Fashion

Decoding Dress Codes For All Occasions

You’ve been invited to a party; a wedding; a ball. The invitation gives clear instructions on arrival times, what to bring, and that you may attend with a guest – but the dress code is distressingly vague.

How festive is “festive”? What’s the difference between “business formal” and “smart casual”? If outfit requirements are getting your head in a spin, don’t panic – we’re here to help decode the dress codes, ensuring you’re suitably glamorous for any occasion ahead of this busy festive season.

Black Tie

Credit: Pexels.com

Possibly the easiest dress code to decode for men, black tie is a no-brainer – a tuxedo. Women can interpret the black tie dress code with a little more flexibility: choose from a longer-length dress or sophisticated separates, but keep it elegant. Use your head, too: a black-tie wedding calls for something a little more extravagant than a work event.

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Black Tie Optional

Credit: Ted Baker

That blurred line between black tie and cocktail, ‘black tie optional’ should be interpreted as you like. Men? You can wear a tux, but a black suit is perfect too. For women, you’ve got the freedom to choose between a midi dress or a subtly detailed dress, accessorised with statement bags and jewellery for the wow factor.

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Cocktail

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Cocktail attire has to be one of our favourites – it calls for pretty dresses, skyscraper heels and plenty of fun, colourful jewellery and accessories. Men should stick with a dark suit, and either wear with an open-necked shirt and some smart shoes…

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Festive

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Festive doesn’t mean Santa suit, but it does mean extravagance. We’re talking sparkles, sequins, statement handbags and even shoe embellishments: the brighter, bolder and more ‘look-at-me’, the better. For men, cocktail attire is fine, but accessorise with a colourful silk cravat or pocket square.

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Business Formal

Credit: Kurt Geiger

We’re moving into murkier territory now – business formal and business casual are fairly daunting prospects. Business formal is often called for at work lunches, or semi-formal evening events: as business is stressed, make sure to wear something office-appropriate. We like structured pencil skirts with silk blouses and discreet jewellery, with a beautifully tailored coat over the top – men have it easy, as they can come straight from the office in their nicest suit.

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Business Casual

Credit: Gestuz

Business casual allows the wearer to have a little more fun with their look – women can play with patterns here, tucked into fashion trousers and worn with cute heels and colourful bags. Pair with a blazer in the cooler months, or add a pretty, printed scarf around the neck. For men, chinos are your friend – pick nicely tailored shirts and complimentary leather belts and loafers to complete your look.

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Smart Casual

Credit: Lacoste

Eek – smart casual is known to bring fear into even the sassiest dresser’s heart. It’s quite simple, really – keep jeans or tailored trousers as a base, and add a chiffon top, blazer and beautifully made ankle boots to inject a little luxury. For men, it’s a similar story: jeans and blazer over a polo is an easy and effective way to rock the smart casual dress code.

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Casual

Credit: Gestuz

Casual – or ‘anything goes’ – is the only dress code where trainers or sneakers are allowed. Jeans, a sweater and trainer for women, and the same goes for men; comfort is key here!

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Shop all clothing for Men and Women for all occasions at The Hut >>

By Olivia Seed



Olivia Seed

Olivia Seed

Editor

A minimalist fashion fan with high interests in the odd print or check. Constantly trying to make my home look like a catalogue; you can find me shopping for cute bedding, candles and other Instagrammable interior accessories.


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