Party Attire 101

With a different dress code on every invitation, how are you supposed to know what to wear.  Use this guide to decipher attire definitions, or when in doubt ask your host. 


1.  Black Tie indicates formal attire.  Women wear cocktail, long dresses, or dressy  evening separates.  Men wear tuxedos.


2.  Formal usually means the same as Black Tie.  Men might wear a less traditional tux and women will dress as they would for a black tie event.


3.  Black Tie Optional indicates a formal event.  Women wear cocktail, long dresses, or dressy evening separates.  Men may wear a tuxedo or a  dark suit and tie. 


4.  White Tie is the most dressy of evening wear.  Women wear long gowns.  Men wear a dinner jacket with tails and white tie, vest, and shirt.  White Tie is sometimes known as Ultra-formal. 


5.  Semi-Formal requires a cocktail or dressy dress for a woman and dark suit for a man.


6.  Business Formal is the same as semi-formal with the exception that women will often wear a dressy suit.


7.  Informal Attire calls for either semi-formal attire or a slightly less dressy version.


8.  Cocktail Attire is one of the most fun dress codes.  Women wear short, elegant dresses and men wear a dark suit.


9.  Dressy Casual is just a dressier version of casual.  For both men and women steer clear of jeans, shorts, t-shirts, and overall sloppy looks.


10.  Festive Attire usually dictates a semi-formal or informal event, and is seen around the holidays.  This is the time to add appropriate glitz and your holiday spirit.   


For more help deciding what to wear to a party, contact the Charleston Style Concierge or sign up for our monthly ezine full of great style advice.




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