Men’s Dress Codes Guide For All Occasions
Dress codes are intended to give direction on what to wear. But they can often make picking an outfit progressively unpredictable. With every one of their tenets and necessities, exploring your way through each type of clothing can be extraordinarily challenging. Fortunately, we’re here to help. In this article, we break the most widely recognized dress codes, for example, cocktail attire, smart casual, black tie, and that are only the tips of the iceberg, to guarantee you each outfit is on-point. Here is our guide for men’s dress codes for all events.
Men’s Dress Codes
Casual Dress Code
Casual dressing is the most relaxed of all dress codes and is extremely common. As such, it is incredibly easy to dress for, making it hard to go wrong with your outfit. That said, there are ways to ensure your casual look is more stylish than most. To do so, try investing in classic items that never go out of fashion, such as jeans, sweaters, sneakers, T-shirts, denim jackets, and the like. Also, be sure to stick to basic colors to make coordinating looks easier. Then, create outfits that blend comfort with contemporary style. You can also add fun accessories and statement pieces for a personal touch.
Smart Casual Dress Code
Smart casual dressing is a standard dress code and an important one to get right. To correctly dress for this style of attire, aim for an appearance that’s more elevated than your usual casualwear yet still relaxed and comfortable. You can do so by combining everyday garments with more sophisticated items. Of course, precisely how you interpret this dress code is up to you. You may want to wear jeans with a T-shirt and blazer or chinos with a chambray shirt. The choice is yours. Just make sure you strike the right balance of smart and casual, and that you’re dressed appropriately for the event you’re attending.
Business Casual Dress Code
Although often confused, smart casual and business casual are different dress codes. In particular, the main difference between these two smart yet relaxed codes is that business casual must also project an air of professionalism. Often called upon for modern offices, business casual attire doesn’t require a suit. Instead, a less formal outfit, such as chinos with a sweater or dark jeans with a blazer, works perfectly. When it comes to selecting a shirt, choose a style that’s ideal for the office, such as a classic colored Oxford shirt or checkered button-down. Complete your outfit with smart footwear like brogues, monk-straps, loafers, or Derby shoes in suede or matte leather.
Business Formal Dress Code
Business formal is a dress code reserved for conservative offices and corporate meetings/events. It denotes a smart style of dress that is stylish and simple. To dress business formal, you should select an office-appropriate, notch-lapel suit in a dark color, such as navy or charcoal. Then add a business shirt in a standard color, such as white or blue. Although you can likely get away with a subtle pattern, it’s best to save any bold designs for business casual days. To complete your look, be sure to add a tie and black leather shoes. In particular, standard Oxfords or Derby shoes make an excellent option.
Cocktail Attire Dress Code
The Cocktail attire is a dress code for evening events, such as parties. To dress for it, a suit is ideal. Your cocktail suit should have a modern feel and be perfect for the night-time. You shouldn’t just wear the same old style you wear to work. As such, a slim-fit, tailored design makes a fantastic option. It should also be dark in color and may even have a sleek sheen to its fabric. To complete your outfit, pair your suit with a dress shirt, polished dress shoes, and a slim tie if you wish. You can add a little flair or personal style with the accessories you choose.
Semi-Formal Dress Code
Semi-formal can be a tricky dress code to navigate. It sits a notch above cocktail attire and just below the black tie. As such it demands a look that is classically sophisticated yet also somewhat contemporary. Like cocktail attire, a suit makes a better choice than a tuxedo for a semi-formal event. However, you should be sure to maintain a polished appearance for semi-formal functions. To do so, select a light suit, such as one in beige, for a daytime event, or a dark suit, like one in navy, for the evening. Then add a dress shirt and a tie if you wish. Unlike cocktail attire, it’s best to stick to classic accessories with this dress code.
Black Tie Men’s Dress Codes Guide
The Black tie is a formal style of dress that applies to sophisticated evening events. The dress code requires gents to wear a tuxedo, which can also be called a dinner suit. Unlike a standard suit, a tuxedo features contrasting lapels, which can be peak or shawl style; and a side stripe down the outseam of the pants. Ideally, your tux should be black or midnight blue and partnered with a white, formal shirt. Complete your look with a black bow tie, or one that matches the facing of your tuxedo, and smart dress shoes, such as black Oxfords. You may also want to wear a black waistcoat or cummerbund to add interest and further polish to your appearance.
Black Tie Optional Dress Code
This is a variant on the standard black tie dress code. As such it’s more open and relaxed than traditional black-tie; while still being more formal than semi-formal attire. As an easy way to nail this look, you can simply wear black-tie attire. However, if you don’t have all the garments required for a black-tie, you can wear something slightly more relaxed. A sleek black suit with a necktie can be appropriate but ensure it is well-fitted and high-quality or you may appear underdressed.
Black Tie Creative Dress Code
This dress code invites you to have fun with traditional black-tie attire while maintaining a similar level of polish. Therefore, it’s the perfect dress code to showcase your flair for fashion. To do so, take the standard black tie tuxedo and add your own spin. You could choose a unique material, such as velvet, unusual color or pattern, or even some statement accessories. The choice is yours but remember to ensure your overall appearance is still suitable for a formal setting.
White Tie Men’s Dress Codes Guide
The White tie is the most formal of all dress codes and reserved for only the fanciest events, such as balls, galas, and weddings. To nail the code, you’ll need to dress to the nines. That means dialing things up even further than your sleek, black-tie tux. To do so, you’ll need to wear a black tuxedo with tails, a white tuxedo shirt, such as a pleated or bib-front design; a white waistcoat, a white bow tie, and black, patent leather dress shoes. If you don’t already own these items and are not one to attend white tie events regularly, you can consider hiring them. Additionally, if you want to add more flash to your outfit, you can also wear white gloves and a black top hat. However, these items aren’t necessary.