After attending last weekend’s annual awards for excellence of the Chamber Of Commerce, Jaynie Morris, Adelaide entrepeneur, and PR veteran, (and I mean that in reference to experience, NOT age) is speaking out about why she’s infuriatingly disappointed in Adelaide,

“Having lived in Melbourne, Sydney and the US, I wouldn’t live anywhere else. I have been exposed to events for work and personally, and was always impressed by the standards and attention to dress details …it made me ‘step up’ in myself which was great. Loving Adelaide so much because of these reasons, I am waging war because Adelaide is fantastic! We need to ‘show the love’ and be respectful for this beautiful city. ‘Shining’ in black tie events is one way to start.”

“I have attended several black tie events recently, some have been birthday celebrations, others award presentations. I have been really shocked at the amount of people who aren’t in ‘black tie’ attire. Amanda Blair’s ‘Miss Manners’ would be appalled! Since when is a ‘day scarf’ around the neck, or leggings, or worse a SUMMER dress with black tights, BLACK TIE? “

“Our friends who invited us last week were all dressed appropriately however we were the minority. Even the MC was wearing a short, polo necked day dress (albeit a designer label), we just couldn’t believe it!”

“In discussions with many of my friends, we believe it is affecting us by ‘visually’ saying ‘casual/whatever/blah, blah’. It shows a distinct lack of respect for the hosts of the event who put an enormous effort into the preparations to make everything great for the guests. There is no recipricol approach.”

No doubt, them fighting words. “And it also doesn’t help to ‘finish off’ the visual effect the hosts are trying to achieve. If it is ‘casual dress’ the invitations would say that. We feel it is a lazy approach.”

So are we really slagged off by the eastern states, and do we care? “In talking with my collegues from interstate, I cringe at the comments of ‘oh well it’s a ‘backwater’ Adelaide after all’. I am a proud Adelaidian and I feel strongly that everything we do needs to demonstrate how great we are, as we are starting to do on so many levels.”
“Many of these events are attended by interstaters who dress black tie and they often say ‘spot the Adelaidian’. The only answer I have is, as Lleyton would say ‘C”MON’.”

Well, I will say that these are the opinions that can only be made by someone that has done their Adelaide time. As a newcomer, who loves this state, and has lived all over the world, I do say that admire she has guts to speak out, but the point is, what do we want as South Australia to be known for?

Do we care that we might not meet the social standards of the eastern states? In terms of a ‘black tie’ event? Do we not care about wanting the ‘others’ to respect us, or that we have a state that is pristine and beautiful in a way only less populated state’s can remain? ‘

Or do we realise that every state, in some way can tick a range of boxes, but none of us will get a gold star on all, but that’s ok? Is Queensland sitting around stressing about not being seen as well-dressed, and is that hurting them as a state?

All I will say, as a new Adelaidian, that moved here for a job, and is now not at that job – I could have jumped ship. The fact that I haven’t, I think has earnt me the right to express, that we seem to be all over the flipping place. A beautiful canvas, with way too many artists, not having the guts, or direction of which brush stroke to take.

If anything, surely we can look around and see what the ‘others’ did, what worked and what didn’t. How long are we going to stare at it, before the paint runs dry? Excuse me, for wanting it to be in MY lifetime.

1. White Tie – (don’t hold your breath on this invite) this is the pinnacle of formal dress. For men a tailcoat, white vest, white shirt and white bow tie. Ladies, bring out the sequins, silks and full length gowns a must. Oh and ‘coiff’ that hair darlings!

2. Black Tie – men this means wear a tuxedo or don’t bother. A dark or black suit is not cutting it. Ladies dress for elegance – preferably long gowns, although a very nice cocktail frock is fine.

3. Lounge suit – Dark business suit, white shirt, cuff links and matching not clashing tie for the men, with black shoes and black socks. The girls can wear a dress or smart suit, or even a cocktail dress if the wedding is held in the afternoon or early evening.

4. Casual dress –men wear blazers or tailored sports jackets with tailored trousers optional – never jeans. (no sunnies on head) Women dress as if they were going out to a nice restaurant.


  1. Firstly I just have to say YAY! I’m so very glad to see you on here! I miss you terribly on SAFM… my mornings just aren’t the same! <3

    As for your article….. YES!!! I completely agree!

    As a wedding photographer I'm often appalled at the outfits some guests deem appropriate. ESPECIALLY when the invitations call for "Black Tie". I think it does show disrespect for the hosts / families of the bridal party when guests can't even be bothered to adhere to a simple dress code.

    Great article!

    I look forward to following you from now on!


    • Thanks Melody!!!! Sunglasses on heads are one of my favourite ‘prop’s men use. Although what is with Alex Perry who think he’s an expert, trying to make that a ‘trademark’ look. It’s not.. it’s awful, and so Aussie

  2. What I love most about black tie events are the beautiful people who are not at all comfortable wearing black tie, those most happy in jeans and t-shirt or who live in tracksuits and are making an effort. Those who are being given an opportunity to attend a style of event they don’t normally get to participate in.

    So they may get it wrong, or not own a tuxedo or frock, or be wearing something from 10 season agos or have an old fashioned up do hairstyle that has cost them a months savings to get done. Yet these beautiful people have obviously made the effort to look their best and are usually trying hard not to embarrass their hosts. The anxiousness of some of these guests to fit in is heartfelt to witness. I have been to hundreds of black tie events through my work and am honoured to see each person making an effort. From the farmer who has won an award to the favourite uncle honoring his neice at her wedding. The charity worker doing her best to the young man who is striving to make his mark in the world of networking or the grandfather who is trying a multilevel networking sales job to provide for his family. All are doing their best in uncomfortable situations.

    I think black tie can be so intimidating for many yet to see them marvel at an event display they have not previously experienced before is delightful. Why make these people to feel bad for not having the latest designer dress or the money for a tuxedo or the knowledge. Judgement is simply to make ourself feel better. That little voice in our head that says…”thank god i am not like that’.

    Why do we need to judge these people Jaynie. Each person is usually doing their best in a situation that is unusual and unfamiliar to them. To be comfortable in this situation is gained from experience. Let’s encourage people to enjoy new experiences without the sense of dooming failure or embarrassment.

  3. Great topic. My husband used to always strictly adhere to the dress code on the invitation but sadly too often ‘black tie’ was interpreted by most guests as ‘dress up a bit and don’t wear jeans’. So my husband would find himself one of only a few at a black tie event in a penguin suit. This pissed him off no end. He’s now decided to join the sheep and will wear a black suit (with shirt and normal tie) but not bother with the traditional tux. And we live in Melbourne!

    • no wonder! Guys don’t like standing out, let’s face it. Not unless they’re a little ‘flambouyant’ if you know what I mean. So it’s a shame because they look so beautiful in black tie, but there’s no guarantees that people are going to follow it.

      That’s why when I come to your 70’s party, I’ll presume people won’t follow the dress code, and I’ll go in 1920’s instead. z

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