Attire Guide: Dress Codes from Casual to White Tie

Black tie, white tie; formal, semi-formal. Festive! Casual! Hitting the right note with attire can be confusing. Here are the details of how to dress appropriately for any occasion:

Casual

Casual dress code refers to clothing that is informal and comfortable, yet clean and professional. It’s best to go with nicer casual wear and avoid the baggier items you wear around the house.

Women

  • Sundress
  • Long or short skirt
  • Khakis or nice jeans
  • Shorts (depending on occasion and climate)
  • Plain T-shirt (no slogans), polo shirt, turtleneck
  • Casual button-down blouse

Men

  • Khakis or good jeans (clean, no holes)
  • Cargo or Bermuda shorts—depending on occasion and climate
  • Plain T-shirt (no slogans), polo shirt, turtleneck
  • Casual button-down shirt and/or sweater
  • Loafers, sneakers (with or without socks), sandals

Dressy Casual

A dressy casual dress code is a versatile balance between formal and casual. This is the ideal choice for networking (or socializing) after work, fundraisers, or dinner at a nice restaurant.

Women

  • Dress
  • Skirt and dressy top
  • Dressy pants outfit
  • Nice jeans and dressy top

Men

  • Seasonal sport coat or blazer, and slacks
  • Dress shirt, casual button-down shirt, open-collar or polo shirt
  • Optional tie

Semi-formal

Semi formal attire- cocktail dress and button down shirt

A semi-formal dress code is best described as being more formal than what you would wear to an office, but slightly less formal than what you would wear to a formal event. Do keep in mind that if the event is later than 6 in the evening, you’ll want to err on the side of formality.

Women

  • Short afternoon or cocktail dress
  • A “little black dress”
  • Long dressy skirt and top
  • Dressy separates

Men

  • Dark, business suit
  • Matching vest (optional)
  • Dress shirt
  • Tie
  • Leather dress shoes and dark dress socks