What to Wear When Invitations Call for a Dress Code

An invitation often comes with a dress code. A Dress Code can be tricky. What to wear is sometimes a mind-boggling challenge. Here is a list of dress codes that will guide you to make a ‘WOW!’ statement and not a ‘WHOOPS!’

You get an invitation and the dress code reads “cocktail attire.” What does that actually mean? As all the VIPS are there, you need to impress. And obviously, you want to create a statement - hopefully, a “wow!” and not a “whoops!”

Before getting into a panic attack upon receiving an invitation, here’s a list of every kind of dress code and what to wear to each:

Dress Code: What to wear when invitation says “Black Tie:”

This is when women are free to act out their fantasies of being queens and countesses for a night – beautiful, regal, opulent and luxurious. Women are expected to be in a long dress or a ball gown. This is the ultimate dress code that generates the biggest impact. Women, it’s your time to shine and free yourself from the comforts of your cocoon. Wear bright colors. Black is too common, dull and predictable. Accessorize with tantalizing gems, pearls, diamonds and other kinds of fabulous jewelry. Loan if you don’t have the real deal. You have to look magical without appearing “costumey.” This is the code behind this dress code.

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Dress Code: What to wear when invitation says “Cocktail Attire:”

A cocktail attire is an invitation to look sexy and fun. This means you should wear a short dress. Complement your attire with chunky or funky jewelry. Huge, colorful, extraordinary and attention-grabbing cocktail rings are a must, especially when you’re holding a cocktail or simply waving your hand at friends or strangers.

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Dress Code: What to wear when invitation says “Dressy Casual:”

This is an invitation to look comfortable but not too laid-back. Pants, therefore, are permissible, but denims or jeans are not. What to wear on top would differentiate “dressy casual” from plain “casual.” Wear a fancier looking blouse with interesting details. Do not wear a T-shirt as you don’t want to end up looking like a “Plain Jane” or disrespecting your host. A T-shirt is too undemanding and too austere an attire. The goal is too look fun yet respectable.

Dress Code: What to wear when invitation says “Casual:”

In an invitation that says “casual,” anything goes. No holds barred. You can wear a T-shirt with a pair of jeans. You can even slip into flip-flops. Any attire that makes you feel relax will do. You have the freedom to look and feel as cozy and “chill” as possible. However, give your host some appreciation by making an effort to look “extra-special.” A casual dress code does not mean looking like you do at home.

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