Dress Code Decoded

Whenever I am invited to events that have a dress code, I immediately reach for a black dress and simple red pumps. Why? Because I have no idea what the difference between formal, semi-formal and white tie is.

So I asked my buddy, my pal, good ol’ Google and this is what I came up with:

Black tie/ Formal: This means completely formal. Men wear tuxedos and women wear long, cocktail dresses. A little black dress is appropriate.

black tie

White tie/ Ultra Formal: This calls for men to wear full formal dress. Women wear long gowns.

white tie

Cocktail: This means women wear elegant party dresses while men wear dark suits. The little black or white or silver dress is works well here.


Semi-formal: This means that tuxedos are not required nor are long dresses. With business formal however, women should go for something they would wear to work.

Smart-casual: Still rather formal but effortlessly so as shown by the royal couple here:

smart casual

Costume: Anything goes depending on the theme.

I hope this was helpful and that the next time you see dress code on an invitation, you will not be lost for words and reach for your event staples.

2 thoughts on “Dress Code Decoded

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