Six of the Most Annoying Dress Codes, Decoded!

"Mountain Chic"/"Fancy Western"

I think the safest way to do it is to wink at the theme with jewelry instead of buying a whole new dress that feels seriously alpine or Western, because how often would you wear that again? Also, you can totally just wear a cocktail dress with flowers on it and call them "mountain wildflowers." I won't tell.

Digital Fashion Writer

I'm all for people getting creative with their party décor, but not so much with their dress code description. (Unless, you know, it's a theme party.) Island fancy, mountain chic, dress for the summer solstice (?!): these are all real dress decrees I've been given and all ones that immediately sent me into Gchat-polling madness to figure out what the hell the host was trying to tell me.

Like, I get that they're trying to set a mood—but dude, when you write something all quippy like that it's sort of confusing, and I don't know if you want me in a dress or jeans or what. Or anyway, I didn't until I went to all those parties. Here's what I discovered about six of the most common and confusing dress codes in the process—and the best way to tackle each of them.