A Gentleman’s Dress Code
We’ve got the 411 on the dress code for your male party guests! From ultra formal to no jacket required, check out our dress code decoder. Be sure to include the dress code on your invitation so the men know if a green velvet blazer is a ok or if it will have them eating with the kitchen staff!
The white tie dress code is reserved for the most formal of affairs including royal weddings and diplomatic galas. The rules of dress are strict with no room for interpretation. Gentleman are required to wear a white bow tie, white waistcoat, white wing-tip tuxedo shirt, button studs and cufflinks, tailcoat with black pleated tuxedo pants and black patent leather shoes with black socks.
The black tie dress code is reserved for a semi-formal affair and the popular choice for most weddings. While there are more options then white tie, adding personality and style is not recommended. Gentlemen may choose from either a black or navy tuxedo with a white tux shirt, black bow tie and a white pocket square. Black vests or cummerbunds are also acceptable. Black patent-leather shoes with black socks are the expected footwear.
Creative Black Tie
This black tie dress code allows men a bit of a creative edge and the ability to deviate slightly from black tie attire. While expected to uphold most of the black tie stipulations, gentlemen may choose one aspect of their outfit to spice up their look. This is often the type of look seen on the red carpet being worn by celebrities. Pair an emerald velvet jacket with all of the other traditional elements of the black tux or opt for the traditional tux but add in a funky pair of kicks.
Black Tie Optional
This informal dress code allows men to opt for a suit rather then a tux. While the tux may not be required, gentlemen are still expected to be dressed in highly formal attire. A dark suit in black, navy or charcoal with a white dress shirt is the norm as well as black shoes and socks. Gentlemen may however take more liberties with their bow tie or tie for this dress code, but a solid color is preferred.
Cocktail Attire, also known as business casual allows gentlemen the most creativity with their look. Tuxedos will not be expected for this level of dress and any color suit is acceptable from blue to brown, tan, gray or charcoal. Black or brown shoes are acceptable as well as colorful or patterned socks, shirts and ties. Gentlemen should still air on the side of formality and not be to flamboyant with their style.
Casual dress is the best dress code for informal affairs like outdoor weddings at the beach, in the country or on the farm. Jackets are not required but blazers in all styles and patterns are welcome. A collared dress shirt, tie optional, with dress pants or chinos are the expected attire. This dress code allows gentlemen to showcase their personal style with interesting shirts, shoes and accessories. While it may be an informal affair, polo shirts, shorts and sandals are not on the menu.