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Wedding Dress Code -Decoded

Weddings are full of joy and excitement, as they should be. However we have all received that invitation stating the dress code or attire that's expected of us. Some (if you’re anything like me) scan Pinterest for outfits of what to wear; while others scrimmage through their closets for the outfits they wore at last year's weddings.

Dressing up to a wedding is certainly a thing to talk about. No one wants to show up looking like crazy Uncle Frank in a bright blue suit at your cousin's Christmas wedding. Our Friends at The Black Tux created this simple, easy to remember style guide to help decode the dress code, followed by our recommendations for affordable classy outfits.

The guidelines are pretty easy to follow: of course no white (or off-white), keep it classy and sophisticated. Also the venue/location matters! If the invitation says ‘Black tie Optional’ but the ceremony is at a million dollar resort, you might want to dress on the more formal side of black tie. I always suggest that being overdressed is better than being under dressed. You can always tame down an outfit, you cannot always dress up the outfit.

The six main categories (casual, semi-formal, beach formal, black tie optional, black tie, and white tie) each have different aspects of themes and schemes.

Casual- the wedding may be more laid back and inviting to a multitude of styles. This is attire that really needs to have a close correlation to location. A nice causal pantsuit with suspenders would be nice for men and a sundress or nice pants and blouse.

Dressy Casual- This is something more like you would wear if you were going out on a date. It is not “all-out” attire but nice, a simple cocktail dress or nice skirt and blouse. For men, a nice suit and tie. Stick with the dark colors for an evening wedding but you can do a light color suit jacket for a daytime wedding.

Beach Formal-Weddings on the beach can be difficult. You need to keep in mind the temperature and the naturalness of the beach. A tea length or long Maxi dresses with flat sandals are good. You want to keep hair and makeup every day. Stay away from high heels as you will have problems walking in the sand. For men, linen shirt/pants or khakis are appropriate. No tie.

Black Tie Optional- A wedding with Black Tie Optional attire is on the formal side of dress. You need to look at the location or venue for the reception for cues on what to wear. If the location is very exclusive then dressing up is more appropriate. Wearing a full length dress would be appropriate. Stick with dark or neutral colors. High heels compliment any length dress. Jewelry such as chandelier earrings or a pearl necklace are always good for a formal event.

Black Tie- This is easy for men: Black Tux all the way. Women need to stay classy. A chic cocktail dress or evening gown is just right. Again, stay with neutral tones or dark colors. Don’t be afraid to do something very stylish such as a touch of sparkles or embellishments. Jewels such as diamonds and other tones add a great pop. Women can also do a bright color heel to add a little excitement.

White Tie-This is the ultimate formal event. Both men and women are to get decked-out, men with white gloves and women in ball gowns. This type of attire is full out hair and makeup and dramatic jewelry. Men need to wear a tux with tails. Women can chose fabrics like silk, satin and taffeta.

This style guide has helped me on many occasions and now its here to help you.

For men looking for all types of suits from semi-casual slacks to white tie events make sure to check out . A great resource for women with amazing looks and great prices for any occasion is Rent The Runway. They have just about every look you could ask for.

And don't forget to add a little personality into your outfit to truly make it your own!

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