Deciphering Dress Codes in the Chaos of Wedding Season

Roll out the white carpet, pour the champagne—wedding season is upon us! But have you ever opened a wedding invite and felt absolutely clueless about what the wedding guest dress code meant?

When it comes to modern weddings, deciphering the difference between “black tie optional” and “cocktail attire” can get complicated. You might be asking yourself, “what in the world do I wear?”

Here are a few tips to crack the wedding dress code and arrive in style…

White Tie

This highly formal attire means you will be attending an elegant rendezvous—think Price Harry and Meghan Markle’s Royal Wedding. Gentlemen should wear long-tail tuxedos, formal white shirt like this one from Tommy Hilfiger Company Store, white vest and bow tie, white or gray gloves and formal black shoes — Cole Haan Outlet carries some classics. Women should wear a floor-length ball gown like this gorgeous crystal gown from Grayse, and dress to the nines!

Tommy Hilfiger Company Store

Tuxedo Shirt – $99.99

Cole Haan Outlet

Williams Wingtip Oxford – $199.95

Grayse

Crystal Illusion Gown – $2,995.00

Black Tie

This implies an evening wedding in most cases, so here is your chance to really dress it up! Men should wear a tuxedo—in the summer, a white dinner jacket and black tuxedo trousers also work. Women can go dressy with a formal gown or cocktail dress. like this one from Guess Factory Store.

Formal Attire or Black Tie Optional

A common dress code, this implies the wedding party will be in formal attire, and such attire is optional for wedding guests. A dark suit or tuxedo for men is appropriate. For women, think formal evening wear—an evening pant suit like this one from White House Black Market Oulet, or floor length dress is also fitting.

White House Black Market Outlet

Black Strapless Split-Leg Jumpsuit – $160.00

Van Heusen Company Store

Flex Slim-Fit Suit Jacket – $220.00

Papaya

High-Low Cami Dress – $18.99

Cocktail Attire, Semi-formal or Dressy Casual

Keep in mind the time of the wedding, choosing darker colors for the evening and lighter fabrics for the daytime. We recommend ladies wear a cocktail dress or long, dressy skirt and top. Gents should choose a suit and tie, or sport coat, also considering the time of day with their color choice. Calvin Klein Outlet’s contemporary tailored suits are always a great option.

Casual

This is the most relaxed of the dress codes—you can wear almost anything you want! An ideal choice for the men is dress pants paired with a stylish button-down from Nautica Factory Store. For ladies, this summer dress from GUESS Factory Store or Daisy Shoppe is just right.

Nautica Factory Store

Button Down – $24.99

Guess Factory Store

Floral Maxi Dress – $54.99

Daisy Shoppe

Ruffle Maxi Dress- $58.99

Beach Formal

Since we’re in sunny SoCal, this dress code is not too unusual! Although the word “beach” is in this dress code, the word “formal” indicates a classy event. Ladies should choose a formal summer sundress that is tea-length or knee-length like this LOFT Outlet midi. A summer suit with linen shirt and pants or khakis for the men.