Oooh! Scary! The flyer for tonight's Valentine Sweetheart Dance at the RJ Dance Studio said "Dress Red, Semi-Formal."
I have a burgundy shirt that's close enough to red to count. But the Semi-Formal…that sent a chill up my causal Oregon spine.
I fretted and worried. I emailed Lora, one of the RJ Dance head honchos, and asked her what semi-formal meant. She didn't respond. I got chillier.
Turning to Wikipedia, I was told that semi-formal is synonymous with black tie. A dinner jacket would be most appropriate for evening wear.
Yeah, right. Hey, Wikipedia, I live in the northwest.
Your article may claim that semi-formal/black tie is similar to informal attire in European usage, but I can tell you that the same order of magnitude dressing difference (in the other direction) applies in Oregon, Washington, and other parts of Ecotopia.
So I didn't panic. Before last night's foxtrot class I asked Lora what she meant by semi-formal. "Oh, no blue jeans or t-shirts. Especially with holes in them. Otherwise, anything goes."
Yes! I'd been worrying that I'd have to dig out a suit and tie, which I haven't worn in many years – since my daughter's wedding, I'm pretty sure.
But now I had free rein to embrace a natural northwest dress code, which turns out to be virtually identical to the geek version of the rest of the world's dress code.
Namely, semi-formal means nice pants and nice shirt – not a dark suit and tie. This extended description of the geek dress code says that for women, semi-formal means a dress or skirt, maybe black in a nice fabric with a dressy top.
Here's the result of our semi-formal dressing labors tonight. RJ kindly captured us after some semi-sweaty dancing.