I have moved from traditional, horsey Virginia to Washington state and have been invited to an early hunt ball by a member friend. I received the invite which reads, "Formal attire. Scarlet if convenient."
I called one of the hunt ball organizers to ask more specifically about what would be appropriate for guests and was told that 50% of ladies wear a "dressy cocktail (short) dress," and "50% wear gowns." She said the split for men with suits vs tuxes was the same. I asked two of my dear friends with whom I've hunted/pony clubbed since we were juniors and both said go long... but they're southern too. My local member friend said the hunt is not strict about attire at all, whether in the field or at any of their activities. Some of my friends attending the ball are wearing cocktail while others wearing gowns.
My non-horsey DH would wear his dark navy Brooks Brothers suit since he doesn't own a tux and is a big, tall athlete for whom off-the-rack rental tuxedos aren't flattering. I have to buy a dress either way and am not sure whether to go cocktail or formal, esp if my DH is wearing his suit. If it helps, we are in our early 30s. =)
As I told my friend, "I come from a land of rules. In WA, there are none or people don't follow them," so I need some help COTHers! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated =)
Thanks in advance-
And the wise, Jack Daniels drinking, slow-truck-driving, veteran TB handler who took "no shit from no hoss Miss L, y'hear," said: "She aint wrapped too tight."
While i'm sure you will look lovely regardless, very few people under 25 wear short dresses to our hunt ball. In fact, I think the only people I saw last year in short dresses were dates or guests.
Last year there was a striking young woman of about 30 in a gorgeous cocktail length red dress. She looked smokin' hot, and stood out for sure! Later in the bathroom she admitted to me and my friend she was mortified that her boyfriend and his mother (the member of our hunt) didn't clue her in that a long dress would have been more appropriate.
She looked stunning, I paid her a compliment, i'm sure others did as well, but I think if she was on this forum she would tell you to go with a long dress in a conservative color
I haven't been to any hunt balls, so I can't address the question specifically. But my husband and I attend a similar event for his work every year. I find that it's better to go long and possibly be overdressed than to go short and be underdressed. My favorite look is a long simple skirt with an elegant top. It's also very cost effective, as you can recycle the skirt for many years by just changing the top
I think that for a man in a suit it's all about the details: a beautiful silk tie that picks up the colors of your dress, french cuffs on the shirt, nice cuff links and perhaps even a pocket square. Besides, everyone will be looking at you, right?
Wear something that makes you feel comfortable and confident. Wearing something that you feel good in will outweigh the "rules" since this is not a strict club. Either way be fairly conservative. Have a great time.