Outfit ideas to Pretty Much Every Occasion25.05.2022
What do weddings, baptisms and networking events have in common? It can be confusing to decide what to wear. The venue, formality of the invitation, weather conditions, and what the other guests plan to wear all play a part in what you wear to these events. There are some general guidelines that you can use to guide your style. Remember that dress code rules are more like guidelines, with a few exceptions like not wearing white to weddings.
We have compiled a list of every possible event dress code. They also provide practical tips and suggestions for outfit ideas.
Baptism, Bar Mitzvah or other religious ceremony
A pretty daytime dress in a floral or petal print, or a suit with feminine accents and underpinnings is a good choice. Avoid anything low-cut, short or clingy. Bring a lightweight sweater, blazer or jacket to cover up any sleeveless pieces. Wear a cocktail dress, dressy pants, or a wrap for the reception.
Black-Tie Weddings or Charity Gala
Think tuxedos and shimmery fabrics with ornate details. Although etiquette rules have softened on the issue of length, a tea-length or floor-length dress is your best option. While a column or A-line gown is the most elegant, you can also wear a stylish, tailored, formal suit. Elevate your look now with beautiful jewelry, great shoes and a great haircut.
You can be more relaxed if the invitation says “black tie not required”. If you don’t have a long dress, a formal cocktail dress that is at least knee-length is acceptable.
Cocktail Party, Engagement Party and Most Weddings
These fancy events have a party dress code of “cocktail attire”, although they aren’t as extravagant as black-tie parties. You can’t go wrong choosing a cocktail dress, whether it is a black little black or a pastel or jewel-toned number. Mix it with separates for a more formal look.
A cocktail party can range from a high-end event for society (cue the glittery, knee-length gown from “special occasions”) to a casual gathering of friends over a plate of appetizers. Joseph Williamson, fashion stylist, says that most cocktail parties are casual and dressy. He suggests a top with special details, a skirt, tailored pants or heels, as well as fancy flats or heels. Avoid fabrics that are too casual like denim, jersey, and chino. Avoid super-short styles. Stand with your hands together to determine if the hemline is appropriate.
Another thing to remember is that every city has its own dress code. It’s not necessary to be overly concerned about it but it is important to remember. Style Auteur, a fashion consulting firm in Washington, D.C., says that Miami’s cocktail attire is as chic and elegant as New York.
Holiday Party, Dinner Party or “Festive Attire Event”
These events allow you to push the boundaries of glitz, color, and style. In essence, you can wear almost any item as long as it suits the occasion and venue. A statement necklace or earrings can make a great statement. Pair it with a brightly colored dress, a slim jumpsuit or a fun top with palazzo pants or a midi skirt. You get bonus points if you wear textured embellishments like feathers and tassels.
Outdoor, day, or more casual wedding
If you’re planning on having an outdoor wedding, choose a flowing sundress, a glamorous maxi, or a chic shift dress. While black is not prohibited, lighter shades and more vibrant patterns are often more appropriate. You should also choose shades that compliment the natural surroundings such as blues, greens and yellows. Flat soles are best for events where you will be on a lawn or at the beach.
Rothman says that day weddings are more casual and should avoid anything too beaded or sequined. Opt for a shorter, knee-length gown made from cotton. In warmer climates or areas, open-toed shoes and strapless styles are favored.
Baby Shower or Bridal Shower
Showers are best when you have a flattering, feminine, and fitted dress. You can wear flats, heels or whatever you feel most comfortable in. If it is cold outside, consider cute booties. Remember that bridal showers are similar to weddings in that white is reserved for the bride, unless the hosts or host specify otherwise. Black is not prohibited, but it should be more chic than solemn.
Barbecue, Family Get-Together or Birthday Party
You can be casual with jeans and a fun top. Add some stylish sandals, flats or sneakers for a laid-back look. You can relax with a relaxed vibe, but don’t let the yoga pants, graphic tops and worst-for-wear shoes get in your way. Take a cue form the host. If they are always dressed to impress then you should put effort into your appearance.
Take a Cruise
Good news is that most cruise lines will have a website explaining what you should pack and the specific dress codes for each cruise ship.
For a warm-weather cruise pack the same clothes you would wear on a beach vacation. If you are going on a cold-weather cruise, bring a variety of clothes that you would wear for a winter or fall getaway. You should be comfortable and at ease, but also aware that you are not alone.
There are many restaurants on cruise ships that offer a variety of dining options. These range from casual (no need to wear bathing suits, bare feet or ripped jeans), to formal and smart casual. If there is only one main dining area, the dress code can change throughout the cruise. For example, casual on the first night and formal the second night. You should bring a variety of dinner outfits for each occasion. A nice top with flats or sandals paired with a nice sundress, or a knee-length sundress is a great choice for casual dinner. For a more casual night, dress up your look with tailored pants, fine jewelry and chunky heels. For formal evenings, fancy tea-length or floor-length dresses and heels are perfect. You can dress up for formal nights if you are on a cruise that includes a black-tie meal.
Interview for a Job
It should be professional, clean, and appropriate. For job interviews, pumps and a tailored suit (pants/skirt) or simple black/navy dress are great options. These are the most common outfits for corporate companies. However, if you are job searching in a more casual industry like a startup, design company, or magazine, you can be more creative. It can be distracting to appear too trendy or casual. Avoid jingly or distracting jewelry and avoid wearing denim, even if your prospective employer has a casual dress code. You should always dress up more than the people working there.
Don’t stress about what you should wear to graduation events. It is nice and neat, but not too formal. Don’t wear anything that you will regret wearing at graduation or at a celebration lunch with your grandparents. An elegant option for the occasion is a knee-length floral, white or colorful dress. To move smoothly across the stage, you can wear flats, wedges or sandals as well as comfortable heels.
Follow similar guidelines for someone else’s graduation. Wear chic, cropped trousers with a top or a patterned skirt. A cheerful sundress with good fabric is also a great choice. Long grad ceremonies are common in the summer, especially when many graduations take place outdoors. To keep from getting too hot, you might feel uncomfortable in long sleeves and pants. Instead, wear a light-weight A-line or breezy skirt. You may need to be moved to an auditorium or gym that is air-conditioned if it rains. Bring a sweater or wrap to keep you from freezing.
Business Dinner, Work Party or Networking Event
Polished is one word that will give you direction. The culture of your workplace should dictate how you dress for work functions. Williamson states, “If you work in a conservative environment dress appropriately for events.”
Take a step above what you would wear to work. You can wear a beautiful blouse or necklace with your suit or a skirt and heels in place of flats and pants. While you know the company dress code, it is best to stick to it, especially when you are interacting with clients or your boss. It’s okay to wear comfortable clothing for casual events such as the charity 3K run or company picnic. You can skip any provocative or revealing clothing (super-revealing tank tops or ripped jeans shorts or T-shirts that have graphic or messaging that raises eyebrows) and just wear comfortable clothes.
Funeral or wake
A pantsuit, knee-length dress and a jacket are good options for funeral attire. Simple studs or a simple pendant necklace are fine jewelry. It’s not the right time to be flashy or trendy. Keep it simple, respectful, and modest, unless told otherwise.
Black is a good choice of color but it’s not a must. Leah Ingram, an etiquette expert, says that the most important thing is to convey the solemnity and elegance of the event. She suggests toned-down clothes in dark neutrals like brown, forest green, or navy. Also, dark and discrete patterns can be acceptable.