Deciphering the “dress code”

Photo credit: Beaux Art Photographie

If you’re feeling unclear what the dress code means on the invite, I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve. Often the invitation to the wedding will give away the type of wedding the bride and groom are hoping for, with the subtle colour tones and ambiance. Location is also important to choosing the appropriate wedding attire also.

“White Tie”
This is the most formal of all wedding dress codes (think red carpet Oscars). I’m yet to be invited to a “White Tie” wedding event!

His: A tuxedo, a long black jacket with tails, a white pique vest, and a bow tie. Don’t try to be too clever, a “white tie” affair is generally quite serious.
Hers: A formal, full-length ball gown. Colours optional, but steer clear of the white, cream hues. Generally teamed with formal makeup and big jewellery to match.

“Black Tie”
This is the next most formal wedding dress code and usually means the wedding is an evening affair.

His: A tux. Usually it’s black bow tie, and full penguin suit.
Hers: A chic cocktail dress or a long evening gown

The most common of wedding attire, this is slightly less formal than black tie.
His: A tuxedo or a dark suit and tie.
Hers: Almost anything, cocktail to long gown.

“Beach Formal”
This suggests an elegant beach wedding — so dress to impress, but also dress for the elements (sun, sand, and water).

His: A summer suit with a linen shirt (no ties required), linen pants or khakis, and sandals.
Hers: A formal summer sundress with sandals, heels or wedges

“Semi-formal” or “Dressy Casual”
Depending on the time of the event, you’ll want to dress somewhere between formal and casual.

His: A suit and tie, dark or light depending on the season and time of day.
Hers: A cocktail dress or a dressy skirt and top.

Casual means wear whatever you’d like! But try to stay somewhat appropriate, jeans and shorts are generally frowned upon at weddings. The invite should give you a good feeling about what might be appropriate.

His: Dress pants with a button-down shirt or polo.
Hers: A summer sundress or a skirt or pants with a nice shirt.

Posted on December 11, 2011, in Invitations, Wedding Guest and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

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