Do you realize that no one else on the planet uses the term Semi-formal outside of America? I’m not beating down on the US of A because I am whole-heartedly proud and thankful to be born an American. But we are so casual that we can’t even do formal passionately. I have an english friend who explained to me that the American semi-formal idea is thought of as silly to europeans. She by the way is a huge fan of America…we were just speaking openly…friends do that sort of thing. She said that to the europeans and especially the french you are either business casual all of the time or formal. There are no in betweens. I thought that to be silly, myself…being raised in a society where there is casual, business casual, semi-formal, formal (which is really black tie) and white tie.
She explained that she thinks it comes from most of America to be in a mild weather zone where Europe is usually cool even in the summer. Dressing is just something you do in Europe. Here? We have options.
Semi-formal is somehow the misunderstanding that you do not need to get dressed everyday. Really semi-formal should be known as cocktail dress but I think that people from lower socioeconomic situations think that semi-formal is attainable as black tie is not. Blue collar status comes out in semi-formal…so if you are invited to semi-formal affair..it won’t be, shall we say, elegant. Most semi-formal events are…classy.