Dress Code Guide for Women
By Yemisi Suleiman
Getting an invitation to an event or cocktail party can be exciting, and daunting at the same time, especially when the invite includes an ever ambiguous dress code that leaves you with the task of figuring out what to wear.
This is because you don’t want to be overdressed or underdressed.
Because dress codes can be confusing, we have compiled a list of the five most common, along with a description on how to wear and style them.
1. Black Tie
Think formal attire and glamorous details. A tea- or floor-length gown is the way to go for upscale events, like formal charity galas, or awards ceremonies like the AMVCAs. Be a celebrity for the night and strut your stuff in a gorgeous satin, taffeta, or beaded number. Just remember, keep the colours rich. As for accessories, go for a dramatic necklace or dangling earrings, but never both. And an evening bag is a must. Invest in one metallic clutch that can look dressed up or down for all your parties.
An above-the-knee dress is appropriate for a cocktail theme; just don’t wear anything too revealing: keep hemlines and necklines appropriate. Cocktail attire translates to semi formal. Think elegant party dress and a great pair of heels. It’s also perfectly acceptable to splash out in dressy separates, for example a brocade cigarette pants worn with a metallic or beaded top. Whichever you choose, classy footwear is mandatory.
3. Smart casual
Jeans when worn with something chic like a blazer, finished off with a pair of heels or flats, are appropriate for a smart casual look. Remember there is such a thing as overdressing; so, avoid full-length gowns and too much glamour.
Also known as creative cocktail attire or dress-to-impress, it means to bring the razzle-dazzle. Here, you can play with bright colours, bold jewellery, and sparkly details, to show you’re ready to have a good time. Go all out with sophisticated bling and a vibrant dress, stiletto pumps, and an embellished or a glittery clutch.
5. Business Dress Code
Business attire, or work-appropriate attire, is anything you would wear to the office or an important interview. For work dinners, company parties, and networking events, gravitate towards the elegant. That means a simple skirt suit or a sheath dress. This is not the time to experiment with trendy cuts or the hot colour of the season. Even, if your office is casual, switch up your usual look with a skirt rather than pants, a blouse in place of a tank or tee shirt, and pumps over flats. In this case, it’s okay to carry your everyday bag.