Etiquette Rules for a Formal Dress Code

Written by tamiya king
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Etiquette Rules for a Formal Dress Code
When attending a formal event, it's important to know how to dress appropriately (tux black tie shirt groom greens vest formal wear image by Paul Retherford from

If you've been invited to a dinner, wedding, or other formal occasion, it's best to brush up on the social rules governing this type of event. Part of formal etiquette includes knowing how to dress--keeping a few guidelines in mind will help you to look your best.

Attire for Men

Men are expected to wear a black suit or tuxedo to a formal event, although it is also acceptable to wear a suit that is navy blue. Either a single or double-breasted jacket is appropriate, and the most formal suits are those without vents. A cummerbund is also included in formal wear for men, and should be in the same material as the facings of the suit jacket, which is usually silk. A white shirt and black silk bow tie are required to complete the look of the suit. Black, patent leather shoes are most appropriate, but oxfords that have been polished well are also acceptable.

Attire for Women

Women should wear dresses that touch the floor to a formal event. The material of the dress should be elegant and flowing; silk is usually a good choice, but dresses made from velvet are also appropriate for fall and winter events. It is best for the dress not to be extremely tight or form fitting, but the attire should be tailored appropriately. Dresses that show a considerable amount of the back or cleavage may not be ideal for corporate formal events. Black is often the colour of choice for formal dresses, as it is classic and looks good on any skin tone. However, it is also acceptable for women to wear formal dresses in metallic colours, such as silver or bronze.

Attire for Children

Formal attire for children is somewhat the same as for men and women, but on a smaller scale. Little boys can wear tuxedos with all the features of an adult man's formal outfit, including the bow tie and cummerbund. Black patent leather shoes should also be worn with the tuxedo. Little girls' formal dresses do not have to reach the floor; the dress can come to the ankles. Satin or lace can be used for the skirt of the dress, and the dress does not have to have sleeves, but shouldn't be backless. It is also appropriate for little girls to wear satin gloves with their dress. White or black patent leather shoes are appropriate for girls depending on the colour of the dress--black shoes are best for dresses in dark colours.

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