The Guest’s Guide to Wedding Dress Codes

formal-black-shoe-1562320 (1)As the weather gets warmer, your mailbox might be getting full. Full of what? Card stock, calligraphy, RSVP cards; oh my! Wedding season means dressing up, which can be fun, but maybe a little daunting if you’re more of a jeans and tee kind of person. Besides not wearing white, what’s the appropriate dress colour? Can you wear black? What sleeve and hem length is appropriate? Should you wear a jacket or a shawl? Should I wear heels or flats?


If you’re puzzling over what to wear to an upcoming wedding, (or five),here isa simple breakdown of the dress code:


White tie (or full evening dress)

For her:

A full length gown in a neutral colour. Dress up a simple gown with statement jewelry.


For him:

A tuxedo, long black jacket with tales, a vest, a bow tie, black formal shoes.


Black tie

For her:

A full length gown in a neutral colour or dressy separates or a formal cocktail dress. Dress up a cocktail dress or separates with statement jewelry.


For him:

A tuxedo and dress shoes. A bowtie and a cummberbun is optional.


Black tie optional (or formal)

For her:

Most dress lengths are acceptable: full length, ankle length or cocktail length.


For him:

Tuxedo or a dark suit and tie.


Semi formal (or dressy casual)

For her:

A cocktail dress or a dressy skirt and top. Opt for darker hues if the event is taking place in the evening, lighter if it’s a daytime affair.


For him:

A suit and tie; (darker coloured if the event is in the evening, lighter if in the daytime)



For her:

A sundress dress, a skirt and blouse or even pants. Dress up a casual outfit with done hair, makeup and statement accessories.


For him:

Dress pants with a button down or a polo if it’s a summer wedding.


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