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How To Decipher Dress Code Basics

Fashion Tips On How To Decipher Dress Code Basics

Black tie? Semi-formal event? Dressy casual?

If you are not sure how to decipher the dress code for the upcoming formal party, you have come to the right place. The Esoteric Gentleman’s Club can help you get ideas about what to wear to a black tie affair and how to look dressy casual at a holiday party.

Black Tie

It’s easy for guys to meet this dress requirement: Don the Monkey suit. But while men must wear a tux, women get the pleasure, or confusion, of choosing between several options. To make your pick, factor in geography and the specific type of event or party. You will likely want a full-length gown for a black tie ball in Dallas; an elegant cocktail shift might suffice for a black tie wedding in New York.

Formal / Black Tie

Optional Formal dress usually means the same thing as black tie, although in some trendier cities men might get away with a version of the tux that has a black shirt and no tie. Black tie optional is you host’s way of saying she wants a uniformly high standard of dress. If a guy decides not to wear a tuxedo, he should don a dark suit. And ladies are free to wear a short but formal dress in lieu of a gown. (source: Style 101 – What Every Stylish Woman Should Know)

Semi-formal / Cocktail

Tuxedos are not required, nor are long dresses. But a semi-formal evening wedding (that is, after 6 p.m.) would still dictate a dark suit for him and a cocktail dress for her. Daytime semi-formal events are slightly less buttoned-up. (The same rules apply if the invite says “informal”, a slightly archaic term for semi-formal, not to be confused with casual dress). And similar rules apply to any mandated cocktail attire: that is, a short, elegant dress or unmistakably dressy separates for her and a dark suit for him.

Festive / Dressy Casual

They sound kind of fun, these loosened-up mandates, but what the heck do they mean?

If you get an invite that says “festive” for a holiday party, consider it shorthand for “Make an effort! Wear something sparkly! Show some style personality!” A beaded camisole and black pants would work; so would a full skirt and a cashmire T. Some casual is ok, but we strongly recommend to forgo the shorts and T-shirts.

Final Words

Knowing these dress codes basics will help you in choosing that perfect outfit for any festive occasion. A great hair style, accessories and smart dress shoes are universal ways to add to your image and great looks. Following latest fashion trends and having an ideas of what not to wear also come handy when deciding on the holiday outfit.

And the last but not the least: don’t forget to wear a smile! 🙂