Dress Codes :: defined! From White Tie to Smart Casual...

white tie dress code for men

"Help! The invitation says 'Business Casual', what on earth does that mean?" asked my daughter, who at the tender age of 19 is discovering the complications of dress codes for formal events.

She asked if I could put together a guide for her, to unravel the mysteries of what to wear when a code is requested.

Because, one would never want to be under-dressed, would one?

I always figure it's better to be over-glamorous than under-glamorous...

..it's far easier to get away with it.

So, Glamour Drops presents, for all those panic-stricken occasions when you glance at an invitation & think "What should I wear? Does it mean what it used to?", the ultimate guide to dress codes.... in decreasing order of formality... (starting with the very gorgeous, although not often called-for White Tie, followed by Black Tie, Lounge, Cocktail & Business or Smart Casual)...

WHITE tie dress code

And while it is Ultra Glamorous, a White Tie event doesn't happen that often, except for balls and very formal weddings.

But much more common is a Black Tie event....

black bow tie dress code for men

black tie dress code

Oh so glamorous and a marvellous excuse to go to town on the Glamour Dressing.

Next step down in formality is the Lounge category, which seems a rather odd name to me, but there you go, the English language is there to intrigue us...

Lounge dressing is easy... something a little formal, but not too much so, where elegance is the number one rule....

lounge dress code for men dom bagnoto autumn winter 2013

lounge suit dress code

Cocktail is a little less formal than Lounge, the main difference being the tie is optional for men.

For women there is not so much difference between Lounge & Cocktail, except that Cocktail can be a little more flirty.

cocktail dress code for men

cocktail dress code

And finally, Smart Casual...the category which causes all the angst and confusion.

The very term "smart casual" sounds like a paradox, but if you think of tailored daytime clothing it helps, even though it may be an evening event.

casual smart dress code men

smart casual business dress code

Of course, this doesn't solve the ephemeral claim of "but I have nothing to wear!".

But it's always nice to have a bunch of rules, otherwise, we wouldn't be able to break them, would we?

images :: all artwork blue fruit // all menswear dom bagnato // white tie gown // black tie gown // lounge gown // cocktail gown // smart business casual suit