c.2013 New York Times News Service

c.2013 New York Times News Service

NEW YORK — If dressing for a night out weren’t tricky enough in this peacock-strutting town, imagine doing so during Fashion Week, when the fashion police are out in full force.

Didn’t you wear that same camisole top by Thakoon Panichgul two nights ago? Are those gladiator-meets-dominatrix boots really appropriate for an elegant Theyskens’ Theory party? You may be friends with the designer, but don’t you feel silly in that cutoff T-shirt, when everyone else is in formal wear?

Professional partygoers had no problem dressing for the eight days of nonstop dinners, after-parties, store openings, fundraisers, secret concerts, perfume rollouts and other assorted PR events disguised as fashion happenings.

For those heading to a designer’s after-party, the safe bet was any outfit that bore the designer’s name. A veritable archive of Jason Wu’s previous collections, for example, was on display at his after-party at the Electric Room last Friday.

There were other ways to stay on brand. Novak Djokovic, who lost a day earlier in the U.S. Open men’s final, arrived at his Tuesday fundraiser not in a suit by Uniqlo, his apparel sponsor, but one by Theory, owned by the same parent company, Fast Retailing.

Dressing gets a bit more challenging when there is no obvious label to shill. Lady Gaga wore little else but a seashell bra and bikini bottom when she performed at an intimate concert on Saturday for Stephen Gan at V magazine.

And then there was the cocktail party for Vanity Fair’s International Best Dressed List, held on Monday at a stately Madison Avenue courtyard. What does one wear to a party where judging another’s outfit is practically a job description?

“My girlfriend made it,” said artist Chuck Close, who showed up in a razzle-dazzle, tangerine-orange and electric-blue suit by Sienna Shields, a visual artist. “When we were in Paris, she bought these fabrics.”