Know The Difference: Dress codes

The invite says: “Semi-formal” or “Dressy Casual”

Depending on the time of the event, you’ll want to dress somewhere between formal and casual. Wear darker, more formal hues for an evening fete; opt for light colors and fabrics for a daytime wedding. He should wear: A suit and tie, or vest with dress pants dark or light depending on the season and time of day. She should wear: A cocktail dress or a formal skirt and top.


The invite says: “Destination Formal”

This may suggests a graceful beach wedding – Dress for the elements (sun, sand, and water), bright colors. He should wear: A summer suit with a linen shirt (ties optional), linen pants or khakis, and sandals. She should wear: A formal summer dress – knee-length or longer, with flat sandals.


The invite says: “Formal” or “Black Tie Optional”

The wording here suggests something slightly less formal than black tie. This means that a tuxedo isn’t required but the event is still formal enough for one to be appropriate. He should wear: A tuxedo or a formal dark suit and tie. She should wear: A long dress, a dressy suit, or a formal cocktail-length dress in a dark, neutral tone like brown, gray, or black.


The invite says: “Black Tie”

A formal wedding dress code He should wear: A tuxedo. A black bow tie, vest or cummerbund, and patent leather shoes. She should wear: A long evening gown in a dark, neutral color like brown or black. The bride, wedding party, or friends can help answer questions about the appropriate dress colors.


The invite says: “White Tie”

This is the very formal of all wedding dress codes (think state dinners and the Oscars). He should wear: A tuxedo, a long black jacket with tails, a white pique vest, and a bow tie. Black, formal shoes and even white gloves for dancing are appropriate. She should wear: A formal, full-length ball gown in a neutral color like dark brown or black. Glamorous makeup and dramatic jewelry and hair are appropriate.