What Dress Codes On Wedding Invites Actually Mean
If you've ever received an invitation with a specific wedding
dress code request, you might have wondered what it all really
means... What's the difference between semi-formal, morning dress
and summer suits? In essence, what do dress codes actually mean?
We're here to decipher the dress codes you might not know - from
black tie tuxes to cocktail dressing, we've got it covered.
Black tie has gone through something of a renaissance in recent
years in a wedding trend that's come over from America - it's now
one of the more common dress codes that will crop up on an invite.
This means the couple want you to come in formal evening party
wear. For women, this traditionally means floor length or ankle
skimming gowns. Dresses can be shorter; as long as they strictly
tick the occasion wear box - aka LBD and jewellery to accessorise.
The Kardashian/Jenner clan always nail black tie dressing, with
their high-fashion style for red carpet events. Gentlemen wear
dinner jackets - otherwise known as a tuxedo - always finished with
bow tie, never a long tie.
Sometimes known as white tie, this is the most formal code you can
get. Women will be expected to be dressed in their finest, in
occasion dresses below the knee with fine jewellery (and back
before the 60s, ladies would wear gloves too). Gents, this is your
classic top and tails. A tailcoat with waistcoat - all in grey,
with white shirt, Oxford shoes and top hat to finish. Now rarely
seen other than at very formal weddings or royal events, this is
the traditional grooms outfit James Matthews chose to wear (without
the top hat), at his wedding to Pippa Middleton.
A wedding dress code that millennials would still consider pretty
formal. Typically semi-formal attire would be worn to something
like a theatre or opera opening night. Times have certainly changed
as this hardly happens any more (sadly). The outfits are ; a suit
and tie for men and an evening dress or jumpsuit for women. Minimal
jewellery finishes this understated but chic semi-formal styling.
Kate Middleton is the queen of semi-formal dressing.
Yes, we all know a cocktail dress is usually a shorter style party
dress, but cocktail attire has a little more meaning than just a
dress for drinking martinis in. This is the perfect occasion for a
classic little black dress - or opt for brights or metallics in a
feminine silhouette like Lupita Nyogo's split
side number. Men should wear dark evening suits with a
tie; it's a great opportunity to wear a velvet blazer jacket.
This is more of a modern request from brides opting for a summer
wedding or a ceremony abroad. Summer suits ask for guys to wear
lighter colours and fabrics and means you do not need to wear a
tie. Linen suiting is probably the best for this as it's light and
breathable. Wear with loafers, crisp white short and a pocket
square. Girls are encouraged to wear floaty summer dresses, but the
rules for ladies are usually more relaxed.
"Jeans and a nice top" this is not: jeans should never be
considered when you are dressing for a smart casual event. Ladies
are encouraged to wear dresses or a top and skirt with fairly
formal shoes, while gents should be in trousers, (casual chinos are
a good call) teamed with either a shirt or smart jumper, plus smart
shoes or boots. Basically, steer clear of anything sports-related.
For inspiration, look to Olivia Palermo for endlessly chic smart