I’ve had several readers ask me what to wear to various functions at the Mess. It all depends on what the function is and what is written on the invitation.
Heritage Canada has a listing of appropriate dress on their website.
The Association of Chartered Professional Accountants of Quebec has a great pdf (French only) with some great photos.
Here are the French to English translations (approximate)
- Tenue décontractée – Relaxed Dress
- Tenue professionnelle décontractée – Office Wear
- Tenue de ville – Business Attire
- Tenue de soirée – Cocktail Party
- Tenue cravate noire – Black Tie, Formal Wear
- Évitez les faux pas – Avoid the no-nos! (Denim, T-shirts, torn or ripped clothing)
Certain flexibility can be granted with regard to dressing in the Mess. Although high heels are the usual standard for cocktail parties and black tie, pregnant women often wear flats as long as they have a bit of bling. Even though running shoes are not permitted, at family events, it may be acceptable for children under 5 years old to wear clean (i.e. like new) running shoes.
It is always best to verify with the President of the Mess Committee prior to the event if you have any questions or concerns about meeting the dress standards.