Make Your Statement, but Be Formal !!! 0 510

Do you have a special occasion that you want to rock in the future? To get a fashionable look in tune with your event, here are some handy tips that you should follow before you dress up for the event.

Depending on the different types of occasions, many kinds of dress codes can be distinguished such as white tie, black tie, black tie optional, creative black tie, cocktail attire (similar to festive) and semi-formal. With a lot of different dress codes, you may probably confuse how to dress up being compatible with the ceremony. In order to get proper attire that goes well with celebration, you need to know exactly what each single code means. As all of those are mainly for formal wear, each code has got slightly different features compared with the others.

White Tie

Are you invited to attend white tie occasion? If so, you are very lucky and you should suppose yourself as a high-ranking person. Speaking of dressing style, it is a full evening dress with white bow tie.

When to wear – very formal occasions like government ceremonies, office launch, state dinner, formal balls, royal affairs, diplomatic events and some specific invitations

Men’s Fashion – You need a tuxedo; white vest and peaked lapel or shawl collar black tailed jacket with white bow tie. Under the jacket, white waistcoat is a must-wear. With plain or striped trousers, formal lace-up oxford shoes are compulsory. Accessories like cufflinks & studs, suspenders, boutonniere, pocket square, dress watch, evening gloves, evening scarf and top hat (optional) are in need.

Women’s Fashion – A floor-length evening gown must be worn, but you should avoid wearing evening gown that the designer’s name is embroidered visibly or a gown above the ankle. You need accessories like gloves (optional), jewels, a clutch and stiletto heels. You may need shawl for strapless evening gown.

Black Tie

It is a full evening dress with black bow tie. Very similar to white tie, but it’s not as serious as white tie. As it is still quite formal, you need to dress up very well.

When to wear – Gala events, anniversary party, weddings, dinner party, Red Carpet events

Men’s Fashion – You need a classic tuxedo shirt with black bow tie matching with trousers. Peaked lapel or shawl collar jacket is a must-wear, but make sure with no tail. Black cummerbund or waistcoat is up to your mood. Accessories like cufflinks and studs, pocket square and dress watch should be used. Well-polished patent leather oxfords are must-have.

Women’s Fashion – A long evening gown should be worn, but a high-class cocktail dress in dark and neutral colors can also be acceptable. Whatever your dress is, you’d rather use well-matched accessories such as jewelries, a clutch and pumps or stiletto heels.

Black Tie Optional

Still formal attire, but it is less formal than black tie. It is considered to wear at high-end occasion and you need a sophisticated way of dressing.

When to wear – business conference, party, office party, wedding and formal gatherings

Men’s Fashion – This time, tuxedo is optional and you can wear a dark suit with solid or pattern necktie. White dress shirt is a must-wear by pairing up with dark dressy leather shoes. Black Tie is optional unless specified in the invitation.

Women’s Fashion – If you want to get a glamorous look, formal floor-length gown is best-choice. Pantsuit with dark or neutral color can be worn if you want a smart look. Want to get a chic look with fresh and free style? You should try the cocktail-length dress. Accessories need to be mixed-and-matched with dress and you need to be very classy.

Creative Black Tie

It is a formal-but-trendy style with your own choice of color and accessories. It will allow you to showcase your personal style, but you still need to keep your dressing in formal way.

When to wear – birthday party, galas, dinner party, and wedding with fun surroundings

Men’s Fashion – Tuxedo in dark color like black, grey, chocolate brown and navy goes very well with the occasion. You can wear a shawl lapel jacket or color jacket with contrast lapel by using necktie or colorful bow tie, slim fit pants and wingtips or dressy leather shoes.

Women’s Fashion – Lady in a long gown looks stunning, but it doesn’t need to be so modest and you can reveal your snazziness. You can also wear cocktail dress or fashionable separates with well-matched accessories.

Cocktail Attire

With many options of dressing ways, it is an evening wear with much more freedom and fun. As it is not totally a formal wear, you don’t need to think too much about sartorial rules. With a relaxed look, you should dress yourself in comfortable, but still kicky way. Similar to festive wear, bright colors and sparkly sequin designs can be suited with cocktail parties.

When to wear – informal parties, holiday party and birthday party

Men’s Fashion – With a pair of trousers, you need a simple shirt with neutral or light color and up an unconventional-color blazer like navy, brown or burgundy. If it is formal cocktail event, add-ons like bold or patterned necktie suited with shirt color. Belt, dress shoes such as loafers and monk strap shoes are must-have(s).

Women’s Fashion – Mini dress, knee-length dress and midi dress are wearable in cocktail parties. Pairing with the right type of footwear like pumps, prism heels and platform heels, you are ready to rock it. To get a smart and chic look, make sure to use minimum jewelries.


The least formal of all dress codes mentioned here, it will allow you to wear half formal with a bit casual look. As semi-formal attire is still considered as formal wear, you can dress up with tuxedo or fancy gowns (if you want) or cocktail dress.

When to wear – wedding, daily office, business event, business meeting and evening parties with much fun

Men’s Fashion – You can wear light-color blazer or waistcoat and solid/colored shirt combining with a pair of trousers. For accessories, blocked or patterned necktie, cufflinks, studs and lace-up dress shoes or regular pair of loafers can be used.

Women’s Fashion – For business-like events, dressy suit or pantsuit is more appropriate. However, there are many options like pencil skirt and classy separates that keep relaxed mood. Accessories matching with dress are better-use.

I hope these tips and tricks help you to get the smart dressing way in accordance with the occasions but remember Coco Channel once said “Simplicity is the keynote of all true elegance.”

Until next time….

Previous ArticleNext Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *