What is the dress code?
The dress code is an unwritten dress code that provides specific indications on how to dress for certain ceremonies or occasions. This particular "polite request" is generally well specified on the invitation and it is good practice to respect the instructions received to avoid avoidable lapses in style.
What are the types of dress codes?
The most widespread classic dress codes are 5: Casual, Cocktail, Business, Black-Tie, White-Tie; each of them with declinations linked to the different nature of the various events.
DRESS CODE CASUAL
Great freedom of choice for this dress code, no particular attention is required other than good taste. You can forget about the tie, belt and classic shoes and choose a more informal and comfortable look by also wearing jeans, sneakers and patterned shirts. A slightly different matter however for the Smart Casual dress code which requires a certain relaxed elegance, also defined as sporty-chic . Jacket and trousers, even in different colors and fabrics, are certainly the most suitable choice. Complete your outfit with a solid color t-shirt and sports shoe.
DRESS CODE COCKTAIL
Generally required for events that take place in the late afternoon, this dress code suggests sobriety and elegance, but in a light version, and without ever leading to formality. A classic suit in medium shades of blue and gray in a solid color is certainly the best choice for this type of event, to be worn with a light shirt and classic monkstrap day shoes or penny loafers. The tie is optional, but the pocket square coordinated with the shirt is ritual. The After Five dress code is an informal version of the Cocktail and is mostly requested at parties, anniversaries and happy hours. Jacket, trousers, shirt and free choice of colors and fabrics, but without exaggerating with the combinations and favoring the contrasts of natural tones.
DRESS CODE BUSINESS
Suitable for business lunches, interviews, meetings, conferences, corporate events or simply for going to the office, the Business Formal dress code is the most recognized and most transversal of the dress codes and has a very specific objective: to convey formality and professionalism . Also called Business Attire , this code includes a classic suit in dark shades of blue and grey, combined with a white or light blue shirt, a tie in the same tone as the suit and classic day shoes, Oxfords or Derby shoes, in opaque shades of black and dark gray. The Business Casual dress code, used more and more frequently in offices, is a more modern and comfortable version of the classic business look, but still remains a formal, sober and professional code. Therefore, avoid jeans, sneakers and t-shirts, leaving room for jackets, trousers, shirts, sweaters and elegant day shoes such as ankle boots, brogues or chelsea boots.
DRESS CODE BLACK-TIE
Elegant and refined, the Black-Tie dress code is certainly the king of dress codes. Rich in history and full of social values, this dress code is required on the occasion of important ceremonies and evening receptions, where the real protagonists are elegance and bon ton. In these cases there is only one answer, tuxedo ! The iconic black suit, with satin-covered lapels and buttons, is the perfect outfit for events of this scale. Complete your look with a satin bow tie and sash, white formal shirt with cufflinks, white pocket square and classic shiny black Oxford shoes. In case of Black-Tie Optional dress code, the tuxedo is optional but elegance must still be maintained. Follow the black-tie rules but go down a tone, replacing the tuxedo with an elegant dark evening dress. For Black-Tie Creative dress code events, the guest is still directed towards a very elegant outfit, but is free to express himself through the use of brocade, embroidered, textured or damask jackets, combined with sober black tailored trousers plain or with tone-on-tone satin side band.
DRESS CODE WHITE TIE
Mainly featured in royal and aristocratic celebrations of the past, the White-Tie is a dress code increasingly less used by modern society and now almost completely replaced by the Black-Tie version. It represents the formal dress code par excellence and is used in exclusive events such as theater premieres, princely balls, state dinners and in rare social events such as in the 2014 and 2022 editions of the Met Gala. If you have received such an important invitation, you don't have much choice but to wear a very elegant tailcoat . The code includes a swallowtail jacket with tips on the front, white shirt with wing collar, white pique cotton waistcoat, black trousers with matching side band, white bow tie, shiny black Oxford shoes and white gloves.