Party Lines, Everything You Need To Know

by Adam Bertrand · June 17, 2008

    hampton's party

    The summer season's barely begun, and already we've seen a slew of celebrations. As nothing ruins an ACRIA party like a misjudged Marc Jacobs, I decided to assemble a little tip sheet. Just what is the difference between a soirée and a gala, a benefit and a fundraiser? Read on to find out, and to find which will be getting the most usage.

    A "soirée" is a party or gathering held in the evening, and always at least cocktail attire if not black tie. Wear: Fun young talent (Temperley, L'Wren Scott, Rodarte), or well-chosen vintage.

    A "benefit" is a party/performance for a charitable cause, and it's usually held in the evening or night, often on a Sunday. Wear: Understated (but recognizable) elegance.

    A "fund raiser" is less glitzy, less exclusive benefit, and is often held in the day. Wear: Philip Lim and seersucker.

    A "gala" is a special celebration. In England, it's also an athletic competition. Wear: your hottest haute.

    A "bash" is a smaller, less formal gala. It is never an athletic competition, even in England. Wear: sassy, not trashy, in bright, even neon colors.

    After consulting the Gofg calendar, it looks like benefits beat galas in sheer numbers (11 to 10), while the others are tie for third, or last, with 1 each.