Wedding Dress Code Refresher

After a year of quarantine it finally feels like life is beginning to return to normal. This new sense of normalcy means wedding season has resumed. It’s been a while since we’ve had the opportunity to attend glamorous events so we thought it might be a good idea to brush up on the appropriate attire for each dress code. Whether you’re in a position to save or splurge, we’ve got you covered so keep reading. 

Casual

A casual dress code can vary greatly and it also depends on things like the location and time of day, so always take those into account when choosing your outfit.

For men: If you want to be on the dressier side then opt for a sport coat, button-down, and chinos. If outside or on a beach, linen is a good look. In some very casual instances, you could even get away with a polo and shorts. For shoes, a boat shoe or a loafer are both great casual options. 

For women: You can’t go wrong with a sundress. Pair it with flats or a sandal (just not a flip-flop) and you’re all set!

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Semi-Formal/Cocktail 

This is the most popular wedding dress code today. It’s a step up from casual and a step down from formal. Again your apparel should match the venue and time of day. 
 
For men: The safest bet is to wear a suit (could be any color), with or without a tie. Our recommendation is to go for a lighter suit for daytime, and a darker suit for evenings. Make it your own by picking a dress shirt that represents your personal style.
 
For women: There are a few popular options – a cocktail dress with a midi hemline or just above the knee. Or, if a dress isn’t your thing, a jumpsuit or dressy separates work too.
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Black-Tie Optional/Formal

A black-tie optional dress code means that you should still look appropriate for the occasion but not too formal. 

For men: The safest option is a dark suit (you may even opt for a three-piece suit if you want to dress it up). As for colors stick to black, navy blue, or dark grey. 

For women: Similar to men, pending the venue, you might choose a floor-length gown or cocktail dress with a midi-length hem. Again, if a dress isn’t your thing opt for a dressy jumpsuit or a pantsuit. 

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Black-Tie

A black-tie wedding is a very formal affair so dress it up!

For men: This dress code calls for a dark tuxedo, a white dress shirt, a black bow tie (or regular tie), and suspenders (optional). Finish the look off with dress shoes, like oxfords. 

For women: A long gown is most common, but you could opt for a dressy cocktail dress. As for shoes, heels are preferable.

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White Tie

This dress code is as formal as it gets, and also not very common these days. You may also hear it referred to as “full evening dress” or “tails”.

For men: They should wear a tuxedo with a tailcoat, a white tie, and a white shirt. If you don’t own a tuxedo you can rent one from a place such as The Black Tux. The footwear should be a formal shiny shoe that will complement the look perfectly. 

For women: This dress code calls for a full-length gown in a luxurious fabric. If you don’t want to shell out a pretty penny we highly recommend renting from a service such as Rent The Runway or Nuuly

Traditional

This means the dress code aligns with a certain culture’s customs. In this case do your research, ask for help when needed, and always dress respectfully.

If you want help finding the perfect outfit for your next wedding let us know! Refined offers custom event styling. For more information check out our services page or contact us directly.  

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