Solving the Dress Code Enigma

An event invitation is a great opportunity for a girl to open up her closet and realize that she has nothing to wear. It’s true that guys can be a bit troubled when it comes to deciding what to put on when it’s necessary to consider a certain dress code, but it’s not even close to that panic which girls feel when a major event needs to be attended.

The unreachable goal when it comes to picking out the right outfit is in creating a balance between looking stylish and feeling comfortable – which seems to be impossible. If you’re not having problems with those beautiful overpriced shoes bought especially for the next big occasion, than it has to be something wrong with the final outfit – the dress is too tight, you find yourself looking sloppy, or you’re simply not pulling it off. We can encounter a problem with just about anything, right?

Where to turn now?


You should be happy to know that, since recently, comfort is in! All those maxi dresses you’re probably seeing everywhere, combined with simple flats are the most comfy and the most desirable look right now – so says Vogue, the Fashion Bible. Believe it or not, you don’t have to wear high heels that will start killing you the minute you put them on and spend the whole party adjusting the most unwearable outfit if you want to get noticed.

On the other hand, you need to be aware of the fact that you still can’t wear something unsuitable, like that dress you’ve found for $10, on a black tie event, no matter how good you look in it. A dress code like that requires certain preparation, all according to the latest trends. However, it’s important to have in mind some classics you can always lean on, if you find yourself not too enthusiastic about the current fashionable dos and don’ts. Let’s go through the possible dress code options, and see what basic pointers should be taken as a must this summer.

Black tie


Considering that these events occur strictly after 6PM, and that they’re the most formal events you can go to, you probably get the severity of the dress codes that needs to be followed through. It’s kind of a custom for women to wear floor-length gowns. If you do not own one – which is completely understandable because they are pricey – and you expect to get an invitation for this sort of event, you should definitely consider getting one for starters.

Now, it’s important to pick out a gown that’s in accordance with your body shape and your complexion. Up until recently, there was an unspoken rule about wearing red – it was considered inappropriate. But now, you can easily find a gown in red that’s highly accepted in the circles of haute couture. Basically, it comes down to picking out the right shade.

If you’re not too into taking this kind of a risk, you should go with an elegant light gown that breathes with tender femininity – you can’t go wrong with that. If you perhaps feel that’s too worn out by now, you’ll be able to find gowns which are more edgy, and that show a certain attitude and a healthy dose of originality.

Black tie optional


This type of dress code is just a bit more informal, but it still needs to be taken seriously. When you open up your closet looking for an outfit that could fit this occasion, you should be looking for a designer dress, but have in mind that it doesn’t have to be a full-length gown. Now, you have an option to wear a decent cocktail dress if you find it more comfortable or more suitable than a gown. You still need to be on your best behavior, but there’s more room to experiment and wear something that reflects your personality and style.

Creative black tie


If you have a nice budget to organize a stylish event, this is the right dress code to turn to! Your guests will be having a great opportunity to suit up and show off with their creative ideas. But, have in mind that you need to notice everyone from your guest list in time, so there’s enough room to prepare and truly be confident about their final outfits. When it comes to men, this is more than simple – all they need to do is wear a suit in a trendy color, or simply add a fun touch to a classical type of suit, like an interesting bow tie. But when it comes to women, they should really think this occasion through – a balance needs to be established between following the steps of Lady Gaga and not being your plain old boring self. It’s a good idea to go with a simplified and wearable version of something that’s a major hit on the runway at the given time. Again, there’s no need to spend your whole time in something that you’re not sure about, but don’t be afraid to have fun with this dress code.

Cocktail attire / Festive attire


We’ve all heard about that little black dress that saves the day when there’s no other solution, but it’s recommendable to be a bit more creative than this. Be completely sure that this dress is still the optimal solution, but it’s already seen a huge number of times – just imagine how much women panicked their way out and decided to wear this bullet-proof outfit. The only difference to bare in mind when it comes to dividing cocktail and festive attires is in flashiness; with cocktail dresses, you should go with a bit darker shades that seem mystique and seductive, but when it comes to festive outfits, you have the perfect opportunity to shine – literally! The festive type of attire is characterized by a full spectrum of trendy colors, so you should definitely take that chance to have fun.

Business formal / Business casual


There’s only one word that should solve all dilemmas you might have with this dress code: appropriate. Most business events occur at daytime, so there’s no room for short skirts and deep cleavage. The outfit that can’t fail you is a pantsuit – it’s simple, decent and it makes you look professional, which is definitely the impression you want to imprint among your co-workers and business partners. When it comes to more casual occasions, you should feel free to wear a knee-length pencil skirt and a colorful shirt that shows off your personality. It’s important to fill up your closet with suitable work clothes, because you should be aware how easy it is to be misunderstood and labeled as unprofessional.

Casual Dressy / Casual


As we go on, the dress code becomes easier and lighter. These two types allow you to focus on your comfort – a pair of jeans you look great in, a stylish blouse that emphasize your qualities and ankle boots in your favorite color are the way to go. Depending on the weather, you can add a jacket and a scarf to this outfit and you’re ready for a date, a lunch with girlfriends or a walk in the park.

Street style


If you find fashion something you can’t imagine your life without, looking good is probably one of your priorities. It’s really important to realize that you don’t have to be burdened with looking like a model in order to dress as trendy as one. There’s a wide spectrum of styles you can go with – or even better – leave all the options wide open and dress however you feel like! With that in mind, it’s not too bad to wear socially acceptable clothes and don’t become too extreme – it’s easier than you think to get there, so try to be moderate with a pinch of eccentricities in the form of small details, which really make the whole outfit work.

In the end…


Don’t be afraid to experiment. You can never know how something looks on you until you try it, so go to the nearest mall and try absolutely everything you see – even those tasteless prints and outdated clothes that no one really wears anymore. If you actually decide to do this, you’ll be able to get a firmer impression about your body; what makes it look great, and which parts need some extra gym work. Confidence is something that needs to be built up, and nothing does it better than clothes that fit perfectly!

Alex Filipovic
Alex Filipovic
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Alex Filipovic has been in the world of blogging for over 4 years. Her interests lie in the world of Fashion and Health, but in her career, she covered a wide range of topics – from raising awareness about environmental issues to discussing the various advances in informational technology. She strives to keep herself up to date when it comes to all her interests, the list of which is constantly growing.

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