A throwback on party dress codes of the last century and today. Read what babyboomers in Germany wore to parties in the last century, and what Alaskans and Americans have been wearing since 2001 including why the various types of parties ended.
- Kid’s Birthday Play Dresses
- Teenager Gatherings Asked for the Clique’s Uniform
- College Get-togethers Were without College Tees
- Work, Civil Wedding Receptions and Kids’ Celebrations
- Dinner Parties with Friends and Colleagues
- Family Reunions
- Fashion Linkups Have No Party Dress Codes
- Top of the World Style Linkup Celebration No. 196
Disclosure: This post has affiliate links.
Kid’s Birthday Play Dresses
When I was a kid, I had to wear my Sunday’s Best when a friend from elementary school celebrated her birthday. Typically, there was hot chocolate, tea, and coffee and several cakes. My favorite was “Kalte Hundeschnauze” (cold dog’s snout). This cake was made from cacao powder mixed with coconut fat and raw egg between layers of butter cookies. I wonder whether it’s still a favorite among kids or whether it is meanwhile of the table due to all the food scandals.
After eating the cake, there typically were some competitive games either on a board at the table or in the living room. Traveling to Jerusalem or silent mail were big favorites. Around dinner time, we were sent home. Yes, we went home all by ourselves!
After 4th grade, no such parties occurred anymore. Kids went off to different kinds of schools in different cities. Moreover, it was cool not to celebrate a birthday. Of course, this changed when turning 14. At that age, you were allowed to smoke. And at age 16, when you were allowed to drink in public, i.e. not only at home.
Teenager Gatherings Asked for the Clique’s Uniform
I went to school in a town 10 miles from my parents’ house. Since the school was in a different administrative district, bus connections were bad. The latest bus arrived at 7:24pm. Consequently, I needed to ask for a ride. It wouldn’t have been a problem to get a ride form someone’s parents – even though it mean a detour for them. However, my parents insisted on a 9:30pm curfew. Kiss it off! Thus, I didn’t even bother to go. Well, another reason not to attend was that I didn’t have the right clothes. When you are a regular reader you know that I wasn’t allowed to wear jeans in public!
At those parties, the It pair of jeans – at that time Mustang – and a T-shirt plus a parka and sneaker were a Must-have. My siblings and I were not allowed to wear sneakers outside the gym or anywhere else, but the sports ground. T-shirts were called “American underwear” because of the historic origin of the T-shirt. Well, and a parka is a soldiers outerwear, i.e. military style.
In plain English, not something a girl can wear.
Typically, these parties were beer, soda, and apple snaps with potato chips, pretzels and pickeled cucumbers and a lot of smoke. Like for the kids birthday parties, teenager parties didn’t take place anymore after high school graduation. The boys went into the military, the girls went off to college. One lost contact, as it wasn’t hip at all to spend weekend at the parents’ house.
College Get-togethers Were without College Tees
When I was in college, college wear and preppy Ivy League Style like we know it today wasn’t a thing yet. Everyone who wasn’t a professional son or daughter (aka the offspring of rich or at least wealthy parents), brought themselves thru college on student loans. Thus, we wore what hasn’t fallen apart (yet) since we got it in high school. Parties were potlucks and bring your own drinks. The number of smokers had went down because one package a day would cost about 12% of the student loan in a month.
Later in graduate school, we bought a caspulse wardrobe. It was the late 1980s when I studied meteorology. I wore Banker Style. Any festivities like a graduation, birthday, fare-well or the end of the semester were some rolls with raw pork or beef and a bottle of beer. Upon graduation, we got jobs all over the world. The party-scene died. Well, probably you can’t eat raw pork or beef anymore today either.
Work, Civil Wedding Receptions, and Kids’ Celebrations
In our thirties, parties were related to the kids – if you had kids – or to the career. At that time, we lived in East-Germany. Career events were celebrated with Rotkäppchen – a sparkling wine made in the former GDR – with salads and rolls with cheese, ham, roast beef, fake salom (think raw cod marinated in salt dyed red-orange) or cooked eggs.
Sure, there also was the one or other civil wedding to dress for. In Germany, there wasn’t a thing like a baby shower.
Dinner Parties with Friends and Colleagues
When we were in our forties, we already lived in Fairbanks. Dinner parties were hip among our friends and colleagues. When you are interested in what to wear to look your best at a dinner party with friends here is a post for your convenience. Typically, one of us would cook a pot roast, soup, salad, dessert and serve wine and appetizers. The host and hostess spent the entire Saturday morning cleaning the house, then the afternoon shopping groceries and cooking. After the party, the hosting couple spent half the night to clean their house again. The funny part was that the hosts always started to talk about their septic systems.
After a couple of years, the drag of the work let to the reaction, it’s more relaxing just to go out with each other. End of the dinner party, viva the brunch. Interested in what to wear for a brunch in the States?
While our families never visited, our friends and colleagues also had family reunions. While these kind of venues have no party dress codes, there is a critical thing about dressing for a family reunion. You have to ensure not to become the clown of the reunion in 20 years from now because of what you wear today. Well, in Alaska, another critical thing is your well. When 45 people or so take a shower, your well will run dry, and the lack of water kills the Christmas spirit.
Fashion Linkups Have No Party Dress Codes
When I started blogging in 2013, linkies are a great place to meet and greet other bloggers, make connections and network. I started to co-host parties, and then became a hostess myself. Some hosts even charged their co-hosts back then! I never charged my co-hosts.
I have enjoyed hosting linkies, pinning a photo from each guest’s blog to the Top of the World Style Linkup Pinterest board and having co-hosts. Currently, I am creating a Top of the World Style Hall of Fame featuring the awardees of the parties. I still love to linkup my posts at other blogs.
However, lately, it seems that all virtual linkup-parties have less and less attendees. I think I noticed the phenomenon first time, when the new format came up. Full disclosure, when I saw the new format for the first time, I made a 180 degree turn and didn’t link up. I also observed that readers who regularly linked their Instagram posts not only here, but also at other bloggers’ venues stayed away from these social events. It’s sad., so sad.
I have spoken with many bloggers. Obviously, no one likes the new format. I found out that the reason for the change was software that could linkup posts without even visiting the blog of the host.
What do you think will be the fate of the linkies? What do you think of the changes in party dress codes?
Now let’s see what you are wearing.
Top of the World Style Linkup Celebration No. 196
Welcome to the 196th Top of the World Style linkup party.
Photos of me: G. Kramm
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