Appearance Grooming Manners & Etiquette

Dress Code Etiquette

A simple reference of the Dress Code Etiquette

Black Tie / Formal

This is a formal event calling for formal attire. Men wear tuxedos or dark suits and women wear preferably elegant gowns, though cocktail dresses (those which are over knee length) are now acceptable. Hair must be styled and may be worn up or down. The fashion and trends of what to wear to these events are popularly influenced by celebrity style.

“Formal wear” differs from culture and city. In some countries, it is acceptable to wear traditional and ethnic clothing to a formal event.

White Tie

A white tie event is more formal than Black tie. The dress code etiquette means men wear full formal attire, with white tie, vest and shirt. Women only wear elegant gowns. Hair is worn up. These type of events are usually charity or society balls.


Cocktail dress code etiquette usually means semi-formal short or long elegant dresses for ladies and dark suits for the men. These cocktail dresses can be of varying lengths.

Read more about the different types of dress codes.

Smart Casual

This etiquette dress code varies from countries and even companies. Generally, a safe attire for a smart casual is an office attire with some added accessories – to not make it look like “office wear”. Patrons should at least wear a smart jacket and closed pumps or shoes. It is acceptable for ladies to turn up in pants. I would recommend both the men and ladies to not wear denim (and jeans) preferably, though in some cultures, it is accepted.


This means jeans, summer dresses, cotton skirts. You may wear anything from a cotton blouse to a T-shirt. Appropriate shoes are part of this etiquette dress code, though many assume flip-flops or slippers are suitable to wear with this casual dress code. That is actually inappropriate, flip-flops are only to be worn at the beach.

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