7 Tips for Deciphering Dress Codes and Sticking to Them ...


Deciphering dress codes can be tricky.

It always seems to be a fine line between getting the look ‘just right’ and appearing overdressed or underdressed.

Luckily there’s a more relaxed attitude to fashion these days and people are less likely to wear over the top dressy outfits for a formal occasions.

That said, there are also some instances where you should strictly stick to the dress code.

Take a look at these top tips for deciphering dress codes.

1. Smart Casual

Smart Casual

Smart casual is probably one of the most stipulated dress codes around.

Deciphering dress codes like this one is often open to interpretation.

The key is to look put-together and polished.

For women, pretty dresses and skirts are always a safe bet and if you want to wear jeans then try teaming them with something like a tailored blazer and heeled shoes.

For men, a collared shirt is usually a good idea and you can get away with wearing lighter colours.

Always lean more towards the ‘smart’ end of the scale than the ‘casual’.

2. Cocktail


Social events like parties and weddings often call for cocktail dress codes.

For women, this means a glamorous dress, usually around knee length but these days you can get away with wearing a range of lengths.

If dresses aren’t your thing you could even get away with wearing a chic tuxedo.

Men can wear suits without a tie.

There’s lots of room to move with cocktail dressing and it’s an opportunity to get dressed up without the restrictions usually associated with more formal dress codes.

3. Lounge Suit

Lounge Suit

The lounge suit dress code is similar to cocktail dressing.2

The two dress codes are pretty interchangeable these days which can lead to confusion.

If you were to stick to the lounge dress code then women should choose a glamorous, usually floor-length gown.

You can play around with jewellery and accessories to create a truly stunning look.

As for men, they should wear a suit with a tie.

Formal or Black Tie Optional
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