Strictly Formal- Black tie:
This is the most formal and clearest dress code of them all. “Black Tie” simply means men must don tuxedos (Shawl lapel). When men’s formal attire is worn knowledgeable, it appears as a foil to an accompanying woman’s bright dress. Even though the gentlemen are limited to black and other muted, dark tones at the formal event, the prepared man will stand out if he carefully considers the important details in the evening dress.
Tip: Team it up with oxford shoes and solid color pocket square.
2)Elegant/Formal Attire/Lounge suit:
A step down in formality. “Elegant Attire” means gentlemen can wear a tuxedo if they would like, but it’s not required; men will most likely opt to wear a nice suit and tie. My suggestion is to go with a Peaked lapel suit jacket. Whether it’s a double-breasted suit or not, you’ll stand out from the crowd!
Tip: If you are a shorter guy looking to gain a few virtual inches, give this lapel a try. Similar to the effect of wearing a slim suit, a peaked lapel will induce a lengthening effect by moving the eyes upward towards the shoulders. Larger guys may also employ this technique to lose a few virtual pounds by appearing taller. Wear a dark suit and the effect is amplified. The suit will go well with monk strap shoes or bluchers which add to the elegant look.
3) Cocktail Chic: Men should dress in nice suit pants and dress shirts. White linen or seersucker suit is what I suggest. Notched lapel jacket suits are best for such occasions. They are stylish & most versatile. Ties are optional. Add some flair with a pocket square and cufflinks.
Tip: Wear loafers or moccasins if your priority is comfort, else derby shoes make you look more graceful.
4)Festive Attire: This means that guests should have fun and dress according to the theme of the invite. A little sparklier than usual, you are expected to wear bright color clothes that make a big statement because it’s going to be a playful event.
5)Come as you are: This simply means: wear whatever you want. This can range from slacks, a button down shirt, sweater(depending on the weather) and loafers, to jeans, a t-shirt and sneakers.
Invitations without Dress Codes
So what do you do if you receive an invitation that doesn’t list a dress code?
Don’t be embarrassed to ask your host. Send an e-mails or text message saying “how dressed up do you want people at the event?”
If you don’t feel comfortable doing that, ask other attendees.
Tip :Consider wearing clothing that can be dressed up or dressed down. If overdressed in a suit and tie, the ensemble is easily converted to semi-formal with the removal of the tie and opening of the shirt.
If underdressed, there surely will not be another properly fitted jacket freely available. This is why it is better to overdress than “underdress”, so err on the side of preparedness.