Dress code: How to dress appropriately for any occasion?
When it comes to the way we dress, we all have our own unique tastes and preferences; we have favorite outfits, feel comfortable in certain shoes, and believe that specific items of clothing and accessories give us the confidence we need to face the day.
That said, there are some social guidelines that bound us in a way, for there’s a dress code for every place and occasion. In this article, we go over some of the common occasions and how to dress appropriately to attend them.
Dressing up for weddings can be one of the most stressful dressing occasions – we know there will be pictures, and probably even a video recording. The way we look at a wedding is going to be documented forever, which poses a little bit of stress. If the invitation doesn’t specify a certain dress code (since they can range from resort to formal), make use of the time and place as a guide.
Is it a daytime beach wedding? Go for resort semi-formal – for women, a sundress with a wrap to cover the shoulders and sandals should do. Men should go for nice slacks, a polo shirt or button down shirt, and a lightweight jacket, the tie is optional.
On the other hand, a courtyard wedding needs a dressier look; for women, a nice dress, skirt, or pantsuit are your best options. Men are advised to wear slacks, a button-front shirt, a jacket, and a tie that can be removed later.
Daytime church weddings, however, mean a knee-length or tea-length dress for women, and a suit or nice pants, shirt, tie, and the coordinating jacket for men.
Finally, an evening wedding is always considered a formal occasion, and the invitation should identify the dress code. To avoid being overdressed, call someone from the bridal party and inquire if you are expected to show up in formal or semi-formal attire.
Religious occasions have a bad rap of calling for old, stuffy outfits, which is no longer the case. As you choose your outfit (and those of your family) to go a baptism or church, honor the occasion with bright daytime suits for men, designer communion dresses for girls, and tasteful attires for you that are not too short or low cut. A nice pantsuit, skirt and top or dress will do, and don’t ignore colors, for they will add a flare without looking too flashy.
These can be very different for men and women, given the nature of office politics in most workplaces. When going to a job interview, men should opt for a suit in a solid color like navy, black, or dark gray, paired with a long sleeved shirt that is white or color coordinated with the suit. Necessary accessories include a leather-look belt, a tie, dark socks, and conservative leather-look shoes.
Women, on the other hand, should decide first on whether they will go for a suit or a dress or skirt. A suit should be in solid navy, black, or dark gray, accessorized just the way men would. If a dress or skirt is the choice, the length should be kept just below or above the knee, and the skirt should naturally be coordinated with the blouse. Conservative shoes and limited jewelry if at all (this means no dangling earrings or excessive bracelets) are also a must.
As you get ready to go to work, you are not likely to slip your feet into colorful flip flops – those are reserved for casual trips to the supermarket, or days on the beach. Similarly, you don’t go to church in hot shorts and a crop top, and you most certainly won’t wear a cocktail dress as you take your vehicle to the car wash. While we all value our own individual sense of style, using the guidelines above for certain occasions is best to avoid feeling odd or out of place.