How to dress semi-formal for teens

Written by maggie hira
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How to dress semi-formal for teens
A cute summer dress is perfect for a warm-weather semi-formal event. (fancy dress image by nutech21 from

A semi-formal dress code falls between informal and formal types of dress. An informal dress code refers to jeans and T-shirts, while a formal dress code refers to elegant gowns and tuxedos. A semi-formal dress code is more lenient when it comes to requiring gowns and suits, but still strict when it comes to prohibiting jeans and sneakers. For teens, the rules can be bent to a certain degree, but they still need to be followed.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Dinner jacket
  • Knee-length dress
  • A-line skirt
  • Elegant blouse
  • Dress shoes
  • Trousers or khaki trousers

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  1. 1

    Wear a simple, pretty knee-length dress. Teen girls don't need to wear formal, floor-length gowns to a semi-formal event. They can get away with a cute summer dress with matching high heels or embellished flats. Another option is to wear an elegant, flowing blouse with a fitted, A-line skirt.

  2. 2

    Accessorise with a clutch bag and charming jewellery. Teen girls can skip the dowdy diamonds and pearls in favour of more youthful jewellery such as chunky bangles or butterfly earrings. Whimsical jewels and a colourful clutch bag are perfect for a semi-formal occasion.

  3. 3

    Wear a dinner jacket with nicely tailored slacks or trousers. Teen boys don't have to wear a tuxedo or even a suit and tie to a semi-formal event. However, they should avoid wearing denim, tracksuits or anything else that can be considered lounge wear. A dinner jacket over a crisp white shirt with some nice trousers is a great option for a semi-formal party.

  4. 4

    Always wear dress shoes. Even at a semi-formal event, sneakers or sandals are not acceptable for teen boys. Thus, teen boys should wear dark-coloured dress shoes to any semi-formal celebration.

  5. 5

    Wear a clean, fitted polo shirt with khaki trousers and dress shoes. This is a semi-formal outfit that is perfect for teen boys. It's not too formal, but is still a presentable look. It's also a great option for teen boys who don't like to dress up in a jacket and tie.

Tips and warnings

  • Keep the accessories to a minimum. A semi-formal event calls for low-key apparel and jewellery.
  • Avoid denim at all costs. Jeans and other denim clothes are too informal.

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