Decoding Dress Codes

This topic needs no introduction, right? Cryptic dress code descriptions are enough to send even the most fashionable fashionistas into a tizzy and diving head first into a tub of ice cream. Well, not quite, but trying to figure out confusing descriptions can eat substantially into your precious personal time. So we’ve carefully crafted this incredibly-easy-to-follow guide which should help to clear your schedule a little… perhaps leaving time for more ice- cream shopping?


White tie

The most formal of events. Think the Oscar awards ceremonies during the 1930s. Men should wear a tuxedo, with a white bow tie, and women should wear floor length gown, often with gloves, with hair usually being worn up.

Black tie

This is one notch down in formality. Imagine what you’d wear to a very, very swanky dinner. For men, this means a suit and black bow tie, while for women, this means a chic, floor- length dress and some killer heels.

Lounge Suit

What you’d wear to a particularly glamorous party. Any length between just above your knee and the floor is considered appropriate (but the slightly dressed- down code means you can afford to show a little more skin- think a dramatic backless ensemble). Men should wear a suit and tie, taking care to match up part of their outfit with yours (usually a tie in a similar colour).


What you’d wear to a friend’s party. A dress just on or above the knee is appropriate, and for guys a suit with or without the tie.

Smart Casual

Try to imagine what you’d wear if you were about to go shopping at any particularly high- end store, and wanted to give the impression that you do those sorts of glamorous things every second day. They key is to take classic basics (e.g. black pumps, a black blazer and white shirt), add a hint of pure fashion (e.g. a feathered skirt), and remember to aim for a polished look. No experimental makeup or orange fake tans, please!

Example of Smart Casual Womens Attire

Now you’re not only guaranteed to rock up in absolutely appropriate attire, but there’s a good chance your Haagen Daas  will last quite a while longer!