Weather you are planning a wedding or attending as a guest, it is important to know what to wear to a.. {fill in the blank} wedding.  What should a woman wear to a black tie wedding?  Can I wear flip-flops to a casual wedding?  It can be puzzling sorting through the various attires for both the gentlemen and the ladies.  So I’ve rounded up the most common wedding attires for you to plan accordingly and be rest assured wedding guests will look the part on that special day!

The invitation says.. White Tie

This is the most formal of all wedding dress codes (think state dinners and the Oscars).
WHAT HE WEARS: A tuxedo, a long black jacket, a white pique vest, black formal shoes and a bow-tie.  Or Southern style with a white jacket, white button down shirt, black bow-tie, black formal pants and shoes.
WHAT SHE WEARS: A formal, full-length ball gown in in a rich color or black.  Glamorous makeup and dramatic jewelry and hair are appropriate.

The invitation says.. Black Tie

This is the next most formal wedding dress code and usually means the wedding is an evening affair.
WHAT HE WEARS:  A tuxedo.  A black bow-tie, cummerbund, and patent leather shoes are also suggested.
WHAT SHE WEARS:  A chic cocktail dress or a long evening gown in a dark, neutral color like navy or black.  The appropriate dress length can be determined by the bride.  Stunning jewelry and coiffed hair.

The invitation says.. Formal or Black Tie Optional

The wording here suggests something slightly less formal than black tie.  This means that a tuxedo isn’
t required but the event is still formal enough for one to be appropriate.
WHAT HE WEARS:  A tuxedo or a formal dark suit and tie.  You can even get away with a light suit at a summer wedding.
WHAT SHE WEARS:  A long dress or a formal cocktail-length dress in a dark rich color.

The invitation says.. Beach Formal

This suggests an elegant beach wedding — so don’t wear any old sundress – dress to impress, but also dress for the elements (sun, sand, wind and water). Anything you’d wear to a nice restaurant on a summer day is appropriate.
WHAT HE WEARS:  A summer seersucker or linen suit with a shirt (no ties required), linen pants or khakis, and sandals.
WHAT SHE WEARS:  A formal summer sundress at tea- or knee-length with flat sandals or wedges.  Makeup and hair can be natural and everyday.  And for cooler weather bring a pashmina to wrap yourself and keep warm.

The invitation says.. Semiformal or Dressy Casual

This one can be tough to decode depending on the time and location of the event, however, quite simply you’ll want to dress somewhere between formal and casual (hence SEMIformal).  Wear darker, more formal hues for an evening fete; opt for light colors and fabrics for a daytime wedding.
WHAT HE WEARS:  A suit and tie, dark or light depending on the season and time of day.
WHAT SHE WEARS:  A cocktail dress or a dressy skirt and top.  Usually lighter shades or a day wedding and darker shades for an evening wedding.

The invitation says.. Casual

It is good to assume business casual for this type of wedding, it doesn’t mean tank tops, jeans and flipflops (unless specifically noted).
WHAT HE WEARS:  Dress pants with a button-down shirt or polo.
WHAT SHE WEARS:  A floral summer sundress or a skirt or pants with a nice blouse.  Makeup and hair can be natural and everyday.


WHITE TIE.. He wears Brooks Brothers or Armani  //  She wears Dsquared or Zuhaiir Murad
BLACK TIE.. He wears Armani  //  She wears David Meister or Monique Lhuillier
FORMAL or BLACK TIE OPTIONAL.. He wears Armani  //  She wears Badgley Mischka
BEACH FORMAL.. He wears J.Crew or Dessy  //  She wears Shoshanna
SEMIFORMAL or DRESSY CASUAL..  He wears Paul Smith  //  She wears Adrianna Papell
CASUAL.. He wears Nordstrom  //  She wears Opening Ceremony or MSGM