It’s not simple to dress for a wedding. If you haven’t attended many, you might not have a lot of knowledge regarding appropriate clothes. If you’ve attended several events, the formality has undoubtedly changed at each one. Even if it hasn’t, you probably don’t want to wear the same outfit to each one.
Read this helpful information before you start worrying, going through your closet, or planning a shopping trip. You’ve come to the perfect place whether you need the most frequent dress codes explained or just some inspiration for changing up your appearance.
We spoke with etiquette expert Suzanne Pollak to get a review on the fundamentals and some clothing suggestions. Alexis Corry, who owns wedding, womenswear, and menswear businesses, was also consulted. Together, they describe the terminology you’ll probably need to know and provide insight into proper wedding attire.
Discover what the terms white tie, black tie, casual, and more imply in relation to weddings and guest attire in the sections that follow. But keep in mind that not everything is included. While these guidelines are a fantastic place to start, the appropriate wardrobe for any celebration differs depending on a number of factors, such as the venue, time of day, and season.
While you can certainly seek advice from a specialist (like a clothing retailer), we advise going straight to the source whenever possible. On their wedding websites or in their invites, some couples include thorough details. Asking your partner directly for clarification is always preferable if they haven’t.
As formal as it gets, white tie is uncommon in modern society. However, it is crucial to look the part if you are asked to an event of this nature.
The required attire for men is formal and includes a black tailcoat, a white vest, a formal white shirt, a white bowtie, and, according to Corry, “white gloves if you’re feeling fancy.” Dress your feet in black pumps (a.k.a. opera shoes).
For women, there are differing views, although it is generally safest to wear a long, formal clothing. But because big, poufy dresses might be uncomfortable to sit in, Pollak advises taking your dress’ size into account. It’s best to wear heels, but make sure you can still move around in them. Instead than stumbling around all day, it is preferable to wear something shorter.
It’s best to dress for dinner here. According to Corry, this usually entails a dark tuxedo, a white dress shirt, a matching bow tie, a cummerbund, and suspenders (if desired). Oxfords and other dress shoes work well.
Women can choose between a long gown and a sophisticated cocktail dress. Once more, heels are preferred.
Black Tie Optional (Formal).
If in doubt, wear black tie, but feel free to dress a little more casually as well. Men can substitute a dark suit for a tuxedo and a traditional tie for a bow tie, according to Corry.
A stylish cocktail dress is ideal for women, according to Corry. Also acceptable are dressy separates. Shoes can be a little more entertaining.
Creative Black Tie.
Despite the fact that Corry and Pollak say they hardly ever see this clothing code, here are some pointers.
For a guy, it means to have fun, says Pollak. Dressing distinctive ties, cufflinks, or even socks can do this, as can wearing menswear (think: a jacket in a unique material or color).
For women, the concept is the same. Have fun with your attire and don’t take yourself too seriously, Corry urges. Statement handbags, shoes, and jewellery are all acceptable (though Pollak emphasises keeping comfort in mind).
Corry claims that the name makes it clear to call. Semiformal wedding wear lies in the middle of the formal and informal categories. She thought men’s suits could be worn with ties or without.
Semiformal is “quite fancy,” according to Pollak, who acknowledges that women have a lot of fashion options. Almost often, cocktail dresses or formal ensembles are appropriate.
Depending on factors including the location and the time of day, casual clothes can vary greatly. It requires a sport coat at its most formal. Most people look good in button-down shirts, sweaters, and loose-fitting pants (chinos, khakis, etc.). Men can get away with polos and shorts, which is the least formal look. Shoes are less restricted in all circumstances (boat shoes may be worn, for example).
According to Pollak, women can put on a “less-dressy dress” (think: a sundress). Flats or sandals are suitable here because they are more casual footwear.
In some situations, you could be expected to dress in a way that respects the traditions of a particular culture. For instance, a couple planning an Indian wedding may urge the female guests to wear saris. Do your homework, seek assistance if needed, and always dress respectfully in these situations.
In the modern era, anything is conceivable. Couples have urged their guests to dress in accordance with colour schemes they included in their wedding invitations. Others have created Pinterest boards with outfit inspiration for their attendees. Corry, who is featured above at her wedding in Italy, explains, “Our wedding dress code was upscale-casual, and we wanted our guests to be inspired by the Tuscan environment for their clothes.” Most of her guests arrived dressed in muted tones similar to these.
Other instances include requests for “festive” gear (clothing that adheres to a particular theme) or “beach chic” attire (clothing that is elegant enough for a wedding yet appropriate for a sandy surroundings). When given inventive instructions, accept them and seek out further information as necessary.
No signs anywhere indicating what you should wear? You have a few more options if the couple isn’t forthcoming with information. You can plan your outfit based on the circumstances of the event (the venue, the weather, etc.). Alternately, you may inquire about the attire of other attendees. It would be best if you knew someone in the wedding party because their chosen attire may have provided some guidance.