Almost any official invitation to an event has a dress code. And the rehearsal dinner is no exception.
And although the formal dress style is indeed considered the most common among the rest, you may find other requirements in the invitation. Formal, semi-formal, casual are all much more ambiguous than black-tie. And you may have a hard time deciding on the “level of dressiness” appropriate to the dress code.
Remember, one of the best ways to decide exactly what to wear is to research the venue. “As a guest, I often think of the wedding location as the backdrop. It sets the tone. You can look on social media to imagine what you would look good in there,” the expert explains.
We’ll help you understand the finer details and explain the difference between black-tie, white-tie and formal style.
Choose the most formal outfit you can get your hands on. White-tie is the strictest of all dress codes. Women are required to wear a floor-length evening gown – no exceptions. Don’t forget jewelry, heeled shoes and an elegant clutch. Men should wear a tailcoat (not a tuxedo!), a white shirt, white vest and bow tie. Complement the outfit should be white or gray gloves, as well as shoes – suit derbies or osquads.
On the background of the white-tie this dress code seems almost relaxed. Women should again wear an elegant maxi that doesn’t reveal their ankles. But, if the wedding is still less formal, you can afford a sophisticated cocktail dress. Also black-tie allows girls to wear sophisticated pantsuits. But no sneakers! And men should give preference to a tuxedo, a bow tie, a black vest or belt and patent leather shoes.
Formal or Black-Tie Optional.
This, too, is sometimes written on invitations. Oddly enough, it means something less formal than black-tie is acceptable. And yes, anything relevant to black-tie can be worn here as well. But it wouldn’t be a mistake to allow yourself a little freedom. Men have the right to change the tuxedo with a bow tie to the usual pantsuit with a regular tie. Women can wear evening gowns or a smart pantsuit.
This dress code is appropriate for something in between a formal evening celebration and a more casual daytime celebration. Here we strongly recommend women to refuse maxi length outfits and opt for midi length. For men, it’s easier – a pantsuit and tie will still look relevant.
Semi-Formal or Dressy Casual
Semi-formal style (semi-formal) gives you even more freedom. Here women do not necessarily need to wear heels, dresses to the floor is also better to abandon. Opt for outfits just below the knee, you can even wear a skirt and top. If there is an elegant pantsuit – feel free to dress in it. Men can rhyme a shirt with pants. We advise you to be careful with the choice of color – for daytime events, lighter shades are more suitable. And you have the right to wear a tie if you feel more festive that way.
This dress code is considered relatively new and can make guests think twice. But in fact, it’s a lot easier than it sounds – the hosts of the event just let you choose an interesting bow on your own. Rhyme cocktail outfits with bright and interesting accessories. Do not be afraid of juicy shades in clothing. Men are probably straining at this point, trying to imagine how to make a pantsuit more interesting. It’s simple. Take away the jacket, leave the shirt and tie. And it is this accessory that can become the brightest spot and accent of the whole image. If you do not have a funny jewelry, you can use a creative chest handkerchief.
The appearance of such a dress code in the invitation gently hints that the wedding will take place outdoors or on the beach, which means that the event is likely to be casual. However, don’t rush to wear jeans, shorts or tank tops (unless it’s stated in the invitation itself). For girls, we suggest choosing summer sundresses, wedge shoes or bright sandals. Sneakers, by the way, is better to refrain from. Only if this is not the most elegant and minimalistic model. For men, we recommend wearing pants (classic black or khaki) with a shirt. But stay away from t-shirts. If it gets chilly, you can bring a sweater and throw it on over your shirt.
Tropical or Destination
This dress code clearly hints that it’s going to be hot at the wedding. So it’s worth dressing accordingly. We advise you to choose natural materials so that the body can breathe. As in the case with the casual, you can wear a cotton sundress and espadrilles on a wedge. If the celebration will take place outside, consider adding a hat as an accessory to protect you.
For men, we suggest choosing short-sleeved shirts. Versions with minimalist prints or cut-outs will be especially appropriate. Linen shirts and pants will also suit this dress code, but we advise you to refrain from this material if you have a long drive to your destination – it is easily wrinkled.
Concept or theme
Some couples have conceptual or themed weddings. Then they ask guests to stick to a certain theme in their outfits. For example, the bride and groom may suggest that they come in outfits of a particular color. This is especially true for “all-white celebrations.”
What’s comfortable to wear
This is how the question about clothing is usually answered by couples who don’t want guests fussing over outfits. But even in this case, we advise thinking through your outfit in advance. It’s simple – the more comfortable you are, the more confident you feel. And it directly affects how you will perceive the celebration. It is not necessary to choose a too smart bow, but you should not come in ordinary jeans and a T-shirt.