Men’s Formal Dress Codes

685 – “Formal dress, ladies,” rhymes with “formal” and usually indicates that a woman has completed her formal education and has acquired certain skills required for high status in society. Formal dresses can be worn by women of all ages, from teen-agers to grandmothers. To look your best in a formal dress, take time in planning your attire. Here are some tips on choosing a formal dress: Choose colors that match or complement your skin tone. For instance, light skinned women should choose pastels and lighter colors. Dark skinned women can select dark colors such as black, navy blue, charcoal gray, olive, beige, or brown.

White tie is generally the most formal dress code in Western style

A formal dress usually consists of a top, skirt, matching pants, jacket, or a scarf, often with an embroidered motif. White tie is generally the most formal dress code in Western style. Men are required to wear a white shirt, black pants, black shoes, socks, bow tie, and tie; white gloves, necktie, belt, and, if desired, a formal wristwatch. A formal evening dress may be worn with trousers in a contrasting color to create contrast, such as light-colored trousers against a dark-colored top.

Formal dress is worn for different occasions such as, but not limited to, wedding occasions, cocktail parties, business meetings, grand openings, house warming ceremonies, luncheons, receptions, baby showers, and others. Formal dresses come in many different designs such as; ball gowns, long gowns, business suits, three-piece outfits, wedding gowns, opera dresses, and gowns for the opera. The term “formal dress” also applies to any outfit, be it casual or formal, which is worn for social, business or other special occasions. In modern society, however, the term has become somewhat of a catchall phrase for any formal attire that one might wear for any occasion.

In some cases other accessories may be needed

The basic requirements for wearing formal attire for different occasions include, but are not limited to, a full jacket that stops at the waistline, formal socks, formal shoes that touch the floor, a bow tie that fits the neck properly, a watch, a tie, and a belt. In some cases, other accessories may be required such as a hand bag, glasses, or any other item that is deemed to be appropriate. For children attending school or college functions, the use of earrings and other jewelry is also commonly required.

Semi-formal attire still adheres to certain basic principles such as formality and color

The degree of formality varies from situation to situation. For example, the term “semi-formal attire” refers to outfits that are somewhat less formal than black tie dress codes, but that still adhere to certain basic principles such as formality and color. Semi-formal attire for most occasions can be divided up into two categories, semi-formal business attire and semi-formal leisure attire. Business attire is almost always a gray or dark blue business suit with white shirt and pants. Formal business attire for most occasions is generally acceptable for men of all walks of life, although it may sometimes be acceptable for men in a position of authority to wear something more casual.

Formal dress codes for casual occasions tend to be less rigid, but are usually more relaxed in their requirements. Generally speaking, casual dress is indistinguishable from regular dress in that the level of formality is not as strict. Casual dress can be characterized by jeans, shirts with ties, or a khaki style dress shirt with a tie. Ties may not always be traditional, as they can be replaced by other materials such as belts or jewelry. Shoes of many styles are also acceptable.

The jacket should not be worn with a tie

Formal black tie and white tie events differ slightly from casual events in the level of formality. Black tie events require a full length black or dark blue dinner jacket with a white picket or striped shirt and trousers. The tie must be black, or at least in a dark shade. A full length, black, or navy blue shirt with a conservative neckline is also required. The jacket must not be worn with a tie and must be worn with a necktie. White gloves must be worn with black shoes and black socks.

In recent years, tuxedos have come back into fashion and are appropriate for formal dress codes even for men who do not consider themselves to be formal enough. Tuxedos can be worn with white tie or black tie events, but are also acceptable for less formal occasions. Tuxedos are designed for an elongated look, so that they do not look too “spunky”. Tuxedos are made in a number of styles such as the modern day four-button tuxedo and the traditional three-button tuxedo.


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