Dress Codes for Various Kinds of Events

Although dress codes are important for defining any occasion, it can often be hard to understand what exactly they entail. Depending on the type of event you are attending, the right outfit will differ accordingly. This simple dress guide will help you decide on the appropriate look for your upcoming event and help you dress for any occasion with ease:

Dress Codes for Various Kinds of Events


Contrary to popular belief, a casual dress code does not always mean literally come as you are. The most typical dress code for informal get-togethers, outdoor barbecues, and picnics in the park, it would be wise to avoid sweatpants and gym clothes and opt for a nice pair of jeans and a daytime top. Women can also wear more relaxed skirts and dresses, while men can choose a casual shirt worn alone or even layered over a T-shirt. Smart casual can be the dress code for creative and informal networking events, as well as some office environments, where you can be a bit more fashion-forward with chinos, dark jeans, and dressy sneakers or more structured dresses, skirts, and flats.


Suiting afternoons and corporate events, this dress code comprises short afternoon dresses and business suits with shirts and ties. For events that extend into the evening, women could opt for a less formal cocktail dress, a long skirt with a top, or even a tailored jumpsuit, while men can swap chinos out for a nice pair of dress trousers that match your blazer, and even try adding a matching vest or waistcoat. As far as both genders are concerned, all accessories and shoes should be purposeful and polished.

Semi-formal dresses

Cocktail dress

More elegant and sophisticated, while not being too strict, a cocktail dress code is a good time to experiment with colors and more playful silhouettes. For men, a slim-fitting suit and a tie will keep you on the theme, while women have a lot more freedom to play around with dress options, from a classic little black dress to something with printed patterns, open shoulders, or more revealing necklines. Since there are almost no dress codes against jewelry, a cocktail party is a perfect occasion to find some beautiful fine jewelry to complete your outfit and express your personal style.

Cocktail dress

White tie

Nothing is more formal than a white tie dress code, but it’s also notoriously difficult, as even celebrities with an abundance of disposable income and personal stylists tend to run into common mistakes.  Known as a full evening dress that can be expected at the Met Ball Gala and Royal events, this dress code involves long evening gowns, white gloves, tailcoats, and single- or double-striped matching trousers, along with with with the necessary white tie. Another important rule to follow is no wristwatches, as it’s considered rude to think of the time during such an important event.

Black tie

Known as formal attire, black tie events include charity dinners and fundraisers, as well as some Galas, and even the Oscars. Although the dress codes are strict, there is still some room for personal style. Women tend to get much more leeway here, and are allowed to wear both floor-length and short dresses, but are expected to wear heels, while the choice of how revealing you want to depend on the type of occasion. Men should wear a tuxedo jacket with matching trousers, cuff linked shirts, a bow tie of any color and a cummerbund.

Known as formal attire, black tie events include charity dinners and fundraisers, as well as some Galas, and even the Oscars

If you follow this simple guide to every dress code for men and women, all of your questions will be answered, and you will be able to plan an appropriate outfit with confidence.

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