As usual, my answer to this question (and all other ‘what do I wear?’ questions) is, ‘It depends.’ Almost anything goes here in Vancouver, as is often the case. Though strict dress guidelines on things like polo matches call for an elegant sporty kind of look (think long, flowing dresses, knee-length light floral frocks and floppy hats for women, and smart slacks of light fabric accompanied by a sharp buttoned shirt and casual belt and shoes for men), exhibition matches sometimes have their own rules. In this case, fancy dress was encouraged and people really enjoyed getting all gussied up for the first polo match in Vancouver in more than twenty-five years.

No matter the event, when people ask me “what do I wear to x?”, I offer these three simple guidelines to follow:

1. Check your invitation. Not every event conforms to general guidelines. In this particular case, fancy dress was requested because it was a special match. Some events will specify business attire, others will say if casual clothing is appropriate. If you’re not sure, you can always ask your host. He or she can help guide you as to the level of formality.

2. Consider your environment.  Wedges for events on grass, hats for events in the sun and other comfort factors are always good choices. Consider how long you’ll need to be there as well. Nothing worse than wearing something that’s pinching, binding, itching or causing you to sweat profusely when you’re trying to look cool.

3. Think about how formal or how casual the event is supposed to be. If you’re attending an afternoon garden party, then a shorter dress in a suitable pattern and colour could be terrific. If it’s an evening reception, then something longer with a bit more shoulder, back or decolletage bared could work well.

No matter what, choosing something that suits your individual colouring, body type and personality is best. Not sure what to wear for your next big event? Let us know and we’ll set you up!