Dress Codes: What you need to know

I’ve had a few of my brides asking me about how to word dress codes when doing their invitations, so their guests have the right idea of what is expected. It can be hard to decode some dress codes that have fancy wordings when all you really need to say is “don’t wear jeans, for the love of God”.

Here is a quick guide on what they mean in simple English without the fluff. You can thank me later!

Smart Casual
Ladies: Think a pretty sundress, lacey top with a lovely skirt or a smart buttoned down feminine shirt with high waisted trousers
Lads: A shirt short sleeved or long with a collar, buttoned down, with chinos or suit pants. If you can’t part from jeans, think dark shades with a tailored style.

Cocktail
Ladies: Basically anything shorter than a evening dress, is considered cocktail! Lighter/brighter shades for a day time event, or darker/muted shades for an evening event
Lads: Put on a suit, with a muted or white shirt. Suits can be in charcoal or navy and throw on a complimenting tie

Lounge Suit
Ladies: Refer to cocktail attire for a day time event
Lads: Put on a suit, a waist coast, with a smart shirt. Suits can be in charcoal or navy and throw on a complimenting tie

Formal or Black Tie-Optional
Ladies: Throw on a formal frock. It could be knee length or floor length. A smart pantsuit can also be worn, or stylish separates (skirt & top)
Lads: Put on a dark suit, with a white shirt and a complimenting tie. Tuxedos are
optional

Black Tie
Ladies: Think floor length gowns in any colour.
Lads: Put on a dark suit, with a white shirt. Tuxedos should be worn with a bow tie.