Tag Archives: formal fashion

Fashion 101: A Breakdown of The Do’s and Don’ts of Every Dress Code

Modern fashion might have taken the world by storm and may have introduced innumerable concepts that might have been considered outrageous or even ridiculous in the past. But, regardless of these, the classical system of labeling invites to events with particular and strict dress codes is still very much a thing.

It has been no question that the concept of dress codes has been engendered in order to bring a semblance of uniformity and order into every person’s attire during a particular function—whether that may be a glamorous one or a more laidback and casual one. In a way, a dress code is akin to a theme and it brings harmony to the venue and the invitees and guests corresponding ensemble. This would have been all well and good if the rules of fashion remained rigidly unyielding to the changes and more updated additions through time. Yet, modern fashion would dictate otherwise as it has seen various evolutions no fashion pundit could ever have predicted or even envisioned. Who would have thought that beautiful dresses would go so well with sneakers, and last but certainly not least is who would have thought it would make an acceptable dinner attire? But, this in no way means that the few holdovers from orderly fashion have been rendered obsolete. They may be old, but they remain relevant today. Unfortunately, modern women may have a bit of a hard time trying to navigate the myriad of rules associated with each dress code (black tie, creative black tie, etc.). To help you address this area, this article has deconstructed and decoded seven of the oft-used dress codes so that when it comes to dressing up, you would not have to worry about looking overdressed or inappropriate.


Without a doubt, black tie events are the epitome of formal events. In a sense, it has defined and shaped the way formal events are today and has given rise to several similar but more laid-back dress codes. In fact, a black tie event is the reason why dress codes are invented is considered an ideal event for floor-length gowns. Considering that a black tie event is a formal event, it is a fashion faux pas to wear cocktail dresses unless they are extremely dressy and sleek. So, if you want to be safe, best keep the short cocktail dress inside the closet and opt for the long gown instead. To elevate the overall look, opt to finish off the entire ensemble with dazzling accessories such as fancy jewelry and beautiful shoes—especially if your gown allows them to peep through. Breakout, those brand new pair of wholesale steve Madden heels and give them a ball night.


Though not far off from a black tie event, a black tie optional affair does allow you to wear less dressy cocktail dresses without getting any looks of disapproval. In a way, it is less stuffy than a black tie event which has rigid rules when it comes to your manner of dress. It is the perfect casual event for a tux-style pantsuit, a cocktail dress which you could dress up with accessories, or a long black dress. And the best part of it is, if you do want to go with your floor-length gown, you could do so, and no one would send you any looks either.


The business casual dress code is perfect for those individuals who would still want to dress up but without so much of the fuss and less the hassle. Business casual embodies the professional look without the necessity of it being too dressy. In a sense, it is more or less a corporate look—something you would want to wear at the office and a business meeting, but it should not be severely austere. Think of an outfit that you can wear to grab a drink during after-office hours as well. Dresses are perfectly acceptable so long as they are conservative and not overtly provocative (plunging necklines are an absolute no-no!). For a more appropriate look, pair an open-collar shirt or sweater with trousers or a pencil skirt.


On the other hand, business formal attires are much more rigid compared to its more laidback counterpart. Essentially, business formal attires are ensembles you would wear when you are about to hold an important meeting or discuss a pivotal presentation at the office. Polished dresses and pantsuits are two ideal choices for this kind of dress code and are sure to finish it off with the appropriate heels (No flats or fire-engine red stilettos!)


Casual attires are perfect for brunches or picnic lunches. It is the most relaxed dress code of this list, but that in no way means you can instantly sport flip flops, tattered shorts a blouse and be on with it. Casual means relaxed, but not lazy. For a more appropriate look, choose your favorite cotton sundress or a skirt with a plain tee, or a pair of jeans you love with your favorite blouse. Finish off the entire look with flats, and you are good to go.


The creative black tie is essentially a formal black tie event with a hint of quirkiness thrown into the mix for a more playful affair. In a sense, it is like a black tie event with a bit of breathing room–still formal, but not as equally stuffy as the black tie event is. Your dressy cocktail dresses and evening gowns are perfect for creative black tie occasions and dress codes. Just be sure to add a smidge of creativity into your ensemble by incorporating unique and fun accessories into the mix such as a statement necklace, a pair of colorful pumps and the like.


For the final dress code, dressy casual is a look that strikes the perfect balance between casual and dressy. It is not overtly formal nor is it too casual for an event. It is all about looking relaxed and laidback without looking lazy or frumpy. An appropriate look for this dress code is a dressy blouse with jeans and heels, an ensemble of a skirt and a top or a cute dress. Flats are fine so long as they are not too casual (Absolutely no sneakers!)


Dress codes may be a bit hard to decipher and may even feel a bit stifling to our personal style. But with the various tips above, you should be able to find a look that is both appropriate for every occasion–that would channel your inner creativity while conforming to the appropriate manner of dress.

Image Source