This is just a lighthearted post but do you remember showing up to a party dressed in the ‘wrong’ dress code? It shouldn’t be hard to recall. It’s one of those memories that remain pretty fresh in our minds.
If you know anything about India, you know that Indians are known for their colorful and often OTT dress sense.
When I moved to Atlanta, I was invited to a party at a friend’s house. At that time, they were ‘new’ friends and whenever I had been over to their house, they were very casually dressed. In fact I would feel overdressed whenever we met. So when they invited me to the new year’s eve party at their house and said it was a casual party, I decided to show up dressed casually.
My husband had to work that evening and I decided to try to connect with my new community. I put on my new ninja hoodie and jeans and showed up. You guessed right if you are thinking that was the wrong dress code for the evening.
Everyone at the party was dressed up. Since it was a house party, there weren’t many options of hiding this one out. Most of the people at the party were complete strangers that night but I knew I would meet most of them again. They also had a lot of questions about India. I tried to stay at the top of my conversation game to compensate for the incorrect attire. It is funny to look back on it now but it was an awkward evening.
When my husband lived in India, he had a similar incident (made for each other you see), except that he was overdressed in Indian attire at a wedding lunch party. Everyone else at the party, including the groom had shown up in a casual day suit or just a formal shirt and jeans and my husband showed up in an Indian kurta. Needless to say, every one at the wedding commented on his attire which made for a really funny story.
So when you live in a new culture, how do you decide what the right party attire is, especially, when you aren’t surrounded by friends who can advice you? I guess you can just make the best assumption. Next time I am planning to take the middle road – nothing too casual and not overly dressy. If it still makes for a funny story, just remember it for the laughs.
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