Formal dress code

Formal dress code

by Linen MenLau

For many people, an occasion in which you must wear formal attire is a rare occasion. It can be a daunting task figuring out what is ok to wear and what is not ok. Almost all formal occasions will have a dress code. Formal dress codes are split into four distinct categories:

White tie – Sometimes referred to as full dress, this is the most formal of formal attires. Therefore it is also the most strict. It is very rare that any event you attend will be white tie. But just in case the required parts are:

  • Tailcoat
  • Matching trousers, with two stripes of satin. Braces optional
  • Stiff fronted pique wing-collared shirt
  • White vest
  • White bow tie
  • Black leather patent shoes
  • Black dress socks

Black tie – This is the most common of formal attires. The required parts of black tie dress are:

  • Black Tuxedo
  • Matching trousers
  • White dress shirt
  • Evening waistcoat or Cummerbund(this is starting to fall out of fashion and it is common to attend black tie events with no waistcoat)
  • Black bow tie
  • Black leather patent shoes(oxfords preferred)

Black tie optional – Keeps attire formal but allows a bit more freedom. Comprised of:

  • Tuxedo or dark grey/black suit
  • Matching trousers
  • White dress shirt
  • Colored bow tie or necktie
  • Black leather patent shoes(oxfords preferred)

Lounge – This attire maintains formality while also allowing a larger freedom in color choices:

  • Two button suit jacket (dark preferred, no tuxedos)
  • Matching trousers
  • White or colored shirt
  • Colored or patterned neck tie
  • Black or brown leather shoes

Formal dress codes are becoming more and more lax on what you are allowed to wear. White tie will always remain as it is through tradition, a slightly less formal version of this is evening dress. Black tie optional is becoming more and more common as it adds an extra bit of complexity to an event.

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