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The Most Common Dress Codes

Dress Code Definitions


Etiquette Advice, Questions Answered

wearing to a golf club or country club.  This could include good quality shorts, button and polo shirts, short skirts, sandals, and newish sneakers—no flip-flops, tank tops, t-shirts, or too much skin.


Evening Resort Attire

Very similar to what we would feel comfortable wearing to a country club in the evening.  Slacks and a nice shirt (jacket optional) for men and a dress or nice separates are perfect for women--no sneakers, flip-flops, t-shirts, or shorts.  


Cocktail Attire

Usually this is the basic black dress and a suit for a man.  For warmer weather, just think of that dress in lighter fabrics and you are on your way.  


Formal Attire

Long gowns or short dresses in quality material, or a dressy pant suit  is perfect for the ladies.  Men can wear a dinner jacket and nice slacks or a dark suit. After 6 pm, men should wear a tux.


Black Tie

Quite formal, yet similar to formal. Long gowns in satin or velvet, beaded or sequined separates for the ladies.  Men would wear a tux.


Black Tie Optional

This mean that men have the option of wearing the tux.  A black suit is perfect.  Women should dress the same as for the formal evening.


White Tie

Very formal attire is required for this type of event.  Men should wear a long black dinner jacket with tails, white vest with white bow tie. Women should wear a long, very formal evening gown.  

She should wear gloves with strapless gowns.


Ballet and Opera

Although there is no official dress code for guests, it is polite to dress up.

Opening night can be very dressy.  It a city such as New York, many will dress formal.  In most other parts of the country cocktail attire is best.


The typical event would call for dressy business attire, although you may see those dressed in blue jeans.  


You may hear of or be asked to participate in an event which requires a strange new dress code, such as 'Texas Formal'.  These types of codes are so confusing because they do not exist. Hopefully we can decode them close enough so you will feel comfortable in your clothes.  






Dressy Casual

Slacks with a nice top (for either gender), knee-length skirt with a quality top or a dress that you would wear to a restaurant is fine. Shorts may be fine in certain situations, but these should not be too short or cut-offs—no

t-shirts or flip-flops.


Resort Attire

This means good quality summer attire that you would feel comfortable

Etiquette Advice by Etiquette Expert Rebecca Black, The Polite One


New dress codes arrive daily.  Not many understand them because they are new.  Most, though, are descriptive and we can decode them.  Below are the most common dress codes.  Hopefully you can decode that new dress code through these.  If not, contact us.

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