Dress codes are daunting business. Whilst they’re meant to ease the anxiety of knowing what style of dress is appropriate, it can be stressful making sure that you get your outfit just right.
Knowing the difference between them will help to ease some of that concern. That’s why we’ve created this blog post, to take the stress out of figuring out exactly what to wear!
Smart casual is probably one of the most ambiguous dress codes, and is probably also the most commonly used one. Encapsulating this dress code is all about creating an appearance that is polished, yet relaxed. Finding the perfect balance between neat and informal attire is essential, and we will teach you how.
Creating the smart casual balance can be achieved by pairing smart trousers with a relaxed shirt, or polo-top. Chinos work really well in creating this look, as they are neat and polished without being too serious. A gingham check shirt, crushed linen shirt or a polo-top pair well with chinos. If the weather is slightly cooler, a v-neck pullover is the perfect way to keep warm, and keep within the smart casual code. Finish off this look with boat shoes or loafers.
If it’s a slightly dressier event and you don’t think the above outfit will suffice, try adding a blazer and switching up to a clean white shirt. Pair with chinos and desert boots. These adjustments to your outfit will create a much more refined look, and make sure you don’t feel too under-dressed. Adding a tie to this look takes the outfit a notch higher up. Keep ties thin and their knots small them small to stay within the smart casual boundaries.
Remember, the context and environment of the function play a massive role in making sure that you don’t overstep your smart casual boundaries, so always consider these factors when choosing what to wear!
Black tie signifies a formal function, and therefore requires formal attire. Think classic James Bond style; black tuxedo or suit, white shirt and a black bow tie. Or, if you’re a little more adventurous, try the midnight blue trend that’s becoming increasingly popular. But make sure to choose a really deep, dark blue suit, otherwise you’ll stand out more than you want! Adding accessories such as cufflinks and shirt studs also give your outfit a more polished look, however keep these understated and simple.
This dress code indicates a semi-formal event, which will require you to wear a full suit. However a lounge suit is less formal than black tie attire. Navy, blue, grey and taupe suits are appropriate choices, and a vest is an optional addition.
In choosing the right colour for the suit, consider the location of the function. A darker suit paired with a white shirt and tie is appropriate for indoor events, whilst lighter coloured suits are more suitable for outdoor affairs, where the mood is likely to be slightly more informal. Adding a pocket square also makes your outfit more interesting.