Etiquette, Part IV: The Debated Dress Code

Without further adieu, part IV of my etiquette series! There are numerous different dress codes, and they all serve a different purpose. I for one appreciate the inclusion of a dress code- it gives me a specific direction as to what you would actually like me to wear to match the level of formality of your event. I am going to quickly run through the major dress codes, and my take on them!

Once again, these are from the Emily Post Institute!

Casual– Sundress, long or shirt skirt, plain t-shirt (no logo), sneakers or sandals.
>Typically most of our non-working days, I particularly enjoy the fact that athleisure is not included in this. Although I love my lululemon, I don’t need to be wearing it all of the time

Dressy Casual– Dress, skirt, dress pants, or dark jeans and dressy top.
>I usually wear dressy casual on Fridays at work, it’s a nice balance between those people who go entirely casual with jeans and a hoodie, and those that stay in business formal.

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Via Pinterest

Business Casual– Dress, Skirt, khakis, or dress pants and an open collar shirt (no décolleté).
>To me, the important part of this dress code is businessNo matter what your business is, if you work in an office (and have no chance of physical labour), a hoodie is inappropriate.

Business Formal– Suit, dress with a blazer, structured dress, heels (low or high).
>I actually find that this is an easy dress code to follow; many stores are entirely dedicated to it.

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Via Pinterest

Festive– Afternoon or cocktail dress, little black dress, skirt and top, with festive holiday colours!!!!
>My favourite dress code, that of the holiday party! It’s a way to be fun but still maintaining a touch of formal!!

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Via Pinterest

Semi-Formal– Afternoon or cocktail dress, little black dress, dressy separates
>Also fairly easy to follow, as cocktail dresses are not that difficult to find.

Black Tie Optional– Floor length gown, little black dress, cocktail dress, dressy separates.
>I enjoy when people use this occasion to wear a tea length dress (see below)! It looks elegant without overly formal if those around you are all in knee-length dresses.

Black Tie Creative– Floor length gown, cocktail dress, dressy little black dress, fun or bright accessories.
>Here is the time to bring out your bright and interesting statement necklaces and costume jewelry!

Black Tie– Floor length gown, cocktail dress, dressy little black dress.
>At this point in the dress code, you are probably at a fairly formal wedding or a ball! Embrace the opportunity to wear black tie attire, it is so rare in 2016.

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Via Pinterest

White Tie– Floor length gown, gloves optional
>Now you are at a State Banquet, annnnnnnnd I am entirely jealous. If you have access to a tiara, or any serious jewels, bring them out (along with your security detail)! This is my favourite dress code, as people will commit themselves to it, and it looks amazing.

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Via How to Dress For a Party

When I am unsure of what dress code is required, I usually dress one step up. People under-dress a great deal in the twenty-first century, and it really saddens me. Not only does it affect you, it affects those around you! I’ve said it before, the type of clothing you are wearing affects your mood and general state of being. As for those around you, I don’t typically take people seriously if they are always in casual clothing. You don’t need to be in Black Tie all of the time, but being entirely Casual shows that you have no pride in your clothing- how does that translate to other areas of your life?

The most important piece of dress codes to me is that they allow your guests to plan ahead of time and ensure that they will be comfortable when they arrive. You don’t want to arrive at a dinner in jeans to realise that it is a Semi-Formal event; you will feel awkward and out of place. Providing the information to your guests can make the world of difference!

Do you often see dress codes now? Do you use them yourself?

Until tomorrow,
The Historian!

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