What to wear, when

It’s party season and the invitations will be making their way to your mailboxes and in-boxes over the next few weeks.

If you’ve ever wondered what’s appropriate to wear for each occasion, here’s a brief guide.


Black tie – this is the most formal occasion and rules for attire must be strictly followed. This means tuxedos for gentlemen and long gowns for women. Cocktail dresses are not permitted.

Black tie optional – this includes the above, but allows for a dark suit for men and tea length (mid-calf) cocktail dresses for women. It’s a popular dress code for holiday parties and charity events.

Semi-formal or business attire – This event allows for business suits for men, and dresses for women, if the event is daytime. Evening events might require a dark suit for men and a cocktail dress for women, depending on the nature of the event.

Business casual or dressy casual – These events are more relaxed, where men can attend wearing an open-neck shirt and sport coat, and women can attend in a pant suit or blouse and skirt.

Casual – for picnics, barbeques or family events, feel free to wear jeans or khakis, shirts or blouses or even shorts (depending on the event). Mature adults should not wear graphic t-shirts or ripped jeans like teenagers.

If in doubt, it’s better to be slightly overdressed than under-dressed. Wear layers and accessories that you can remove if needed.

2 thoughts on “What to wear, when

  1. Pingback: It’s party season |

  2. Pingback: Sparkle and glow | Style on Purpose

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s