Your guide to successfully fitting the dress code

Your guide to successfully fitting the dress code

What these five dress codes mean

When you’re invited to particular events, sometimes the invite comes along with a dress code. While these can be helpful when you’re trying to find something to wear, sometimes it just adds more confusion if you don’t fully understand what the different dress codes mean. We’ve put together this blog to help you understand what the different dress codes you might see on an invite mean, and what you should wear for each of the dress codes.

White tie

Also called full evening dress or ultra-formal, this is the most formal dress code out there. You won’t come across this one much unless you find yourself at a particularly fancy event. For this dress code, men should wear a tailcoat, white vest, white shirt, and a bow tie. Women are expected to wear full formal floor-length or cocktail length gowns.

Black tie

This is one of the most well-known dress codes out there, usually seen where you’re going to an evening social function or a wedding. For this dress code men should opt for formal clothing, such as a black or dark blue tuxedo suit with a white shirt and black tie. Women should wear a formal dress, typically floor-length or cocktail length.

Business casual

Another popular dress code, this one requires semi-formal clothing. For men, opt for some casual trousers such as a pair of chinos with a button down shirt and ditch the tie. Women should reach for something that would be suitable to wear in an office, such as a dress or a blouse with some trousers or a skirt. We would recommend avoiding jeans for business casual as it tips it slightly too far over to the casual side.

Cocktail dress

This is similar to black tie but just that bit less dressy. This is typically seen at parties and evening social functions, but ones that are less formal than a black tie event. Men should still opt for a suit but can be a bit more flexible with what type, and women can wear any type of party dress that doesn’t necessarily have to be long.

Casual dress

This is where we go for that well-known go-to outfit, ‘jeans and a nice top’. There’s a lot more room with this dress code for what you wear as there aren't as strict rules as there are with the others. If anything this dress code is just there to let you know that you can wear what you want, but most people will be dressed casual so there’s no need to go over the top.

When it comes to dress codes the most important thing is to just consider them a guide to what you should wear, rather than a restriction. If anything it just means that you know you’ll not be too overdressed or under-dressed for the event, so it takes the stress and guesswork out of deciding what you’re going to wear. 

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