DRESS TIPS FOR WOMEN CONSORTS
- Wear clothes that make you feel good and confident. Feel free to wear colour. Enjoy what you wear and your accessories.
- Be aware that you are often representing your Company at Livery and City events - you are an ambassador for your Company. You will feel more confident if the clothes you have on are well presented- pressed and brushed - and that they are in line with what’s expected.
- You will find that two or three smart day outfits will see you through the day functions, mix and match is great. Some past consorts have said that they have needed more for day than evening wear. It depends on the programme of invitations.
- You can look good without incurring a great deal of expense.
- It's Ok to wear the same outfit more than once, and you can wear different jewellery or scarves for a different look.
- Buying dresses for evening functions ahead of time will make you well prepared and you can take advantage of sales.
- A pair of smart black shoes will do you for many functions including evening.
- Shoulders are generally expected to be covered at dinners, but the interpretation is not always clear, and it is often interpreted as covering the arms! So, as a minimum the top of the dress should have a bodice to cover the shoulders (from top of arm in towards the neck), so sleeveless would be OK. If in doubt have a sleeve of some sort – cap, short, three quarters, long, and/or take a wrap or shrug to cover the arms.
- When in the Mansion House, or at an event where the Lady Mayoress, is present follow the dress code that the Lady Mayoress sets. You could check with the Mansion House through your Clerk.
- At the Ironbridge Weekend there are two “Black Tie” dinners, but the Saturday evening is a more formal one and most ladies wear a long dress or skirt.
- Some Companies do have written dress codes for women, (e.g. Framework Knitters), and some identify the women’s dress code on the invitation.
- Members of your own Company are likely to take their dress guidance from the Master’s Consort or the Master if the Master is a woman, so as consort you will be a role model for others.
- Always turn to the past consorts in your Company about what to wear at functions that are a regular part of the Company’s programme, and those in the City that your company is regularly invited too.
- You might follow the practice of some other Consorts who record what they wore to each event they were invited to in their year, to pass on to the next consort; or even start a guide for them, if it doesn’t exist.
- You might want to work with the Clerk to have a dress code for your company in line with common practice, that members’ partners can have, and which is also available for guests at your functions. (The engineers have a guide for each function in their annual programme of events).
- Advise any of your guests about the dress code for the event you have invited them to.
- If in doubt, follow the basic guidelines here and/or check with the Clerk – your own or the company that has invited you.