Style Tips

What to Wear to a Luncheon

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Customer Happiness Team

February 9, 2020

‘Luncheon’ (nowadays known as lunch) was a term commonly used up until the early 19th Century and was reserved only for ladies who would often gather in small social groups to have a light meal and exchange conversation while their husbands were out working during the day. The word ‘lunch’ was not commonly used as it is today.

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Nowadays it has become customary to stop for nourishment normally between the hours of 12 noon to 2 p.m. as a means of refuelling the body. Originally this practice became a trend during the industrial age of the 19th Century when men started taking portable meals to work so that they could eat during the middle of the day. As a result the term ‘lunch’ became more mainstream as opposed to the word ‘luncheon’ which was commonly known as a ‘ladies’ light meal’.

Internationally meals have become a part of our natural social interaction and since the early days have been considered as a way of bonding and communicating amongst large groups of people.

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Though we are all well aware that times have rapidly changed since then with the abundant rise of vegan enthusiasts and calorie counter crusaders, the tradition has still managed to remain somewhat strong. Nowadays the commonly coined phrase ‘ladies who lunch’ has yet again become trendy and has been adapted for many different female social events such as birthday parties, baby showers, corporate affairs or even charitable events!

The thought of attending a Luncheon may be a little daunting due to the fact that the nature of the word seems to sound more formalised than it actually is. This may lead us becoming quite confused as to what is deemed appropriate to wear to this type of event. The thing you should always remember when dressing for a mid-day event is that it really all depends on the type of luncheon you will be attending. In today’s post our aim is to break it down for you with our Top 5 considerations when dressing for a luncheon, things to avoid and our quick step style grabs to try at your next luncheon event!

So, What Does The Term ‘Luncheon’ Mean?

The term ‘luncheon’ is an extension of the word lunch. It is typically defined as ” a formal lunch held in connection with a meeting or other special occasion where a light meal is usually consumer by a group of people in a public dining room area”.

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Top 5 Considerations When Dressing For A Luncheon

1. Identify The Type

The type of event you will be attending will ultimately determine the style of your outfit. This is probably the most important thing to consider when dressing for a luncheon. For example let’s say you were attending a bridal shower luncheon you could look at style trends such as lace or ruffles to create the appropriate whimsical romantic feel you desire. Or, on the other hand, if you were attending a corporate business lunch you may decide to go for something a little more form fitted like a tailor jumpsuit or perhaps a blazer style dress. However try to consider a style that will suit your body type as ultimately what best fits your body is the key.

Read Also: Autumn Fashion Trends 2018

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2. Identify The Setting

So, what type of event space will you be attending? Will it be a seaside café, a community hall or perhaps a top hatted restaurant? The best way to dress up for a luncheon is by considering the venue type. If for instance your luncheon is going to be held at a reception venue, let’s say for a charity event, then chances are it is going to be a larger event and more than likely it is going to be a formal mid-day setting. The venue setting should be considered when thinking about the fit of your outfit, in this case a form fitted midi would be appropriate as a reception venue event calls for a slightly more daytime formal look.

3. Identify The Theme

The theme of the event can usually be gauged the minute you receive the invite. The information on the invite will allow you to understand the theme of your outfit. Let’s assume that you receive an invite with the words “Stephane’s Garden Party” beautifully embossed across the top of the card, alarm bells suddenly go off and you think florals. Now I’m not saying that you go for the obvious choice and run with a good old florals for spring kind of vibe, but essentially these type of keywords in an invite can help you decipher and decode what to wear to a particular event.

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4. Identify The Cuisine

This is not always an easy one to pick as you don’t always know what food you will be served at an event, especially if it is at a reception venue where you usually are required to take part in a roulette of alternative food choices. However if we were attending a less elaborate luncheon such as at a small café with friends or at a restaurant’s private dining room for a corporate luncheon, with the power of the internet today we would be able to screen the menu before we even set foot inside that particular restaurant/café. Let’s say you got invited to Kelly’s Luncheon at Mario’s Trattoria for a hearty Italian feed. The key consideration here would be Italian food = pasta = red sauce = don’t wear white! The main thing to be aware of here is the colour of your outfit, I’m not saying you can’t wear white to an Italian restaurant, you just might want to consider the food type.

Read Also: Our Guide For Choosing A Bridal Shower Dress

5. Identify The Season

This point may seem a bit obvious, but it’s more common than you think for people not to consider the elements of the weather or the season type they are dressing for. It is important to understand that as a general rule certain colours, shapes and trends are preferred for a particular season. For example, you wouldn’t want to wear a long sleeve high neck bodycon dress in the middle of summer. Not only will you end up feeling like you are slowly cooking like a roast dinner, but you will also look completely out of place for the season of the year. Think of it like walking into a supermarket and buying vegetables that are out of season, you can still get them but it doesn’t mean they will taste their best! Same applies for your look so consider the season of your outfit!

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What To Avoid When Dressing For A Luncheon

  1. Avoid wearing anything too tight that you can’t easily move in. It is a daytime event after all.
  2. Ultimately try to wear something that suits your body type. Make sure you wear the outfit, don’t let it wear you!
  3. Keep your accessories light for an effortless fresh daytime look, follow the less is more approach.
  4. Try and keep cleavage to a minimal. Keep it in theme with tradition and make your look elegantly ladylike.
  5. Avoid showing too much skin, and if you want to show off some skin make sure you balance it out, e.g. High Neckline Mini Dress

Our Top 5 Luncheon Quick Step Style Grabs

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As you can see, it has never been more easy to dress up for a luncheon. It’s simply just knowing and understanding what type of event you will be attending and decoding the information to help you pick the right outfit! For more hot tips on luncheon style events read our What to wear to a High Tea blog post.

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