We’re entering event season – from galas to charity dinners to holiday parties fast approaching – dressing for occasions can bring on a lot of stress for some.
Here is a quick rundown of different dress codes and how to think about putting together your looks based on what the vibe is.
Black-Tie/Formal: This is traditionally the most formal types of events you will be going to, likely for high-end galas and weddings. You want to think fancy here but you don’t need to necessarily stick with black as a safe route. Men can get creative with tuxedos in different fabrics and try a velvet smoking jacket as a fun option in royal shades. Accents can also be fun with buttons on tux shirts, printed bow ties or even monochromatic black looks. Women you want to break out the longer gowns – loving the high/low styles to still show a little leg or a side slit but calf length and lower is always a safe bet. You do want to make sure the style and material (silk/satin/crepe etc.) feels like a gown.
Black-tie Optional, Semi-formal or Cocktail Attire: There is some slight variation between the three for the sake of simplicity I have bucketed these together. When in doubt, I tell my clients they should opt on the dressier side. Guys for black-tie optional, you can totally still break out that formal tux but it’s not a requirement. Semi-formal and cocktail dressing you’re going to think about your elevated suit and tie, or go sans tie altogether. Women can also go floor length, but with semi-formal and cocktail type of events you have the option of going short now with minidresses (love with a sheer tight for winter) and have a lot of fun with lace, sequins and metallics this season.
Creative Business/Smart Casual: I’ve been hit with several asks lately are looking for more creative business attire. I think this is where taking a traditional piece with some added element and/or accessorizing can be your best friend. Guys can layer knitwear and more relaxed button-down shirts to create looks even pairing with dark denim or trouser. Women can try a fun jumpsuit with sleeves and a collar, a suit in an unexpected color or with embellishment or bring in other ways to add interest w/ a belt or jewelry.
Themes: Last but of course not least is themed attire for parties and events. People are bringing it now and often creating their own thematic dress codes for guests. What I love is to loosely interpret a theme for them but still make sure the looks are chic and ideally able to be worn again – think clothing that fits the vibe but not verging on costume. So unless it’s a very traditional Indian wedding, for example, get creative and think a little outside the box to make sure your outfit is really unique and brings the best kind of attention.
More advice or help with planning your looks for this season? Make sure to book a consult to chat more about what you need.