Dress Smart - Tips on Formal Event Dressing Code

Dress Smart – Tips on Formal Event Dressing Code

For women in western countries, there are different formal events to attend in a lifetime, from high school prom, to formal weddings. Different events sometimes requires specific dress code. Misreading a dress code can result in embarrassment on your part. For example, you don’t want to wear a ball gown where your friends are in denims; or you look inappropriate in a sundress where others are wearing long evening dresses. With the hope of helping you get on the right track, here are some useful tips on how to dress right for a formal event.

shining beaded ball gown dress for formal events

shining beaded ball gown dress for formal events

While formal appears to be a fairly straightforward instruction, it is important to remember that it is, unfortunately, not absolute. Formal dressing code can include both black and white tie, and thus might require you to kit yourself out in an actual ball gown. However, the term is also commonly used on invitations to events where the host just wants the guests not to wear jeans or faded trainer. W-T-F should I wear for a formal event?! In order to make sure what you are dealing with, checking with the party organizers would always be a great idea.


Sarah Jessica Parker  Meta Gala  White Tie events

Sarah Jessica Parker Meta Gala

It is the most formal dress code and it’s only worn on very formal or ceremonial occasions like state dinners and formal evening weddings and balls. It is an evening dress code, this means that it can only be worn after 6 pm (or after dark). To this kind of very formal occasion, women are usually expected to wear a ball-gown – traditionally a full skirted, full length formal dress with a décolleté top. Silk and satin are common (and stylish) fabrics for an evening gown. Never choose for wool.


Black tie prom dress

Black tie prom dress

Black tie is a dress code for social functions that start after 6 p.m., and basically translates to “this party is fancy and men should wear tuxedos.” Apart from white-tie affairs—which aren’t very common—black tie is the most formal dress code you’ll probably face when it comes to weddings or galas. For women, it’s customary to wear floor-length evening gowns, but in this day and age, exceptions can be made. Depending on the occasion, you can sometimes get away with a cocktail dress, just make sure to keep the colors rich (black, jewel tones, chic metallic, brown) so as not to look too casual.


katy perry vintage cocktail dress

Katy Perry vintage cocktail dress

It can be appropriate to wear a cocktail dress to a formal event. Cocktail dresses are usually shorter and a little more fun than a full length evening gown; you can wear a cocktail gown or the classic little black dress if the formal event you are invited to is something like a drinks party taking place in the early evening.


two piece peach pink evening dresses

two piece peach pink evening dresses

Two piece evening dresses are great options for women who want to look stylish without breaking bank when get invited to many different formals. Go for a fairly solid, versatile colour and fabric, and a two piece evening dress can be worn to different formal events. Pair the whole thing with shining jewellery for a white-tie event, and swap the bodice for a tailored blazer before heading out to the black tie affair.


Emma Stone Golden Globes

Emma Stone Golden Globes

So, you are tiered of long gowns and want a unique look at the formal event? You could wear a tailored suit and a pair of killer heels to your formal event. Of course, you will need to confirm the formality, as this might not be appropriate attire for every occasion.


Basically, your formal shoes have to match your formal dress. However, this is not always necessary: simply go for a lovely heel in a colour that compliments the evening gown.

So, do you get any ideas on how to dress right for different formal events? Dressing code can always be tricky, especially when it comes to special events. Hopefully, these tips would help you decide your formal attire for up-coming events 2015.