How to Follow the Dress Code

Woman following the dress code
Photo: Indira's Work/Shutterstock
Do you get the jitters, every time you have a party invitation? How will you know what to wear according to the dress code? Well, don't worry because help is right here. Dress codes have always been an integral part of parties and social events and it is best to abide by them. Here are some pointers:
Black Tie:
A black tie invitation means formal attire. You need to wear a cocktail dress or an evening gown or dress. Cocktail dresses are short dresses from just above the knee to two-inches above the ankle. Choose from silk, satin, and chiffon. Evening gowns can be of various lengths from mid-calf to full length and should be in chiffon, velvet, satin, or silk.
If you are wearing a ballerina long gown, then do remember to wear gloves. For accessories, choose what looks best, but don't overdo it. For hair and makeup, stick to being elegant and polished.
White Tie:
White tie invitation also falls under formal attire, but is much more specific as these are generally invitations to opera, ballet, charity balls, or a royal event. This event calls for full gowns with gloves. Makeup and hairdos should be subtle, but elegant. If the invitation also mentions "state decoration", then married women need to wear tiaras as well. White Tie dress code is also sometimes known as an Ultra-formal invitation.
Black Tie Optional
Also some time known as Black Tie Invited, calls for wearing cocktail dress or a long dress. Go with the Black Tie rules of makeup, hairdo, and accessories.
Creative Black Tie
If your invitation reads Creative Black Tie, then you need to mix traditional and trendy. For example wear a long dress with a stylish silver belt and jewelry. You can even experiment with makeup and hairdo and make them trendier.
If the invitation says Semi-Formal or After Five, then wear a short dress or a suit which is dressy. Business Formals and Semi-Formals are the same, with the exception that you need to stick to a tailored dressy suit or skirt and blouse. Remember, Business Formals means you need to wear dresses which are neither too slinky nor too sexy. Keep the makeup to a bare minimum and do up your hair in an everyday business fashion.
Cocktail Attire
These are more on the festive and fun side. Wear knee-length dresses with some details like lace etc. You can also combine tailored trousers and a chic top. Be creative and trendy when it comes to make-up and hairdo as the party will be more about fun. You can also wear strappy sandals.
Elegant Casual
Wear casuals which are dressy for this kind of invitation. For example, you can combine a legging with a chic sweater or silk blouse. You can also wear short dresses. Be careful that even though it will be an informal party, it will be chic. Keep makeup to bare minimum and do a simple hairdo.
So now with the dress code de-mystified, you can relax and plan for what to wear in the next social gathering. But remember to read the invitation card carefully so that you don't confuse the dress codes and turn up in the wrong outfit.