The 3 Most Common Dress Codes You Should Know

We live in a world where fashion is in constant flux. Instead of one dominant style, like in the olden days, we have many concurrent ones, some on the more traditional side, others modern, disruptive, and flashy. Even in this world, though, there is a place for traditional attires. This is especially true when it comes to certain events and institutions. So, let’s look at which dress codes you should know about, even in a world with fluid fashion trends. 

Full dress (white tie) and Half dress (black tie) 

However fluid fashion trends might become, there will always be occasions when formal attire is a requirement.  

Occasions like state dinners, high-profile award ceremonies, exclusive galas or royal events routinely require full dress (white tie or white tie and tails) attire. This dress code is the most formal one in Europe. A “white tie” attire involves a morning dress (a morning coat, a waistcoat, and formal trousers) during the day, an evening tailcoat, a waistcoat, and a white tie during the evening events. 

The half-dress attire is slightly less formal – it is required at upscale weddings, premiere events, fundraisers, and similar events.  

Various levels of “casual” 

A “Casual” attire is basically the opposite of “formal”. It’s about comfort and ease, the kind of clothing for daily activities and laid-back occasions. Depending on the “level” of casual attire, it can involve anything from t-shirts and shorts to dress pants and button-down shirts. 

The different levels of casual are: 

  • Casual: This is your everyday, relaxed style. Think jeans, t-shirts, and comfortable sneakers 
  • Smart Casual: Stepping it up a notch, you’d throw in some khakis or chinos paired with a collared shirt or a stylish blouse. It’s casual with a touch of sophistication. It’s the usual dress code requirement for casinos across Europe, South Africa, India, and the US. Although it may go out of style soon, as the most popular casino games have found their way online 
  • Business Casual: A bit more polished, usually for work settings. Men might opt for dress pants and a button-down shirt, while women might choose a dress or blouse with slacks or a skirt. 
  • Casual Chic: Trendy and put-together, blending casual comfort with fashionable elements. It’s the kind of look you’d rock for a stylish brunch or a casual date. 

Business formal 

Finally, here’s one for the successful businessman: the perfect choice to make a lasting impression at meetings, presentations, and deals. Business formal is all about projecting a professional image. 

For men, business formal attire consists of a well-fitted, dark suit, preferably navy, charcoal, or black, with a crisp, light-coloured shirt, a conservative tie (preferably made of silk), and dark leather dress shoes with matching dress socks. 

The formal business attire aims to convey a sense of authority and competence. Here, attention to detail is key. 

In a world of ever-changing trends and flexible styles, these attires will likely remain unchanged for the time being. If you want to look your best on every occasion, whether a formal dinner or a night out at a casino, you’ll want to keep these in mind.