The Ultimate Dress Code Guide

The Ultimate Dress Code Guide

At any given event, none of us want to stand out as over or under dressed. More often than not, a dress code sound a little unclear. It can sometimes be difficult to decipher what “Business Casual” or “Cocktail” means for your wardrobe options.

Short Dress Code Guide

From weddings to conferences, dress codes vary. Your go-to cocktail dress might not be appropriate for every occasion, so it’s important to be prepared for certain events. To make things a little easier, Leah Bourne of reveals what each dress code really means.

Black Tie

Think about what you’d expect the host of the event to wear and let that determine how you dress. Also ask yourself if the occasions leans more towards formal or casual.

You’d be safe with: A long gown for women and a tux for men.

Black Tie Optional

Because the black tie isn’t required, you have a few more options. While you aren’t expected to be over-the-top dressy you should still make an effort at a formal appearance.

You’d be safe with: An ankle length dress with statement jewelry for women and a suit and bow tie for men.

Creative Black Tie

In this instance, you can step out of the box a bit. Men can mix colors and women can wear something unique and less predictable.

You’d be safe with: A dress that’s both formal and trendy for women and a suit with black shirt for men.


Men should always stick with a dark suit and tie, but women can opt for shorter, brighter and more feminine dresses.

You’d be safe with: Little black dress paired with fun jewelry for women and suit and tie for men.


You mostly see festive dress codes during the holiday season. This means any and everything sparkly is appropriate.

You’d be safe with: A sequined dress for women and a suit with holiday tie for men.

Business Formal

It’s common to see business formal attire at any daytime events such a luncheons and conferences.

You’d be safe with: Suit and ties are a sure thing for men while women should stick to a tailored dress or pant suit.

Business Casual

Most corporate offices adopt this dress code. Tailored pants, blazers, fun blouses and pencil skirts are always a good go-to. Guys can change it up with slacks or chinos. Beware, no jeans or sneakers.

You’d be safe with: Black trousers and a tweed jacket for women and khaki’s and a collared shirt for men.

Casual Dressy

This can be considered a dressier version of your favorite casual look. Women can add some cute boots or a light scarf and men can throw on a blazer.

You’d be safe with: Black pants and a blouse for women and jeans and a sport coat for men.


Anything goes. Essentially, you’ll feel uncomfortable being dressed up.



Images Credit: and via


Leave a Reply