Finding the right thing to wear to a wedding can be difficult! You want to wear something that conveys how excited you are for the newlyweds, and keeps you blended in with the proper dress code they’re asking. If you’re unsure what to wear, we’re breaking down some of the most common wedding dress codes:
A casual dress code is common for daytime weddings, and while the name is “casual,” there are still rules: don’t show up in jeans, shorts, tank tops, or other overly casual options. If you’re not sure where to start, typically women wear sundresses and men wear collared shirts and khakis. You want to wear something that’s not quite formal, but still nice—like something you’d wear to a nice lunch with friends.
Cocktail or Semi-Formal
A step up from casual, but not quite formal, this dress code is an extremely common choice for couples. For women, you’ll want something nicer than a sundress, but not full-on formal: think midi dresses, jumpsuits, short cocktail dresses, and other nice but not red-carpet formal looks. For men, slacks, dress shirts, and (optionally) ties are perfectly appropriate.
Black Tie Optional
One of the most confusing dress codes, black tie optional falls between semi-formal and black tie, making it a tough dress code to navigate. For men, tuxedos are encouraged, but optional—you can absolutely wear a dark suit to this wedding and be well within the dress code. For women, longer dresses are acceptable, as well as dressy cocktail attire.
Black tie is the most formal dress code, and is typically reserved for evening weddings. If you’re attending a black tie wedding, women should wear floor-length dresses or formal pantsuits to fit the expected dress. Men should wear tuxedos, as this is the defining feature of black tie.