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  • Bhagyashri S

Decoding The Dress Code

Most of the times when we receive a party invite with an expectation of a certain attire we find ourselves lost and wondering exactly what would be the appropriate attire for the occasion ,besides the themed parties,weddings and other soirees that say things like “dressy casual” and “cocktail chic.” 


Most of my clients say that Just when we think that little black dress was the fanciest of all, the invitation says white tie and they find it confusing.


The dress codes are a lot to take in, but they’re not as complicated as they sound.Here i am going to break down the dress code to make it easier to understand and as we go along with the list , you’ll notice the subtle differences .And there on you will find it easier to figure out if your chosen dress is appropriate for your upcoming event and you will attend every event feeling beautiful, confident and having a good time!  



BLACK TIE (Photo-Pinterest)


BLACK TIE

For men its simple to follow clue -wear a tuxedo. But can get a little more complicated for women, who can technically wear anything from a long dress to dressy separates to a formal cocktail dress. The best way to figure out what to wear is to dress according to what you think the host may wear. If you are attending a high-end wedding then wear a gown. If, on the other hand, you’re going to a work function that calls for black tie, it’s more appropriate to wear a little black dress with a statement jewelry.


Women

Formal (floor length) evening gown

Dressy cocktail dress

Your dressiest “little black dress”


Men

Black tuxedo jacket and matching trousers

Formal white shirt

Shirt studs and cuff links

Black bow tie (silk, satin, or twill)

Black cummerbund to match tie, or a vest

Dressy braces to ensure a good fit (optional)

Black patent shoes and black dress socks


BLACK TIE OPTIONAL/FORMAL

Instead of just going full-on black tie optional with floor-length gowns, you can also play around with other choices, such as formal cocktail dresses. Dressy separates work as well. Just think of it as being more sophisticated than semi-formal, but not as strict as black tie.


Women

Formal (floor length) evening gown ,

Dressy cocktail dress,

A “little black dress” ,

Dressy separates


Men

Tuxedo,

Dark suit, white dress shirt, and conservative tie ,

Leather dress shoes and dark dress socks



There is another one that you may come across its.....


CREATIVE BLACK TIE

It’s black tie with some personality, it lets you have some fun while putting it together . Colored items are widely accepted in black tie attire, with the expectation of flashier gowns, like the Strapless Ballgown Cocktail Maxi Dress.


Women

Formal (floor length) evening gown

Dressy cocktail dress

Your dressiest “little black dress”

Fun and unique accessories


Men

Tuxedo combined with trendy or whimsical items, such as a black shirt or a matching colored or patterned bow tie.




CASUAL

CASUAL

The attire that we wear on a daily basis, the casual dress code is something we all know very well. A casual outfit is something that you can easily pick out of your closet. It’s the most informal of dress codes, as far as events go. Just be mindful that your outfit is still tasteful and neat and makes you look put together.  


Women

Sundress

Long or short skirt

Khakis or nice jeans

Shorts

Plain T-shirt , polo shirt, turtleneck

Casual button-down blouse


Men

Khakis or good jeans (clean, no holes)

Cargo or Bermuda shorts—depending on occasion

Plain T-shirt , polo shirt, turtleneck

Casual button-down shirt and/or sweater

Loafers, sneakers (with or without socks), sandals


SMART-DRESSY CASUAL


SMART CASUAL or DRESSY CASUAL

This is basically the dressier version of the casual attire. Generally, you want to avoid those distressed jeans, shorts and t-shirts. And definitely leave your flip flops at home. Ladies might also want to think about the length of their skirts, going for the empire wait bow tie midi skirt or Pants instead of a mini skirt.


Women

Dress

Skirt and dressy top

Dressy pants outfit

Nice jeans and dressy top


Men

Seasonal sport coat or blazer, and slacks

Dress shirt, casual button-down shirt, open-collar or polo shirt

Optional tie


BUSINESS CASUAL


BUSINESS CASUAL

Over here is where it gets a little confusing, as each company has its own idea of what business casual looks like. The best way to go about the business casual attire is by going slightly more formal than smart casual. Think modest hems, button-downs and tailored bottoms. Jeans are acceptable in certain workplaces. However, if you want to play it safe try to avoid denim pieces.  

There are also some corporate offices that have a dress code that calls for business casual.


Women

Skirt, khakis,chinos or pants

Open-collar shirt, knit shirt or sweater (no spaghetti straps )

Dress


Men

Seasonal sport coat or blazer with slacks or khakis

Dress shirt, casual button-down shirt, open-collar or polo shirt

Optional tie

Loafers or loafer-style shoes and socks







BEACH FORMAL

A lot of parties have a beautiful beach backdrop this is where you, go for lighter, flowy fabrics for beach parties. Florals , Paisley print,Lace mini dress or sundresses are perfect in this kind of setting. And again the choice of footwear matters as the beach is defiantly not a place for heels and even ballet flats, so opt for sandals instead.Choose considering the theme of the party.

For Men

Lighten things up by opting for a breathable linen-blend blazer instead of a traditional suit, skip the tie and instead wear a classic striped button-down shirt and a pair of white or colored jeans. A great fit – especially with trickier summer fabrics is a must, attention to details matters.


COCKTAIL DRESS

COCKTAIL

The LBD is probably everyone’s go-to for a cocktail function, though you do have more options at your disposal. Knee-length skirts and dress pants are alternatives to dresses,

it basically means a party-ready attire. Something bold, with beautiful silhouettes and vibrant colors. Don’t forget the heels and bold lip. Darker colors are often the safer option for cocktail chic parties.  


Women

A Little Black Dress


Men

Suit and Tie.



FESTIVE ATTIRE

FESTIVE ATTIRE

This is pretty much the cocktail attire with a themed twist. So if the party falls on Christmas, think red, white or green cocktail dresses. If it’s a New Year’s , feel free to wear a bit of sparkle and if you feel upto it go all bling bling with the sequence dresses.


Women

Cocktail dress

Long dressy skirt and top

Dressy pants outfit or separates

A “little black dress” choose colors as per the occasion

Sequin party dress


Men

Seasonal sport coat or blazer in color of choice, and slacks

Open-collar shirt, or dress shirt

Tie—festive or with a holiday theme




BUSINESS FORMAL

Here’s where the blazers, pantsuits and pantyhose come into play. You can also wear a Midi Dress, as long as you wear a jacket over it. Heels are often expected to match this business attire. It’s all about looking professional.


Women

Suit

Business-style dress

Dress with a jacket

Stocking

Heels, low or high


Men

Dark business suit

Matching vest (optional)Dress shirt

Conservative tie

Leather dress shoes and dark dress socks


SEMI-FORMAL

Somewhat similar to black tie , you’d normally expect cocktail dresses and dressy separates but not the ball gown—leave that for the formal dress codes.


Women

Short afternoon or cocktail dress

A “little black dress”

Long dressy skirt and top

Dressy separates


Men

Dark, business suit

Matching vest

Dress shirt Tie

Leather dress shoes and dark dress socks



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