Essential advice to keep in mind before leaving for the party
Words: Buntu Ngcuka | Photography: Jonathan Kope | Styling: Kelly Fung
December is finally here, which means you’re about to request a lot of Ubers, nurse a lot of hangovers, hear a lot more of the Distruction Boyz and see a lot of toes, but perhaps the most important thing to get excited over is that there’ll be a lot of partying.
Looking your best is vital, having a charged phone is crucial and being able to go from brunch to lunch to the beach to sundowners to the club without missing a beat is a skill worth honing. To help you, we’ve compiled a handy prep guide filled with grooming tips, party etiquette, style advice and a list of items to never leave home without. So scroll down, take it all in and do the absolute most on your big night out. It’s been one hell of a year — you deserve it.
Decoding dress codes
You’ve probably heard that it's always better to be overdressed than underdressed. Well, we stand by it, but remember that some setups have a dress code, each city has its own vibe, and so it's best to take this into consideration, too. If you’re familiar with the environment or the host, stick to what you’d usually wear, but by all means make an effort to smarten up. You can start by swapping out your T-shirt for a chambray shirt and a pair of suede lace-ups instead of sneakers, for example. However, if you get an invitation with a dress code, stick to it. The same applies to restaurants, clubs with door policies and meeting bae's parents for the first time.
But first... get your grooming in order
Your foolproof grooming memo for the party season: get a slick haircut (a tapered fade never fails anyone) and keep your facial hair trimmed. Make sure you’ve got a fragrance to get you through the season too. Go for one with notes of citrus, sea water and herbs and spices like lavender, bergamot, mint and vanilla. And please make sure your pedicure is on point and your feet are moisturised before taking to the streets in sandals.
Pick your signature style for the season...
There’s never been a better time to get out of your style rut than right now. Consider the trends of the moment and experiment with pastels like dusty pink and baby blue, different T-shirt types, get on board with the 70s-inspired skater look or simply update your summer classics with the season’s most popular silhouettes, colours and prints.
...And make them next-level
No matter what aesthetic you go for, elevate it with a few key pieces. If 90s-esque tracksuits and standout sportswear are your thing, modernise the look with a tracksuit sporting colour block details contrasted with simple monochrome (like a plain white tee and minimalist sneakers). To pull off the maximalist skrr skrr ensemble, you’ll need to get graphic. Printed shirts, logo tees, patterned socks in bright colours — and the more they clash, the better.
If you want to clean up, look slick by wearing your suit as separates, go sockless in cropped trousers, keep the silhouettes slim and make your look truly yours with a watch, pocket square, lapel pin and any other accessory of your choice. Bonus tip: take off the sunglasses when the sun goes down.
Don’t be that guy…
Few things succeed at ruining the night like an unruly guest. You know him: he’s the one who drinks non-stop even though he’s clearly had enough, or worse, he doesn’t bring anything but eats and tops up his glass more times than anyone else. If you’re invited to someone’s house where there’ll be quite a number of people, bring a bottle of wine or offer to bring dessert to help take some of the load off your host’s shoulders. Also, those etiquette rules that got drilled into us as kids are still pretty handy. Know when it’s time to leave. Try your best to mingle with the other guests (it’s nice to be nice). Don’t criticise the host’s taste in music unless there’s an aux cable doing the rounds. Be decisive when being offered something to drink (“whatever’s easiest” is not a real option). And if you’re all going out, please don’t ditch the bill.
Don't forget the little things
If you find yourself on the go for longer than expected, or don’t want to risk it in case it gets to that, make sure you’ve packed some essentials to help you get through. Always have some cash on you — cards fail, phones die, wallets get lost, card machines don’t work and you don’t want to be stranded. Bring a power bank and breath mints, too. You can fit them all in a moon bag, which, thanks to the skaters and cool kids in CBDs everywhere, it's an accessory that actually serves a purpose more than aesthetics.
A few last words...
Whether you’re Afropunking it up, indulging in a staycation, lounging poolside or soaking up the sun beachside, remember to be safe. This is the most fun time of the year and everyone deserves to have as good a time as much as you do. Never forget: it’s nice to be nice.