When summer hits, so does peak wedding season. We can help you take the stress out of getting dressed, so that you can enjoy the beautiful ceremonies and spectacular receptions.

The Invitation – Dress Code

Has a wedding or party invitation ever left you clueless about what to wear? Whether it’s black tie, white tie or something in between, here’s our basic cheat sheet for what to wear.

White Tie

This is the most formal of all wedding dress codes, think State Dinners and the Oscars.

His 

  • A tuxedo, a long black jacket with tails, a white pique vest and a bow tie.
  • Formal black shoes and even white gloves for dancing are appropriate.

Hers

  • A formal, full-length ball gown.
  • Glamorous makeup and dramatic jewelry and hair are appropriate.

Black Tie 

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This is the next most formal wedding dress code and usually means the wedding is an evening affair. Traditionally, black tie meant a floor length dress or gown but nowadays a dressy knee-length option is appropriate.  

Hers

  • A chic cocktail dress or long evening gown.

His

  • Men should wear a tuxedo with a black bow tie and a nice pair of leather dress shoes.

Formal/Black Tie “Optional”

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The wording here suggests something slightly less formal than black tie. This means that a tuxedo isn’t required, but the event is still formal enough for one to be appropriate. A dark suit and tie is still formal and an appropriate choice if you decide not to go the tuxedo route. 

His 

  • A tuxedo or formal dark suit and tie.

Hers

  • A long evening dress, dressy suit or formal cocktail-length dress.

Business Casual

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This is probably the most used and most confusing dress code on an invitation. 

Jacket-No-Tie is a big trend right now and works for this occasion, or on a hot day skip the jacket and opt for a tie to keep you looking put together.

His 

  • Dress pants or khakis, with a collared shirt and a belt.

Hers

  • A skirt or dress with a hem past the knee.

Beach Formal

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This suggests an elegant beach wedding—so dress to impress, but also dress for the elements (sun, sand and water). And remember to choose appropriate footwear for the terrain!

His 

  • A summer or light colored suit.
  • Modern dress codes make a tie optional.
  • Linen pants and a jacket with a dressy loafer in a light color.

Hers

  • A formal summer dress at floor or cocktail length with flat sandals.
  • Makeup and hair should be natural and appropriate for the environments- perhaps up if it is windy.

Semiformal

This one can be a little tricky, because it’s basically just a hair below black tie “optional.” The difference between black tie “optional” and semi-formal dress code is that this one isn’t asking you to wear a tuxedo or evening gown. Wear darker, more formal hues for the evening and opt for light colors and fabrics for a daytime wedding. 

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.  

Smart Causal

A “Casual” dresscode generally, means anything goes—but keep it tasteful you are still attending an event. “Smart Casual” or “Dressy Casual” refers to more dressed up versions of your casual looks.

His 

  • Dress pants with a button-down shirt.

Hers

  • A summer sundress or a skirt with a nice blouse.

  Where to Shop

Shop Linden Square for the perfect guest dress this summer!

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Still not sure what to wear and have a special event coming up?  

Our Event Dressing services take the stress out of finding and deciphering the appropriate style to wear. We consult with you on the event, the social etiquette involved and your comfort level with dressing up, so that you look and feel great making your entrance! 

Contact us, and shine at your next big event!