Bag Standard

Dressing for corporate galas is a real challenge. I mean, you’re at the office all day in your sharp suit and power bun, and then you’re expected to somehow magically transform into black tie mode at the drop of a hat. I don’t know why it’s even called that – black tie – when women are generally expected to wear an evening dress of some description. If I had my way, I’d just wear what I wore to work that and be done with it. 

I guess men don’t have it that much easier when it comes to black tie. A daytime suit isn’t going to cut it, so they still have to get changed, and arguably they have even less leeway when it comes to interpreting dress codes. It wouldn’t be so much of an issue if they’d just hold the bloody things on weekends, rather than on Wednesday nights. But then again, fewer people would probably turn up if that was the case. 

Still, there’s no pretending it’s practical, even if magazines try their darnedest to prescribe outfits that ‘go from desk to dinner’ – dinner at an everyday restaurant, maybe, but not dinner at a black tie gala. It’s like, what am I supposed to do with my big brown leather bag that I carry my life around in? Leave it under my desk overnight, and then schlep my lunch into work the next day in a hessian sack? 

My handbag might as well be a hessian sack, judging by the way the coat check people looked at it last time I went to one of these things. Even Deborah’s relatively small, soft leather shoulder bag wasn’t allowed in with her. Evidently, the only kind of bag that meets black tie standards is a comically minuscule clutch that fits no more than a lipstick and a credit card. Again, I feel for the dudes – they don’t even get to bring that in, unless they’re willing to stick out like a sore thumb.