Weddings: How to Figure out the Dress Code! Part 1

Indiana Wardrobe Stylist Wedding Guest PicksWedding Guest Dress Code as told by your Indiana Wardrobe Stylist

As a seasoned Indiana Wardrobe Stylist, I love spring, and the beginning of wedding season—a time of joyous celebration and love-filled gatherings. However, deciphering the dress code for weddings can sometimes be perplexing. This blog will provide clarity, and help you approach each invitation with confidence. You will know precisely how to interpret terms like “white tie” or
“black tie” and dress accordingly. Let’s ensure you’re impeccably attired for every matrimonial affair!

White Tie
If you’ve received an invitation to a white tie formal wedding, consider yourself honored—it’s an
event akin to a royal affair or a prestigious state dinner. This rather rare dress code demands
nothing less than your absolute finest attire, offering you the chance to revel in fine elegance for
this occasion.

Ladies, opt for a sophisticated full-length gown in a silhouette that suits your personal style, like a sleek sheath, a graceful A-line, or a glamorous ball gown. Elevate your ensemble with high heels and consider adding a touch of glamour with full-length white silk gloves. Keep your accessories understated yet opulent, opting for authentic fine jewelry to complement your look. Gentlemen, for this very formal event, a classic tuxedo with tails, a crisp white vest, shirt, and tie is non-negotiable. Complete your ensemble with polished black patent leather shoes, tasteful cufflinks, and meticulous grooming including a clean haircut—to complete your sophisticated ensemble.

Remember every part of your outfit should be formal from jewelry, shoes and purse. Ladies, do not use your typical leather handbag or dull leather ballet flats. Wear shiny, metallic, patent shoes and clutches that coordinate for your outfit. Avoid bright colors – pick sedated, muted colors.

Coat and tails here illustrate White Tie, the most formal, and unusual dress code.

Black Tie
At a black tie wedding, gentlemen will indeed don the classic black tie. Each dress code offers valuable cues for assembling the ideal ensemble tailored to the occasion. For men, a refined tuxedo paired with a white shirt and either a black tie or bowtie is the perfect choice, both exuding sophistication.

Ladies, in aligning with the refined ambiance of a black tie affair, opt for an exquisite floor-length gown in luxurious fabrics like sleek silk or opulent satin. Enhance your ensemble with accessories that radiate a timeless touch, such as pearls or diamonds. While high heels add an extra touch of glamour, don’t hesitate to opt for dressy flats if you want to prioritize comfort without compromising style.

Black Tie Optional, or Formal
Black tie, optional, and formal are actually interchangeable when you see them on an invitation. This type of elegant wedding maintains its formality, so you’re welcome to wear a tuxedo or a floor-length dress. However, you actually have a bit more freedom to dress down. Consider a dark-colored suit (but not black, ladies) or a demure cocktail dress that falls to the knee. Classy shoes and accessories are perfect for this occasion. If you’re uncertain, err on the side of dressing up rather than down for
this black tie, optional wedding.

And as always, feel free to reach out; as your wardrobe stylist, I’m happy to assist you in choosing the perfect
outfit for any occasion.

Keep it sassy, Indy.

Beth Divine, MA, AICI-CIC
Indiana Wardrobe Stylist