Wedding Guest Dress Code Explained


Have you ever received a wedding invitation that left you clueless about what to wear? From "black tie optional" to "semi-formal," the language can be difficult to decipher. To help you look and feel your best, we've broken down the most common wedding-guest dress codes. Also take a look at out our SS Wedding 2015 Pinterest Board to see our favorite wedding looks by venue.

Black Tie Optional: A traditional tuxedo is the preferred choice of attire for black tie optional events. If a man decides not to wear a tux, a dark suit, white dress shirt and conservative tie are also appropriate. Women should wear either a cocktail dress or a dinner suit.

Black Tie: For a black tie event, men should wear the traditional black tuxedo with a formal white shirt and a black bow tie and cummerbund. For women, opt for a long, floor length evening dress. If it is summer, a cocktail reception or a daytime event, a short cocktail dress is also appropriate.

Formal: Formal usually means the same as black tie, but can also translate to a black shirt and no with a tux. Women should wear long dresses or dressy evening separates.

Semi-Formal: Semi-formal means that tuxes and long dresses aren’t required. An evening wedding (after 6 PM) still requires a dark suit for him and a cocktail dress for her. Daytime semi-formal events mean a suit for him (which may be a lighter color) and an appropriate short dress for her.

Business Formal: This is the same as semi-formal for men, but for women it means more tailored dressy suits and dresses.

Posted on May 18, 2015 and filed under Menswear.