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Wildcat

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I would expect it to last a couple of hours? Perhaps one hour for any formal discussion and an hour to mingle?

 

Your ideas of what to wear sound fine to me.

 

My gut feeling would be no hostess gift because it is a formal type thing for informational purposes, at least in part.

 

Perhaps others will have better suggestions/opinions.

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I might take a very small hostess gift. A small (4-6 piece) box of candy, a small seasonal plant (paperwhites, amaryllis, something small), maybe a small package of seasonal tea or coffee. The alums are volunteers and are spending their time to open up their home. There is a good chance they are also paying for the food or drink, depending on the school. But keep the value of the gift under $20 - $5-10 is even better. It's just a token.

 

Whatever you decide about a hostess gift, do make sure to send a thank you note. Again, they are giving up an evening of their time.

 

Since it is December (ie, holiday party season) I might be a little more dressed up than in spring or summer. If the card says business casual, I'd go with slacks, a nice button down shirt and maybe a tie (ok, probably a tie, since this is to increase the chance of honors college or scholarship). If the invite says informal, I would definitely have a tie and add a jacket (sport coat or blazer). Guys could also do a turtleneck and a jacket. As mom, I'd wear dark slacks and a nice dressy top. I would wear nice, but conservative jewelry.

 

If you've seen staff from the college before at college nights, try to think about what they were wearing. Did they have a suit or sport coat? Or did they wear a college polo? That might help you. If it's a high end school, I'd dress up more. If it's an art/music school I'd feel free to be more iconoclastic.

 

(NB: I tend to dress pretty conservatively for the interviews I do. YMMV)

 

I would guess about 2 hours, probably no more than 3.

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The thank you note is key, but I figure gift giving is always appropriate, but as said above, very small would be best.

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Personally I would suggest (at the least) slacks, button up shirt, and tie for the men. Black slacks and a nice blouse sounds fine for mom. What is the start time? That may also give a good indication of dress and length. I would guess about three hours, though.

 

I would not have my ds attend in a polo shirt unless it was an early afternoon garden type party. I went to many of these things while in college, and the men were almost always in suits.

 

I am not sure about a hostess gift, but a thank you card is a must. Also, don't be worried. Just smile and try to enjoy the visit. Have some small talk and mingle. It will be fine.

 

Danielle

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Ladies thank you for trying to help me with this.

 

The card says nothing about dress. At all.

 

The school is a state school (an oos school, but a state school). Not high ranked, but thought well of in that state and ours.

 

We have had no interviews, and have not met with any school officials (we just drove out and did the regular school tour) so we have no idea what official people wore/wear. The admins who presented the ppt wore slacks and short sleeved shirts. We have not been to any college nights (not sure what that is, to be honest). The climate of the school, if I had to guess, would be casual. It's just a state school in the middle of nowhere, so I would guess casual/relaxed. ???

 

Sebastian, would you suggest no khakis for the guys, then? That would put us all in black pants. Is that odd? I will most likely have a nice red shirt on with my slacks. As for a tie, is that just ds, or dh, too? Maybe it depends on our area? We're southern and laid back here. The school is rural and even more southern. The area the home is in is what would be called "fancy".

 

I think the hostess gift is giving me the most trouble! The mannerly part of me says to bring one because this lady is opening her home, but the other part of me says it's not a 'party', but more of a business meeting. Ack!! Oh, and if we bring a hostess gift (I like the idea of small flowers or plant, so if we bring a gift, that's what it will be), who gives it to the hostess? Me or ds? Dh will be going through the door behind us as he hates mingling more than I do! :lol:

 

And the thank you note--- ds writes that, yes?

 

Why, oh why, did ds want to go?!

 

 

OK, with the extra info (state school and your being in the south) I might go with khakis, a button up shirt and a tie for the guys. Or khakis and a nice button up shirt. (I'm pretty up tight about attire. My pet peeve is invites that say "semi-formal or crisp aloha". I think if the invite said something like info night then I would lean more casual. But if it said the evening was a reception for prospective students then I'd lean more toward dressed up and tie wearing. BTW, being up tight doesn't mean that I'm always right by any means. But I think you are usually more able to dress down - take off a jacket, roll up sleeves; than dress up once you are at the event.)

 

On the hostess gift, it depends on if the hostess is part of paid staff of the college or an enthusiastic alumni family opening their home to help out admissions and the school. I do several interviews and college nights each year. They always mean taking time out of my schedule, driving around to the locations, buying coffee or water at the interview site (when I do it at a local sandwich shop), etc. There were times when I had to get a sitter for my own young kids. I think that your ds could hand it to the hostess with a quick, "Thank you so much for opening your home."

 

The thank you should definitely come from him. (You might write a separate note or email if there was someone who was particularly helpful toward your questions.)

 

You said yes because it is a great opportunity to hear more about the school and to have your son seen by representatives of the school. FWIW, I can very much remember having to go to Macy's and buy a nice dress and shoes for the USNA Blue Chip Dinner way back in the 1980s. It was a very big deal sit down dinner at a private club downtown in the city where we lived. The first course was French Onion Soup - the first time I'd ever encountered it. 20+ years later, I'm counting the hours to the Army Navy Game and am into my 10th year as a USNA Blue and Gold Officer.

 

Fear not.

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