Dressing for a wedding

May 6, 2020 3:29 pm


Deciding what to wear to a friend or family member’s wedding can be tricky enough on its own; in addition, there is often a dress code to bring a little more confusion to your wardrobe dilemma. It can also be tough as a bride and groom to decide what dress code to put on the invitation.

Image Credit

This handy guide will help to demystify what the most popular dress codes mean and how to handle them fashionably.

White tie

This is the fanciest of all dress codes and the most formal. For ladies, it means a full-length ballgown; however, it is crucial that your gown does not overshadow the bride’s dress unless she has specifically asked you to go all-out. For men, white tie requires top hat and tails, with the hat being optional. Tails, a waistcoat, a pressed shirt, a bow tie and gleaming shoes are all required here.

Image Credit

Black tie

Think white tie with a little less razzle-dazzle. Men can get away with a tuxedo and bow tie; alternatively, a dark suit will suffice if the wedding is during the day. Women can wear a ballgown or stylish cocktail dress.

Black tie optional formal

This sounds confusing, but essentially it means that a tuxedo is suitable but not obligatory. A suit and tie are acceptable for men, while a more formal cocktail dress or tailored suit will be perfect for women.


Wedding guest dresses that fall into the cocktail category can be short but should avoid looking like you are off to a nightclub. An elegant cocktail dress is ideal here. For the men, a dark suit and tie will find them fitting in perfectly.

Smart/casual or semi-formal

This is a dress code that can strike fear into the hearts of even the most ardent fashionista. A very pretty cocktail dress or maxi dress is perfect for the code, while men can wear a suit with Farah Shirts from places like https://www.ejmenswear.com/men/farah or a sports jacket and very smart tailored chinos.


This does not mean you can wear whatever you like and dress as though it is casual Friday at work! Men should opt for a shirt and trousers, while women can don a pretty dress or an attractive top and skirt or trousers.a