Black tie events require formal dress. Men can don either a tuxedo or dark suit, with a white shirt and conservative tie, while women have an opportunity to showcase floor-length gowns or evening wear which shows off legs.
A wedding with an informal yet refined feel requires less formal attire – such as cocktail dresses and pantsuits that veer towards more dressy.
Black tie events require one of the most formal dress codes, so guests attending one should come prepared. Men may opt for classic tuxedoes or dark two- or three-piece suits; women can choose either floor-length gowns or cocktail dresses.
Some couples use this dress code to encourage guests to add flair or creativity to their looks, creating more of an informal party atmosphere without making it too casual. But it is important to keep in mind that some couples may find excessive costumes inappropriate; body-hugging cutaway dresses or crystal head-to-toe looks are likely, not suitable unless sure the couple will appreciate it!
Black Tie Optional
A wedding with black-tie optional attire is considered slightly less formal than one where guests wear jeans and T-shirts as the required formal attire; guests should still expect to dress in full formal attire such as for men a tuxedo (usually a dark suit with a white shirt and conservative tie), but women can opt for either knee-length cocktail dresses or midis instead if this style doesn’t appeal to them.
If you are confused as to the expectations for dress at a wedding event, consider the time of day when the wedding takes place and its overall aesthetic. Also, feel free to reach out directly to either bride or groom and find out what they expect of their guests.
As its name implies, Dressy Casual dress codes offer more freedom than other options; yet still maintain some level of formality. They often appear on invitations for outdoor weddings with more relaxed atmospheres; smart suits (black or navy are often safe bets) or stylish sundresses and heels should always do just fine.
White tie attire is generally reserved for more luxurious evening weddings and social occasions, like gala events. Though less frequent these days, if you find yourself attending one of these formal affairs you should have your outfit prepared beforehand – this dress code requires both men and women to wear either a tuxedo, formal dark suit with a white shirt and conservative tie, or bowtie; and for women, this may mean short/long formal gown, trouser suit or dressy jumpsuit; floral jacquard fabric adds a hint of glamour while bright colors might not add much flare.