Dress Codes: Decoded

Those last two or three tiny words at the end of an invitation can be useful but are often confusing for some wedding guests. Not to fear, we have your guide for deciphering each dress code you come across.


Casual for a wedding is not the same as casual for your everyday. This means jeans are not ok. Ladies can go for a sundress and flats and the men can go for khakis and a button down.

Dressy Casual

This is probably one of the hardest dress codes out there. It’s just a step below cocktail and a step above casual. Gentlemen can still rock khakis and a button down but try throwing on a tie or a sports coat. Ladies can dress things up with a fun pair of heels a statement necklace and maybe even more dramatic make-up like a bold lip.


We all know cocktail attire well. Ladies this calls for your favorite LBD. Men can don the sports coat and tie together or go for a suit and get ready for small talk and you guessed it… cocktails!

Black Tie Optional 

This one can be a bit confusing too. Is it black tie or isn’t it? Gals- go ahead and wear anything from a darker cocktail dress to a high low dress to a floor length gown. Guys- this is definitely a time for a darker suit or go ahead and bring that tux out of storage. But you know what we say … it’s always better to be overdressed rather than underdressed.

Black Tie

Black tie is a classic. Gentlemen should pull out their best penguin suit, and ladies should go for glam with long gown and a gorgeous smokey eye without a doubt.

With these tips in your arsenal you are sure to feel confident in whichever outfit you choose the next time you come across any dress code. 


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