Sunday, July 4, 2010

What to Wear to a Wedding: Decoding Dress Codes

The appropriate outfit to wear to a wedding can be a confusing issue. While many wedding invitations don't specify the attire of their guests, some do. With anything from "cocktail attire" to "black tie optional" penned on the invitation (or implied by the bride), it's sometimes hard to know what the fashion expectations are for a wedding. So, here are some suggestions to make your decision a little easier.

If the invitation says...

Business Attire: Another way to say this is Smart Casual. For men, this would mean slacks and a sport coat with a collared shirt and tie. Suits are fine as well. For women, a sheath dress is ideal, and you could liven it up with some fun accessories. These types of outfits are great for a wedding in the late morning or early afternoon.

Cocktail Attire: For men, a dark suit. For women, a short (think knee, not thigh) but formal dress is appropriate. Basically the same as Semi-Formal Attire, this is for a wedding occurring after 5 PM.
Black Tie: Other forms of this might say Black Tie Optional or Black Tie Invited. If it's optional, this gives men the opportunity to wear tuxedos (or formal suits), while women wear anything from cocktail dresses to evening gowns. If "optional" isn't part of the dress code, it's best to be overdressed rather than undressed in my opinion.
Do you have any dress code questions that we haven't answered? Let us know in the comments!

{Special thanks to Polyvore for helping me create the looks you see here.}


Carrie said...

Hi, can you tell me where that second green dress is from? i have a wedding to go to this weekend and that's perfect...


Liz said...

Hi Carrie! Thanks for reading & commenting. The second green dress is from, but unfortunately it's out of stock. But check out their website anyway:
The other green dress is from, and they also have great evening attire:
Good luck!