Getting an invitation that specifies a dress code for you to follow can be a total nightmare. After all, nothing can quickly make you feel uncomfortable than arriving at the party overdressed or underdressed for the occasion.
The good news is that we got you covered. Here are common dress codes used in most invitations and how to dress appropriately for them.
Black-Tie Dress Code
This is a dress code that is often used during formal occasions like weddings.
How to dress for a black tie event:
Men don’t have a problem when it comes to black tie events as it calls for them to wear a tuxedo.
Women, on the other hand, can find this more challenging. That’s because women can wear anything from a short cocktail dress to a long, floor-length gown accessorized by opera-length gloves.
The best way for women to know how to dress appropriately for a black tie event is to look at what type of event is it. If it’s a wedding or a function at work, a simple cocktail dress accessorized with a statement jewelry piece will suffice. For gala events like an awards night, opt for a gown.
Black-Tie Optional Dress Code
This is a more recent dress code now being used in many formal occasions. It’s still formal, but not as uptight as a black-tie event.
How to dress for a black tie optional event:
If you’re a guy and you have a tuxedo in your closet, you can wear this. Otherwise, choose a dark-colored suit and tie.
If you’re a woman, you can wear a cocktail dress or a long, ankle-length dress accessorized with some fancy jewelry pieces.
Cocktail Dress Code
Some invitations use semi-formal to refer to this dress code. That’s because the type of clothes you can wear here is more relaxed and less formal than the first two dress codes.
How to dress for a cocktail or semi-formal event:
For men, choose a dark-colored suit and tie to wear for this event.
As for the women, short dresses that stop above the knee work best. If you’re not comfortable wearing short dresses, a dressy pantsuit accessorized by a statement jewelry piece will also be appropriate for this kind of event.
Business Formal Dress Code
As its name suggests, this dress code is frequently used during semi-formal corporate functions like trade shows and conferences.
How to dress for a business formal event:
For men, you can choose to wear either a gray, navy blue or black suit. The tie color can be a bit flexible as you can choose to wear either light or dark colored ties. One thing to remember is that this is still a semi-formal dress code, so avoid wearing fancy and outrageously decorated ties to this event.
If you’re a woman, you can choose to wear a tailored dress or a suit with pants. You can, of course, choose to wear a skirt. Just make sure that length of your skirt is below your knees.
Business Casual Dress Code
This is the most common dress code observed in most traditional companies as well as in banks and financial firms. This is also the acceptable dress code to wear if you’ve been invited to attend a corporate event, but there was no specific dress code.
How to dress for a business casual event:
Blazers and coats are now considered optional pieces to wear for men and women. The same goes for neckties. Tailored slacks, pencil skirts, and collared shirts and blouses are acceptable to wear for a business casual event.