Types of Dress Codes For Men And Women With Pictures
“What are you wearing for today’s event?” Well, the answer to this question mostly depends on what dress code is set for the event! Dress codes play quite an important role as they are the guidelines for what to wear for what event. Each dress code has its own set of rules and styles that one needs to stick to. In this article, let’s go through different types of dress codes for both men and women along with the pictures and styling tips!
There are a few types of dress codes that you can pick when there’s no clear dress code in the invitation. There are a few mentioned in the invite and you do not have an option to deviate from it! What to wear for a beach wedding? What is a black vs white tie? How to create an outfit for a date night? Can I wear jeans for a formal event? Don’t you worry! You’ll find answers for everything here.
Dress Code Types for Men
Be it set by the inviter, or picked up by men, dress codes are a must to maintain their looks and impression in a public event. Here is a package of dress code types for men to help men know what to wear for everything from a casual outing to a black tie event!
1. Casual Dress Code
The Casual Dress Code is a relaxed and the most comfortable dress code. The most important feature of dressing casually is the liberty to explore one’s fashion sense while being casual and comfortable.
As the name suggests, the Casual Dress Code will work for various casual settings like restaurants, local games, and matches, shopping, casual work-related meetings, outings with family on weekends, and date nights.
One has to bear in mind that the level of dressing “casually” depends on the location and the setting. Therefore, it is essential to consider the overall environment that is set.
For the casual dress code, there are a few staple items that create a dynamic and stylish look while making you look uber cool and casual:
A perfectly fit pair of jeans is the most important part of casual dressing. Pick the staple medium fade jeans and you can pair them with casual T-shirts, polos, and button-down shirts.
If chinos or other relaxed-fit trousers or shorts are your things, go for dark bottoms and contrast top wear and vice versa. For cold weather, you can wear sweaters or sweatshirts.
For a perfect casual look, pick a pair of classic white sneakers and make sure to use clothes with good quality fabric for a more sophisticated, classy yet casual look.
2. Ultra Casual Dress Code
The Ultra Casual Dress Code is even more relaxed and comfortable than the regular Casual Dress Code. The most important thing to consider when you’d like to try an ultra-casual dress code is that it may be inappropriate even in a few informal settings.
This type of dress code is usually picked up when there is a priority for high levels of comfort and environments with maximum relaxation like at home, informal and relaxing social events, running weekend errands, recreational activities like swimming, casual exercise, and casual fitness activities, etc.
Casual pieces like shorts, sweatpants, oversized t-shirts, and loungewear suit extremely well for this type of dress code.
For accessories, slip-on shoes, slippers, a basic neck chain, a sober cap, or a hat will work.
3. Business Casual Dress Code
The Business Casual Dress Code is a perfect match for your workplaces and other formal business settings. The elements required to pull off a crisp business casual dress code for men are very limited but each piece is extremely versatile to match with another.
You can mix and match the pieces and create business casual attire for client meetings, presentations, business workshops, work-related conferences, business networking events, or even your regular workplace depending on your schedule for that day!
The recipe for a classy business casual dress code require perfectly tailored pants in sober colors like grey, khaki, or navy blue, sweatshirts, button-down shirts with crisp and classy fabric, etc.
For the accessories, you may pick a tie depending on the top wear. In the case of footwear, pick a pair of well-polished shoes, or oxfords and loafers for a more comfortable yet classy look.
4. Smart Casual Dress Code
With Smart Casual Dress Code, one can achieve a perfectly blended balance between the formal dress code and a casual dress code. While the casual dress code can get way too casual, the smart casual is a more stylish and classy way of dressing casually!
You can wear this dress code for dinner dates, semi-formal business events, workplaces on weekends, high-end restaurants, philanthropic events, or any other event that expects a smart casual dress code as a compulsion.
While picking a pair of jeans is way too casual for a smart casual dress code, you can pick other bottom wear like chinos, or trousers in classic colors like beige, white, or navy blue. Well, if you still feel like wearing jeans on the day, make sure to level up and compensate it with a blazer.
You can stick to simple and perfectly fit blazers, coats, jackets, dark-colored belts, a classy wristwatch, etc. as accessories.
Also, make sure that you are well-groomed with the perfect hairstyle, facial hair, and well-manicured nails.
5. Business Formal Dress Code
The Business Formal Dress Code is quite a necessity at workplaces. This dress code is also called the corporate code and is the most appropriate style for businessmen or those who work with giant corporate companies.
Curating a perfect business formal dress code requires an extremely high level of sophistication and poise. You can wear them for important board meetings, client meetings, interviews, speeches, etc.
There is a group of elements that caters to a perfect business formal outfit. A perfectly fit suit with a single-breasted blazer is always a great pick as business formals. A shirt with crisp fabric in classic colors like white or light blue can never go wrong.
For the accessories, make sure to pick a traditional silk tie that co-ordinated well with your suit. Make sure to coordinate your leather shoes and the belt with your suit’s color. A few classic picks like a leather watch, subtle cufflinks, or a pocket square depending on the setting.
6. Semi-Formal Dress Code
Men’s semi formal dress attire is quite subtle and has a few differences in comparison to the formal dress code. For a semi formal dress code, a suit in dark shades like navy blue, dark grey, or dark brown will work very well. Make sure to use solid-color shirts or ones with very subtle patterns.
The settings for which you can wear a semi formal ensemble are similar to those of the business formal dress code along with dinners, graduation ceremonies, award functions, and other social events.
Avoid wearing jeans or trousers in a semi formal setting. You can try tailored pants in dark colors that coordinate well with the blazer depending on how flexible the event is!
To curate the perfect semi formals for men, make sure to use a good pair of shoes and subtle accessories like cufflinks, a wristwatch, and a pair of socks with classy patterns.
Well, a semi formal dress code does not allow you to be anything less than a formal dress code in terms of class and sophistication! So, make sure to groom yourself well with hairstyle, facial hair, and trimmed nails.
7. Cocktail Dress Code Men
The elements used in the cocktail dress code are quite similar to those of any other formal dress code. However, in the men’s cocktail dress code, the pieces are of different materials, fabrics, and color coordination.
As the name suggests, you can pick a cocktail dress code for cocktail parties, high-end lounges, banquets, charity events, etc., and even for weddings or receptions.
In the cocktail dress code for guys, you can experiment with contrasting color combinations. Unlike in the formal dress code, you use a dark double or single-breasted blazer, and a shirt with a subtle pattern and contrasting light-colored bottom wear.
Traditionally, a cocktail dress code requires a wool necktie or a bow tie. However, you can always experiment depending on the instructions given as per the invitation. Finish the look with a pair of shoes that coordinate well with the overall ensemble.
8. Black Tie Dress Code
A black tie event is a formal setting that typically sets a dress code of black tie attire. Some of the most common black tie events are formal dinners, felicitation ceremonies, high-end weddings, musical performances, and other social gatherings.
For a black tie event, men should wear a well-tailored black tuxedo over a pleated white shirt covered by a black cummerbund. You can also choose to wear a white bib over the shirt and under the cummerbund. Do not forget a pair of cufflinks, and a pocket square to enhance your style!
For an acceptable black tie attire, the bottom wear should also be precisely tailored in good quality black fabric and you will need to finish the look by wearing a pair of black calf-length socks and patent leather or evenly polished black shoes.
Does black tie mean only black suits? You may ask! Well, if the inviter or the invitation mentions that you need to follow a strict black tie dress code, we recommend not to deviate from it.
If the event has a little less formal yet a black tie theme, you can always experiment with a grey suit along with black elements like a black shirt, black tie, and a pair of black shoes to create a well-balanced ensemble.
9. Creative Black Tie Dress Code
Unlike the black tie dress code for men which has strict rules and a sharp formal look, a creative black tie dress code allows you to experiment with different types of pieces used in traditional black tie attire.
For example, in a creative black tie dress code male, you can opt for a blazer with a shawl collar, a necktie or a bow tie with very subtle patterns, and a suit with dark colors other than black.
To curate a perfect modern black tie dress code, go for a tailored navy blue or dark grey tuxedo jacket and a pair of tuxedo pants. The top wear should contain a white shirt and a white pocket square as an accessory. For the shoes, a classic pair of patent leather shoes will work perfectly!
10. White Tie Dress Code
The white tie dress code is an extremely formal creation of a classy and perfectly tailored outfit. It needs the utmost dedication to create an outfit for a white tie affair. Usually, this dress code is for ceremonial events and occasions with dignitaries.
Well, we can make this easier for you! To know when is white tie appropriate, it is advised to contact the inviter or take a keen look at the invitation!
There are a few classy pieces that you need to make a traditional white tie outfit. One of the most important pieces is the tailcoat. Typically in black, a tailcoat is traditionally made with high-quality fabrics like wool and is tailored precisely as per the body’s measurements.
For a perfect white tie dress code men, next comes the classic pleated white shirt, a white bow tie made with silk or satin, and a pair of tailored black pants. Use a pair of black patent leather shoes to complete the look.
You may use a pair of white gloves or a cloak coat as accessories. Make sure that all white elements are of the same shade, i.e. sparkling white!
While both the black tie and white tie dress codes are meant for formal events, the black tie attire is a little less formal and has a tiny room for incorporating your fashion sense.
Dress Code Types for Women
What is black tie for women? What women should wear for a white tie setting? Oh, do not think too much! Here’s a list of dress code types for women with pictures, rules, and styling types.
1. Black Tie Dress Code For Women
Unlike in the case of men, the black tie dress code for women focuses more on looking elegant than strictly adhering to rules (like ties and bowties, obviously!). This dress code allows you to be a little flexible in picking the colors, the hem of the dress, the type of sleeves, accessories, and the overall ensemble.
Well, you do not have an option if the invitation mentions the dress code as Black Tie! If there are no strict rules in terms of dress code, you can pick this style for galas, evening dinners hosted by the elite, charity, and other philanthropic events held at high-end venues.
The staple piece for a perfect modern black tie dress code for ladies is a long gown or a pantsuit depending on your comfort. Should you wear only black? Well, no! You can pick dark colors like different shades of black, and navy blue, and even light colors with a little less bling.
What not to wear to a black tie event? Make sure to not opt for stiff fabrics, short and revealing clothes, extremely vibrant colors, and inappropriate accessories. For a perfectly accessorized black tie attire for women, subtle pieces like a pair of earrings and a delicate neckpiece, a watch, and a bracelet, with moderately high heels.
2. Optional Black Tie For Ladies
If you see a Black Tie Optional on the invitation, you have a massive range of colors and pieces to experiment with, yet look classy and elegant which is a prerequisite for pulling for a black tie attire.
In the Black Tie Optional dress code, you can choose the dark colors as usual or go for rich pastel shades like lavender, pink, or pastel yellow. The rules for the length of the dress are also relaxed a bit!
The appropriate venues to wear these pieces are quite similar to those under the traditional black tie attire. However, cocktail parties, musical performances, award events, etc. can also be added to the list.
The Black tie optional dresses for weddings especially can be a long gown as usual or you can choose a mid-length dress that has a hemline resting right at your knee or slightly below!
Make sure to select the neckline as per your body shape. Pick a curvey neckline if you have a geometric and more defined upper body and vice versa. A wide range of silhouette types like A-line, mermaid, ball gown, etc. are considered appropriate for this dress code.
3. Women’s Creative Black Tie
In the creative black tie dress code for women, the rules of a typical black tie code are relaxed as in the optional black tie, to which the choices of subtle patterns and vibrant colors in various combinations, etc. are added.
Artistic and creative events like galas, art exhibitions, award ceremonies, opera performances, and meetings hosted by people in the creative industry, etc. are the venues that typically have this dress code for both men and women.
For this dress code, you can experiment with dresses that have asymmetrical hemlines, intricately designed lace work and embellishments, and some blingy jewelry too! This silhouette works extremely well for Creative Black Tie wedding events as well.
You can choose to wear stacked rings and bracelets, eye-catchy earrings, and an embellished clutch that matches your dress perfectly! For footwear, make sure to choose a comfortable pair of heels with unique shapes and prints depending on your dress.
4. White Tie Dress Code
The white tie dress code for ladies typically involve is the epitome of class and sophistication and is often opted for extremely rich and prestigious occasions like state-level official parties, high-end parties, royal weddings, and award ceremonies.
The white tie event dress code for women calls for a long gown made with rich fabrics like satin, silk, velvet, etc. For the choice of colors, you can pick anything thing that matches your style like red, navy blue, or black is a no-brainer!
Usually, it is appreciated if you can wear a pair of opera gloves in white. If that’s not your thing, you can avoid wearing them considering modern-day fashion. Well, if you decide to wear them, make sure to keep them intact even when you are doing other activities like having dinner, dancing, or shaking hands.
For accessories, go for subtle neckpieces, earrings, and bracelets as the dress itself is on top of its beauty. Pick a pair of pump shoes or moderate heels in classy colors like black, gold, or silver based on the tone of your dress.
5. Business Formal Dress Code For Ladies
The business formal attire for women has almost the same elements and pieces as that of the male version, however, in a feminine style. As the name reveals, this dress code is meant for business meetings, formal client meetings, formal lunches, etc.
What is the business formal dress code for ladies? A well-tailored suit with a perfectly fitted blazer in classic colors like black, dark grey, or navy blue will work. Make sure that the pants are a little tapered at the ankle for a more put-together look. It is best to keep the accessories to a minimum by wearing only a watch.
Classic button-down shirts, knee-length pencil skirts, neutral blouson tops, solid, tapered-fit pants, well-polished closed-toe shoes, a subtle neckpiece, and a pair of studs comprise a perfect business formal for women. If you are picking a pencil skirt, make sure to wear a pair of stockings under the skirt to give your legs a toned look.
6. Business Casual Dress Code
A business casual dress code for women strikes a perfect balance between professionalism and comfort! Well, the settings that you can pick this dress code for are quite similar to those of the business formal dress code. In addition, you can experiment with your style and comfort according to the level of formality that is required for the event.
Business casual women’s tops include tops with stiff and good quality fabrics, like cotton. A combination of a solid knee-length skirt and a blouson top that fits well is one of the finest examples of business casual dress for women
Although, this dress code is more relaxed and comfortable than the professional dress code for women, avoid t-shirts, shirts with graphic prints, ill-fitting blouson tops, mini skirts, revealing necklines, etc.
7. Semi Formal Dress Code
What is semi-formal wear for ladies? The Semi Formal dress code has a formal look curated with some of the most comfortable yet classy pieces in your wardrobe. It can be created without too many restrictions as in black tie or white tie dress codes.
Women can pick this dress code for semi-formal meetings, formal dinner parties, and the like. To create a perfect semi-formal ensemble, knee-length dresses, pencil skirts, knee-length wrap skirts, classy blouson tops in rich fabrics like satin or silk, checkered trousers, and a pair of black shoes are a necessity!
In semi-formal for women, you can pick the pieces with subtle patterns and checks. However, make sure that you are not using patterns on both the top wear and bottom wear.
For an even more comfortable look, (of course, depending on the event), you can choose a pair of well-fitted jeans and tucked blouse for a semi-formal look. You may complete the look by using subtle accessories and heels in neutral colors.
8. Cocktail Attire Dress Code For Women
The cocktail attire dress code for women is very versatile as you can choose it for formal and semi-formal parties and dinners as well if the invitation does not specify any particular dress code.
Well, to talk about the length of the dress, you can pick a cocktail dress that falls right at the knees or slightly above them. As this dress code is usually meant for a party environment, make sure to use some exciting and unique necklines like halter, V-neck, off-shoulder, etc based on your body type and shape.
For the dresses, pick the ones with classy colors but with a tinge of sparkle to them. Choose A-Line and sheath bodycon dresses with embellishments. In case you’d like to curate cocktail outfits with pants, solid pants, or trousers with embellished strap tops, or vice versa will do the job perfectly.
As the dress has all the eyes on it, you do not have to worry much about the accessories! Picking a pair of classic studs or hoops, a cocktail ring, and a pair of blingy heels will surely draw attention.
9. Smart Casual Dress Code
A smart casual dress code for women is suitable for a number of settings from team dinners, to semi-formal meetings, or other social gatherings.
Similar to that of men, staples like formal pants, trousers, solid blouson tops, button-down shirts in crisp fabrics like cotton, solid blazers closed-toe shoes, and accessories like an office bag, subtle earrings, and a watch are the requirements.
Skirts with a blend of linen and cotton paired with a casual shirt will work the best smart casual women’s wear for dinner with colleagues or business partners.
Even though this dress code is a little more on the casual side, make sure to avoid deep necklines, torn jeans, large patterns, sparkling jewelry, etc.
10. Casual Dress Code For Women
The casual dress code for women is all things casual from T-shirts, sweaters, and jeans, to jerseys! You can pick them up for any get-togethers, dinners, restaurants, or casual meetups.
To slay with this casual dress code, make sure to pick the most comfortable yet appealing pieces from your wardrobe like knee-length dresses, skinny high-waist jeans, cardigans, sweaters, t-shirts, jumper dresses, t-shirt dresses, etc.
For footwear and accessories, canvas shoes, caps, backpacks, crossbody bags, etc. will work perfectly.
11. Beach Formal For Women
Beach formals are usually specified in the weddings and parties that take place along the beaches. Well, in the end, it is a gathering with a large number of people, therefore requiring you to curate a formal yet relaxed ensemble.
Floor-length dresses or maxi gowns with flowy fabrics like silk or crepe are perfect for a beachside destination wedding. Well, you can also pick a knee-length dress, but there’s a little secret behind not picking it! With floor-length dresses, you could just wear a pair of strappy flats as you need to walk around the sand all day.
You don’t have to keep it very simple and breezy always for beach formal attire. You can experiment with different types of necklines and hemlines, asymmetrical patterns, cute yet subtle accessories, etc.