DEAR MISS MANNERS: Is it proper to wear dress pants instead of a dress or skirt to the party celebrating my husband and me on our 50th anniversary?
GENTLE READER: As you are the host (or presumably in close contact with the person who is), you may set the style.
Please promise Miss Manners, however, that you will not confuse your guests by trying to indicate the level of dress on the invitation with meaningless terms like "semi-formal," "creative cocktail" or "festive casual." The degree of formality should be indicated by the invitation's delivery system (electronic vs. cream linen stationery), wording ("Come on over!" vs. "The pleasure of your company is requested"), venue (backyard vs. hotel ballroom) or simply by knowing you for the better part of 50 years.