Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dress The Part

Often times weddings and special events leave you completely clueless on WHAT TO WEAR? You always get the wording on the invitation..."black tie", "semi-formal", "cocktail", etc. But what exactly does that mean? Here is a cheat sheet so that you can look FABULOUS and APPROPRIATE at your next wedding or event!

{White Tie} The most formal of all dress codes...

Ladies-A formal, full-length ball gown in a neutral color like dark brown or black. Glamorous makeup, dramatic jewelry, pinned/pulled up hair are appropriate.

Gentlemen-A tuxedo, a long black jacket with tails, a white pique vest, and a bow tie. Black, formal shoes, and even white gloves are appropriate.

{Black Tie} The next most formal dress code and it's usually an evening affair...
Ladies-A chic cocktail dress or a long evening gown in a dark, neutral color like brown or black. Make sure the length is appropriate if you do a cocktail dress.

Gentlemen-A tuxedo. A black bow tie, cummerbund, and patent leather shoes are also suggested.

{Formal or Black Tie Optional} Slightly less formal than a black tie which means a tuxedo is not required but the event is formal enough for one to be appropriate...

Ladies-A long dress, a dressy suit, or a formal cocktail-length dress in a dark, neutral tone like brown, gray, or black.

Gentlemen-A tuxedo or a formal dark suit and tie.

{Beach Formal, Beach Attire, or Summer Chic} "Beach formal" suggests an elegant beach wedding -- so dress to impress, but also dress for the elements (sun, sand, and water). "Beach Attire" and "Summer Chic" denotes that anything you'd wear to a nice restaurant on a summer day is appropriate...

Ladies: A formal summer sundress at tea- or knee-length with low or high sandals. Makeup and hair can be natural and everyday.

Gentlemen: A summer suit with a linen shirt (no ties required), linen pants or khakis, and sandals.

{Semiformal, Dressy Casual, or Cocktail} Depending on the time of the event, you'll want to dress somewhere between formal and casual. Wear darker, more formal hues for an evening fete; opt for light colors and fabrics for a daytime affair...
Ladies-A cocktail dress or a dressy skirt and top.

Gentlemen-A suit and tie, dark or light depending on the season and time of day.

{Casual} Generally, casual means anything goes. That said, jeans, shorts, and tank tops are probably not appropriate unless they're specifically noted as acceptable. For the purposes of wedding wear, assume business casual to be on the safe side.
Ladies-A summer sundress or a skirt or pants with a nice blouse. Makeup and hair can be natural and everyday.

Gentlemen-Dress pants with a button-down shirt or polo.

Happy Planning!

Photo Credit: Image Sets Created By Me Via Polyvore

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