Cotillion Etiquette Booklet

The 2019-2020 Etiquette booklet is an invaluable resource for all new and returning Members. The Board of Directors from Cotillion Club of Sarasota encourage the use of the booklet as a reference manual throughout the 2021-2022 Cotillion season. As always, if additional information is needed, don't hesitate to contact any of the Executive Board Members.

Proper Dance Attire

Cotillion Club has a specific dress code for Cotillion dances. It has been a long-held tradition to require appropriate dress at these events. Adherence to the following dress code is expected and enforced unless otherwise noted on the invitation.

Each Member of Cotillion agreed to the rules and guidelines when they joined the Club. The Dress Code (#7) details specific rules that must be followed by all Members. The Rules of Cotillion are clearly documented and are available on this web site. Please review these Rules prior to attending a dance so you are in compliance.

The Board of Directors makes a concerted effort to consistently enforce the dress code at each event. Those Members who do not follow the dress code will be issued an infraction for their failure to follow the Rules of Cotillion.

If you are not sure if your dress is appropriate for a dinner-dance, and you would like clarification, you are welcome to email a picture of your dress to any of the Executive Board Members.

Proper Dress Attire for Ladies


Cotillion dresses:

  • Should be appropriately dressy (semi-formal or formal) as indicated on the invitation.
  • Hemlines should be longer than the lady's fingertips when her arm is extended by her side, even while dancing.


  • Comfortable shoes are encouraged.
  • Dressy shoes must fasten around the ankle.

Improper Dress Attire for Ladies

  • No pants, shorts, pant suits, bare midriff, low cut back (no lower than the bra line), slip dresses or dresses that are too short, tight, bodycon or revealing.
  • Hemlines must extend BEYOND the fingertips. Dresses should remain below the fingertips while a lady is dancing.
  • Please refrain from wearing any dress that would be considered a type of a “club” dress.
  • No hats


  • No flip-flops, boots, sneakers or canvas shoes.
  • Backless shoes are considered inappropriate.

Proper Dress Attire for Gentlemen

The following dress attire is expected at Cotillion dances:

  • Gentlemen must wear a traditional suit.
  • Button down dress shirt with a collar.
  • Tie, leather belt and dress socks.
  • A traditional suit can be substituted with a suit jacket or blazer with dress slacks.

  • Gentlemen must wear dark-soled dress shoes.

Improper Dress Attire for Gentlemen




    The following clothing is not acceptable:

    •  Jeans
    • Corduroy slacks
    • Collarless shirt
    • T-shirts
    • Sports socks
    • Hats
    • Novelty suits and Accessories


    • Hush puppies or boat shoes are not appropriate for a semi-formal or formal event (e.g. rubber-soled shoes).

    What do to at a Cotillion Dinner-Dance if your attire is deemed inappropriate

    If attire is deemed inappropriate by a Board Director prior to checking in, the choices are as follows:

    1. Parents return with appropriate attire prior to 8:00 PM.
    2. Ladies: If the dress is deemed too short, wear a slip skirt provided; if the dress is deemed too revealing, wear a shawl provided. The slip skirt and/or shawl must be worn the entire evening.
    3. Gentlemen: Wear the tie or suit jacket (offered by Cotillion).
    4. Decide not to attend the dance, at which point the parent is contacted for Member pick up.

    Cotillion Club of Sarasota, Inc.
    P.O. Box 19171
    Sarasota , FL 34276-2171

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