stated for them if they read the fine print.  Right?
Needless to say, by calling it a Speaker’s Ball the title would indicate long evening gowns and tuxedos, but this particular invitation reads, black tie optional.  And that, my friends is the problem.  On top of not knowing what to wear, long or short, tux or no tux…this year’s event is being held at the State Fairgrounds.  Does this mean we are supposed to wear jeans and boots?  I’m just saying.
I’m thinking it’s time to contact the etiquette police at my local newspaper for their advice…. Parties Extra Helen Wallace...are you reading this?  The Senator’s wife desperately needs your help with what to wear!
SW
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2 thoughts on “What to Wear

  1. Senator’s Wife:
    You will be excellent in whatever you choose! But thanks for asking!

    Actually, since I have known you most of your life, I think that you are way too young to be going to Balls and having dates…

    Seriously, the Oklahoman’s fashion editor Linda Miller says ” ‘black tie optional’ gives women the option of wearing cocktail, long dresses or dressy evening separates, but the wording should clue you into the formality of the event.”

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