Not sure what to wear to an event or what to specify on your invitation? These guidelines, listed in order of formality, will help you crack the dress code.
And remember, it’s never inappropriate to ask the host or other guests what’s acceptable. White tie/ultra-formal
— Men: tailcoat and white vest, shirt and bowtie. Women: long gown. Black tie/formal
— Men: tuxedos. Women: dress (knee-length, long). Semi-formal/informal
— Men: dark suit, tie. Women: knee-length dress. Cocktail
— Men: dark suit. Women: knee-length dress or skirt. Dressy casual
— Men: jacket or collared shirt, pants. Women: skirt or dressy pants. Business
casual — Men: collared shirt, khakis. Women: dressy pants or skirt. Casual
— anything goes. More Rules to Dress By
• If an invitation indicates that a certain dress style is “optional” or “preferred,” you can dress slightly less formally, but not necessarily casual.
• Informal means semi-formal, not casual.
• Hosts, if you include a creative dress code, like beach formal or urban casual, be sure you give examples of what is, and is not, okay.