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  • Writer's pictureMichaela A de Guire

Does it have a Dress Code?

Updated: Apr 16, 2023

Creating an outfit can be difficult some days, while other days it is easy, effortless, and (dare I say) natural? Why is it some days it is effortless, while others it is like pushing a mountain? How is it that there can be so much difficulty when creating an outfit, especially when we get dressed on a daily basis?

When you have an important event coming it would be wise to create, decide, and prepare in advance. Getting ready for the day and outfit creation is usually rather easy on the day-to-day, however, it is when you have an important event that is coming up that causes you to be a little indecisive, uncertain, and then most often falter and end up settling on an outfit that is not as wonderful or impressive as you’d hoped. When you prepare in advance your mind will be at ease and you will be more confident in your decisions.

When deciding on what to wear it is best to keep in mind what the invitation says that the dress code is. If the invitation doesn't have a dress code, you can either ask the host(ess) or assume what it is. I would always highly suggest you do your best to reach out to the host(ess).

White tie: the most formal you can be, this is where you would wear a floor length evening gown and white gloves. Think sparkling dresses, lace, ruffles, feminine. You will notice men in white tuxedos. When you attend an event with this written on the invitation it doesn't hurt to wear your best jewelry, but remember to stay elegant and classy, thus small delicate jewelry is a good go to. Although, you can wear your larger pieces if you choose to, I would only wear one large piece if you were to do so, maybe a necklace or chunky earrings.

Black tie: the next dressiest. You will notice men wearing black dinner jackets and usually bow ties, of course. And women will be wearing beautiful cocktail dresses. If the invitation is black tie, I would take into consideration the amount of time necessary to find the perfect dress, as cocktail dresses have gotten progressively shorter these past few years (too short in my opinion). In the 1950’s a cocktail dress was just shorter than tea length, approximately 5” below your knee. Today cocktail dresses have creeped up well past the knee, and some are as short as short-shorts (aka booty isn’t fully covered). So I encourage you to try looking for a cocktail dress that falls at least on your knee or a little longer. You will feel more comfortable in the space of others when you don’t need to worry about trying to sit without showing things off.

Formal wear: as a woman it is highly suggested that you wear a formal dress, there is no reason for it to be as dressy as a cocktail or evening wear. However, when you think of formal wear, think more like a bridesmaids dress, she is there to assist the bride and enhance the bride's beauty by displaying her beauty in subtle ways. Her dress may play off of the brides, but she has a solid color, little to no sparkle, and is there to support. This is what formal wear is. Be sure to wear a dress that offers enough length to make you feel confident and comfortable. If wearing a dress is not an option for you, women can also wear very formal pants with a dressy blouse. This does not mean you can wear your office clothes. It is formal wear after all. Men will be wearing jackets or blazers and ties.

Smart Casual: this is wear you wear your chic summer dress, flat sandals, or if dresses are unavailable you can wear dress pants with an embellished top. You do not want to wear jeans to this event, as they are still too casual. You will notice men wearing button ups and dress pants. Once again jewelry is allowed, however it would be a little less extravagant.

Come as you are: does not mean wear sweatpants and a sports bra. Darling, this means jeans are acceptable by both men and women. You, however, can wear a beautiful attractive blouse. As for shoes, easy flats either sandals or ballet flats are perfect for this occasion.

A few final tips regarding important events, be sure your bra is not seen via color showing through the fabric of your attire, bra straps, unwanted lines, or around the arm holes of your gowns. Also watch for panty lines. There are certain undergarments specially designed for select fits and fabrics. I like to wear loose fitting garments to ensure I need not worry about such things. However, I just had to warn you about these things because you can make or break an entire outfit with panty lines and bra straps showing.

Preparing for a big event can be difficult, but with enough work done in advance it will be well worth it and a whole lot of fun, enjoyment, and your mind will be at ease. A topic I did not cover was interviews. Darling, show up for your interview as yourself, dress confidently in what you love and your beautiful smile, eyes, and personality will shine forth. But remember to have fun while creating outfits! Otherwise getting ready becomes a drain and will suck the life out of the day, and we do not want that.

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