We live in a really awesome place. Not just because of the beautiful weather or the amazing water in our backyard but because of the wonderful people who live here. The Florida Keys embrace new people with open arms. Maybe its because many of us have come from different places and made the Keys our home, or maybe its because we’re the best small town in America. Whatever the reason, I believe the locals are what make this place so special.

One way Keys’ locals are amazing is our support of one another and our causes. During “season” there is a fundraiser or event for a different organization or nonprofit every weekend. And we help fundraise, donate silent auction items and buy tickets to attend these events without batting an eyelash. Below are a few tips to help you dress stylishly for each dress code while supporting worthy causes.

Purple Tie

On Saturday, October 1, the Purple Pumpkin Gala benefiting Rett Syndrome will take place at the Islander Resort. Hosted by Michelle and Travis Bennett in honor of their daughter, this beautiful night will provide much needed awareness while raising money for Rett Syndrome. Enjoy dinner, live and silent auctions, live music and dancing on the beach. For this unique dress code, wear cocktail attire appropriate for the beach. Leave your heels at home and instead opt for a floor length, midi-length or cocktail dress with sandals such as a metallic color or rhinestone embellished pair. For men, tuxes, suits and cocktail attire are appropriate but consider your footwear as it will be on the beach. If you can work in the color purple, all the better. One hundred percent of proceeds from this event go to support research for Rett Syndrome. Go to rettsyndrome.org/purplepumpkingala for more information.

Key Casual

The majority of the events in the Florida Keys all have one thing in common, the Keys Casual dress code. Women typically wear dresses or skirts with sandals as this works for our weather year round. For men the rule is, if you’d wear it fishing, don’t wear it to an event. Instead, men should wear leather sandals or loafers with flat front shorts or pants and a short sleeve polo, short sleeved collared button down dress shirt or Oxford long-sleeved button down shirts. Anything made by Tommy Bahama is the perfect Keys Casual attire. Save the date for the 5th Annual Aquatic Crawl on Saturday, Nov. 5 at the Ron Levy Aquatic Center at Founders Park and the Island Dolphin Care Annual Fundraiser on Saturday, Nove. 19. Keys Casual will be ideal for both of these special events as you celebrate with your Florida Keys friends and neighbors.

Black Tie or Formal

This is the most formal of dress codes and is common for galas or balls such as the Mariners Hospital Bougainvillea Ball on Saturday, Jan. 28 – so save the date! If you see that in the title, it may be an indicator that it is a more formal event. For men, black tie means dark colored suits or tuxes with white shirts, a tie or bow-tie and dress shoes. For women, a floor-length evening gown or knee-length cocktail dress is appropriate. Pair it with fine jewelry and sparkly heels for a sophisticated look. Go to baptisthealth.net for more information.

 Cocktail Attire

For cocktail parties such as the Habitat for Humanity of the Upper Keys Annual Cocktail Party held every year on the first Friday of March, the dress code is cocktail attire. That means short dresses for women and sport coats, or dress shirts with slacks for men. Instead of throwing on your LBD, opt for a dress in a fun color or pair your LBD with bright heels to refresh your look. Go to HabitatUpperKeys.org for more information.




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