Monday, July 3, 2017

What to Wear When Dress Code Says SEMI-FORMAL For a Graduation Ceremony

Due to ennui, the challenges of embracing an exacting adaptation and the sound need for human interaction, I resolved my issues through erudite means.

I engaged myself to self-improvement programs for a total of 52 hours with 3 different courses from 2 distinct training centers here in my current location.  Indeed a short period to acquire knowledge and to grasp all lessons taught, however, it was worth the efforts.  

After every scheduled period of training, commencement exercises were always held to celebrate the success of the trainees and trainers.  I am not a diligent learner, but fortunately, I ended the courses with flying colors, hence my presence was requisite.  With the two graduation ceremonies I attended, the dress code was favorably Semi-Formal.  With minimal options of clothing in my new wardrobe, I had to optimize what I see from my sparse closet.  

Rewinding January of this year, despite having no concrete plans to seek employment and be absorbed in social events in my recent locale,  I still packed with me some trusted and unconventional fashion pieces.  A sartorial blazer, a pair of straight-cut trousers and a Sabrina heeled pointed pumps are my trusted "basics" for a corporate ensemble.  My fondness for atypical clothing has deeply-rooted into my fashion personality and these pieces got a hard grip into my baggage.  And I am positively propitious to have taken them with me!

Sigh Style Tips:


Graduation Exercises from a Training Center 
(Non-Toga Ceremony)

Dress Code

Foremost, let me refresh you what is SEMI-FORMAL wear for women from varied sources:

(1) In Western clothing semi-formal is a grouping of dress codes indicating the sort of clothes worn to events with a level of protocol between informal (e.g., lounge suit) and formal. Both morning and evening semi-formal attire share design features in common with the informal lounge suit. In the modern era, semi-formal attire for women includes wearing a cocktail dress  - via wikipedia

(2) Women have a wide range of choices with semi-formal attire. This may include a pantsuit in a dressy fabric, such as silk, cashmere, or satin. A dress or dressy suit with a dressy top, with heels, strappy sandals, or dressy flats may also be worn. Sparkling gemstones, pearls, and dressy fashion jewelry are all appropriate. - via HERE
(3) Semi formal wear is a fairly vague term used to describe wardrobe etiquette that lies somewhere between formal and cocktail dress. Semi formal wear should be dressier and, in many cases, more conservative than cocktail attire, which tends to imply nighttime wear with some sex appeal. - via HERE

I am more appreciative with the third description of a semi-formal wear, as aforementioned - dressier but with modesty in tow.  Highly considering that the event is of scholastic matter, attendees must be garbed as appropriately as they should.  By appropriate, it would further indicate to be compliant with the dress code and attuned to the specific kind of occasion, hence, dress fashionably smart.

And now the question is, How to Be Fashionably Smart?

My 10 Fashion Advice:

In spite of having discerned and secured your own personal style, it is still essential to be deferential to dress codes and to be sensitive to the event/s that you are partaking.  In this particular gathering, dressing smart and fashionable is my style input. 

a. Being successful warrants a triumphant appearance as well. Hence,  envision and array an outfit befitting to the event, the dress code and to your success.  
b. Buy new clothes, new shoes, new accessories when necessary.
c. Wear your selected shrewd clothing with an exceptional attitude.  Your clothes alone will scream "I am smart" on your behalf but with the right composure, your look is utterly amplified.
d. Opt for darker, neutral colors and minimalist prints, e.g pinstripes. 
e. Be conscious of the fit and length. Not too loose nor not too tight. Better strut a midi, not the mini and those with trains is a no-no.
f. Augment your look with a decent amount of drama through your choices of accessories and facets of your clothing.
g. Moderately inject your personal style. So the entire look will still be oh-so-you but being the witty-classy version.
h. Sashay your way with impressive sophistication.
i. Remember to dab on some color to your face, glamorize your crowning glory and spray on an ethereal scent.
j. But if you still have irresolute choices, email me ( for fashion and style counseling.  It's free! 

My two ensembles have displayed both my fashion advocacy and my fashion personality (see further below).  If you have been reading this blog, you may have known by now that I have established my own fashion advocacy which I call: C.L.E.A.N. Fashion.

The C, which stands for Color Coherence is distinctly manifested in both of my outfits.  I opted to create a more solid visual impression with my fashion choices.  

Look 1, see photo above - Tints and shades of blue plus black were the color theme for the first graduation ceremony I graced, ranging from baby blue (shoes) to dark and navy blue (clothes).

Look 2, see photo below - Black, accentuated with gold hardware was the core hue of the ensemble and that contrasting shade of pumps was to illume the melancholic yet sophisticated fusion.  If I could have another set of footwear on hand, I will pair-up this look with gold or black pointed pumps for head-to-toe color coordination.

Let's talk about the make-up and hairstyle next.  I have no hands of a skilled HMUA nor overwhelming enthusiasm for these kinds of artistry.  However, it is equally important to have rudimentary knowledge on what and how to prettify one's face and on how to bridge that gap between make-up and clothing. Because without make-up, on a regular basis or on special events such as graduation, the look that you are trying to pull off would surface half-done and definitely, fashionably discreditable.

Since the focal point of my style is in the elaboration of my wardrobe rather than the vanity of my facial mien, hence, there is minimal flamboyance on that particular anatomical structure.  I went for a clean low ponytail hairstyle with fixed hairline. Matchy blue eyeshadow for my blue themed attire.  I opted for muted shades to match the dim motif of the second look and a bright red lipstick to seal the deal of both outfits.

My fashion personality: CLASSICALLY EXPRESSIVE

I have finally delineated my fashion personality from a book that discussed on finding personal style.  According to the book, "fashion personality changes as you change, and it's fair to say that it can change many times in a lifetime." And from my reading, I have concluded that I am classically expressive.  It is actually a combination of two personalities.  But the fact is, I am more of the expressive type with ample hints of being classic.

Describing Classic and Expressive Fashion Personalities according to M. S. Warren:

Classic: You desire structure in your wardrobe and you appreciate timeless accessories, a slightly man-tailored  appearance and attention to details.

Expressive: You have panache and see fashion as an art form!

With the two graduation ceremonies that I have participated, I have materially communicated my fashion personality and remained docile to the dress code.

I am decoding my sagacious ensemble in relation to my fashion personality:

The classic side was shown by the decision to complete the outfit with an outer garment in the form of well-fitted lapel blazers.  And the choice of darker shades for an evening event.

The expressive personality was manifested through the conspicuous traces of ostentation e.g. built-in accessories (chains on my dress worn as top), two-toned elements (leather and cotton fabric in one dress), frills and textures (appliqués and pleats on my skirt) and askew details (soft tulle edging on semi-spandex long blouse).

You may have observed the following:
1. I wore the same pair of shoes (since I have no other heeled shoes in hand now and with no intentions of purchasing new pairs).
2. I carried the same piece of purse but worn two ways: (a) purse and (b) chain sling bag.
3. I accessorized the same set of stud earrings (since I prefer to appear partially minimalist) but worn in two ways: (a) standard - with the big round part as the earring stopper/back and (b) reversed - with the stopper worn as the stud earring.

More Fashion Advice:

Simple reminder when your closet is limited, be a leader:

Learn to maximize what is currently at hand.
Exploit the art of mixing and matching.
* Activate your creative self. 
* Do not buy new pieces. But you can do so when desprerately necessary.
* Explore your  fashion personality and personal style.
* Remove hesitancy of re-wearing and refashioning.

When you heed my advice, you certainly can generate whole new chic outfits that are yielding with the dress code and that can still best represent your style and your personality without incurring trifling expenses.


Outfit 1:
Blazer - MAGS / dressy top - The Mint / Trousers - Uniqlo / Shoes - Payless / purse - dupe Votez Coco / sunglasses (worn for photo purposes only) - Aldo / necklace - Coach / rose gold stud earrings - gifted by my mom / watch - Esprit

Outfir 2:
Blazer - Forever 21 / LBD with faux gold chains worn as top - unbranded / pleated black skirt with appliqués - Zxteremez at Centerpoint / Shoes - Payless / chain sling bag - dupe Votez Coco / sunglasses (worn for photo purposes only) - G. Country Mall Department Store / rose gold stud earrings - gifted by my mom

Live in style, everyday!

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