Should I arrive at a party late?

Some say that it is “fashionable” to arrive late at a party, but do not believe them. If it is a big party, and cocktails are at 5:00 and dinner is at 7:00, you should arrive well before 7:00, even if you do not intend to have cocktails.

If the cocktail party is small, then you should show up no later than fifteen minutes after the announced starting time. Just as it is impolite to arrive too late, never arrive before the starting time, even if you have to walk or drive around for fifteen minutes.