So you’ve been invited to a wedding, office event or party and not sure what you should wear? Here’s our simple and modern guide to help you figure out the best attire and what each dress code means.
This is the most formal dress code, and usually reserved for events like political dinners and the awards shows, like the Academy awards, for instance.
For women: This where you get to wear a formal, floor-length evening gown. This is high heels, fancy jewelry and up-dos, or however you want to put your own spin on that.
For men: This is all about tuxedos. Includes a black tuxedo jacket jacket with tails, white collared shirt, a vest, white bow tie, and black leather shoes (patent, even). You can even bring out the white or grey gloves.
Less dressy than white tie, but still fairly formal. Usually for evening affairs like holiday corporate events, galas, some weddings. How you spin it depends on who’s inviting you and the occasion.
For women: Embrace fancy and wear your most gorgeous long gown, knee-length cocktail dress with heels, or a dressy black dress. Wear colours like black, jewel tones, Bring out your jewelry and have fun getting fancy.
For men: Wear a tux, black bow tie, a cummerbund or vest, and black patent-leather shoes or laced oxfords. If it’s summertime, you can wear a white dinner jacket with black tux pants.
Creative black tie
This is still formal, but with a trendy, more creative and modern update via accessories or colours.
For women: This is where you can opt for a fun but still formal dress. One idea: wear feminine tuxedo pants wth a pretty silk top. or a silky ball gown style skirt with a less formal top. Go all out with jewelry, hats, and other accessories.
For men: This is something like a tuxedo combined with trendy or modern items, like a colourful or patterned tie, cummerbund, hat, or other item.
Formal/black tie optional
Slightly less formal than black tie, but still pretty fancy.
For women: Bring out your floor-length gown, cocktail dress or L.B.D. with heels. You can also do a dressy suit, if you like.
For men: Opt for either a tux or a dark suit and tie with nice leather shoes.
A blend of formal and casual, depending on where and when the event occurs. Day or night, etc.
For women: Your best bet is a knee-length cocktail dress, little black dress, or a pretty skirt and top. For women who prefer pants, slacks with a dressy blouse works great, too.
For men: Wear a suit and tie in a dark or light colour, depending on the season and the time of day, or dress pants with a collared shirt and jacket. Add dressy leather shoes.
This is your chance to get festive, fun, and dressy but not formal.
For women: Some great options are knee-length dresses dress pants, skirts and blouses, etc.
For men: Wear a jacket and slacks, with or without a tie. Colours or patterns can be a bit bolder than with semi-formal attire.
This means casual but still work appropriate. So no ripped jeans and sloppy tees.
For women: Go for dress pants, casual dresses, or a skirt and blouse. No bare shoulders or plunging necklines.
For men: Chinos, khakis, dress pants with a collared shirt and loafers (or loafer-style shoes). You can also add a sport coat or blazer.
Dress code: Casual
Pretty much anything goes. Some people say avoid jeans, shorts, and tank tops, though, at least for bigger events like casual weddings, etc.
For women: Perfect opportunity for a pretty sundress, skirt or pants with a nice top.
For men: Popular choices are khakis, button-downs, sweaters, polo shirts.