Decoding the Dress Code

Decoding the Dress Code

April 30, 2018

There's nothing quite like that pre-wedding dress code stress. Sure, the bride may be freaking out about cake toppers and signage, but guests are not excluded from any wedding day worry. 

These days, there are so many different dress codes, so many different interpretations, that it's hard to know what's right. Here's our take on the common dress codes (bookmark this one for later):

Smart Casual

Everyone loves a smart casual affair - you look great but (hopefully) don't have to purchase an entirely new outfit just for the occasion. Essentially, look nice. Put on something you feel beautiful in and add some statement earrings. Go for heels or flats, whichever suits the mood.

For the guys, stick to chinos or suit pants with an easy button-up.


Cocktail attire calls for bringing out your fun party dresses, skirt combos or jumpsuits. Pop on some heels and you're ready for the fun.

Men should lean towards a suit, but a tie is optional.

Lounge Suit

Midway between the cocktail and black tie codes sits the lounge suit. Typically, women can wear any form of formal gown (length is at your discretion, but keep in mind, this isn't the same as cocktail). 

Men can simply wear a suit with tie. 

Black Tie

For those weddings with more formality, and often a later start, a black tie code may be on the cards. Thankfully, the women have it easy. Any style of formal dress is acceptable but err on the side of a longer hem to be safe. 

Sorry, blokes, this occasion calls for a formal suit, and, very importantly, a black bow tie. Take some cues from the men on Gossip Girl. 

White Tie

If you are lucky enough to know royalty, you may find yourself at a white tie occasion. This is the most formal and strict of all the codes, so adhere closely.

For the ladies, formal gowns must be floor-length, while the men require a black double-breasted tailcoat, a white waistcoat and bow tie, and cufflinks. Top hat and pocket watch are optional.