Understanding Basic Dress Codes

Choosing the right outfit for a function can be quite a daunting task. While some of us love the freedom of choice, others struggle to put together an attire that is neither too over the top nor dressed down. However, in most instances it is advised to stick to the famous rule, ‘it’s better to be overdressed than to be underdressed’.

Some invitations clearly specify a dress code to avoid any misperception, but this makes the choice of attire harder for somewhat paranoid guests. Like how formal is formal, or where do you draw the line when the invite says smart casual? Then there are other dress codes such as cocktail attire, lounge, dressy casual and the list goes on, adding to the pile of confusion.

Depending on the type of function you are invited to, there is a wide range of outfits to choose from. Is it a birthday party, a work event, a networking cocktail or a friend’s wedding? Each function calls for a different attire and matching accessories depending on factors such as the event time, venue and scale. For example, over the top, flashy clutch bags Sydney are an absolute no-no for a day function. Keep reading for some insights on common dress code tips for ladies.

Smart Casual
If you are confused where to draw the line with this one, it is always safer to pair dress pants or a pencil skirt with a silk shirt or a buttoned-down blouse. Footwear options could include high heels and other accessories such as a matching belt and handbag could be used to complete this look. This look calls for minimal jewellery, so a pair of studs with a simple chain and a wrist watch is ideal.

Cocktail Attire
An evening social event, fundraiser or a corporate party calls for this type of attire. Try to stay away from formal wear and when in doubt, stick to the little black dress which always seem to work. Shorter dresses with some frill that look party-ready fits this dress code. Try to show your personality by accessorizing it per your mood. This could include black stilettoes, a rose gold clutch bag, a chunky necklace or hanging earrings.

Black Tie Event
These functions call for a floor-length ball gown or a very dressy cocktail dress, depending on the venue and nature of the event. You can accessorize this look with glamorous jewellery, up-do hairstyles with hair ornaments and opera length gloves for an extremely dressed up look. A matching shawl and a fancy pouch could also be accompanied for a regal look.