Be it Bridget Jones or Legally Blonde with an outfit gone wrong, we want to promote clarity when it comes to fashion and occasions. Invitations are filled with details and when in doubt we say add WEAR to the five Ws: Who, What, When, Why, Where and WEAR!
Most folks know what to wear to a wedding, but when it has to be formal, it’s best to make it clear. Here are some of the most common types of attire and their dress codes explained!
Most Formal: White Tie
For men, this includes a black tailcoat and matching trousers with a single stripe of satin or braid, white suspenders, white piqué wing-collared shirt with stiff front, white bow tie, white waistcoat, and white gloves. For women, it means to wear a formal, full-length ball gown.
Formal: Black Tie
This is the most typical choice for evening weddings. This dress code for men includes a black tuxedo jacket and matching trousers, formal piqué or pleated front white shirt, black bow tie, black cummerbund or vest, and black suspenders. For women, it means to wear a long evening gown or formal cocktail dress.
Slightly Less Formal: Black Tie Optional
Also called “Formal,” this means the tuxedo isn’t required, but the event is still formal enough for one to be appropriate. Men should wear either a tux or formal dark suit and tie, and women should wear a long evening dress or formal cocktail-length dress.
Less Formal: Cocktail Attire
This means no tuxes or floor-length gowns are required. Men should wear a suit and tie, and women should wear a cocktail dress. A dressy jumpsuit is acceptable, too.
Informal: Casual or Daytime
Generally, this means anything goes…but best to stay away from jeans, shorts, and tank tops. Since it’s a wedding, be safe and think business casual! For men, this would be dress pants with a button-down shirt or polo. For women, a sundress or skirt or pants with a nice top works!
Here are some clever and fun ways to state the attire. But be careful, creativity isn’t always clear!
Clear: Get Luxe, Wear Your Tux; Dapper Duds and Fancy Frocks
Unclear: Dress to Impress; Attire to be Admired
You won’t confuse with Dos and Don’ts!
DO Wear: Ties, Jewels, Stripes, Argyle Socks, Heels
DON’T Wear: Gowns, Khakis, Tiaras, Sneakers
Or even better, make it a costume party and provide an interactive chart to start!
The following are all of the attire options we have listed on previous invitations. Some are clear, some are not. We put our interpretations here!
Coastal Casual (easy and breezy, sundresses and Hawaiian shirts?)
Tropical Cocktail (sounds like a drink and a dress!)
Resort, But No Shorts (colors and patterns, sophisticated but not fussy!)
Alfresco Attire (guess it depends on the weather that day?)
Chica Chica Boom Chic (Carmen Miranda wore it best, go bananas!)
Not So Formal
Wedding Ware, But Not Tux Luxe (no gowns, no tux, so a LBD and his best suit)
Doll it Down (hard to say, might see jeans at this function)
Jacket, Tie, Why? Casual Apparel, Please. (athleisure for sure)
Flip Flops Forbidden, Khakis Encouraged (sandals okay?)
Not Quite Black Tie (a dress, a suit, but no tux, got it)
Around the Fire Attire (camp wear, a sweat shirt, all set!)
Flannel’s Fine (warm and cozy)
Cabin Cozy (PJs today?)
Picnic Chic (gingham dress? Yes.)
Flip Flops, For Sure (are you pedi-ready?)
Keep it Simple and Summery (easy sundress and sandals)
“For every head a hat.” –Lithuanian Proverb (put a bonnet on it!)
Fabulous Fascinators and Terrific Toppers (Easter and beyond!)
Think Millinery Magic (this feels a bit costume-y, but I’m excited to see what it means to most)
Dare to Wear Neck Gear, A Bow Tie for Your Guy! (I’ll need a new necklace, either extra chunky or super sparkle, you?)
Bow Tie and We’re Not Talking Pasta (this feels very him, or maybe go Annie Hall, y’all)
A Bow Tie Bash, It’s Knot What You Think! (costume or classic, I think)
Consider adding instructions on how to tie a tie, too!
Cinco De Mayo
Taco Togs (where’s my sombrero?)
Mild, But Still Spicy (somewhat sexy, but not sultry, maybe it’s red)
Street Taco Style (denim, no doubt)
Light Year Gear (silver spacey or big bang?)
Think Technicolor (put your neon on!)
Futuristic Fashion (costume I assume)
Spacey, Not Racy (does not compute)
Attire: “Pearls are always appropriate.”-Jackie O. (google Jackie O. and add a strand)
Wear a string, if that’s your thing! (pearls go with anything, right?)
Attire: You can’t go wrong with pearls, girls! (again, pearls always work with what you wear, excluding athleisure)
And then there are moments when the right shoes should be noted, because sometimes heels on fresh grass or sand are just bad!
Perhaps for the beach, offer flip flops for your guests and make a sign that says:
Sand in Your Shoes? You Choose.
Or: Lose the Shoes.
If you dance until dawn, maybe consider some slippers?
It’s not a deal, lose the heels, and dance in these if you please.
So that you can dance to Rascal Flatts, grab some rescue flats!
Dance-floor savers, slip into a pair, where’s Fred Astaire?