the formal dress lingo

We very often hear the terms “formal” and “semi-formal” when talking about dress code, but for many people there is uncertainty as to the difference. Formal dress is required for certain occasions and even formal has its own variations, which we will go into in this article. 


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Formal – White Tie Occasion

If you are invited to attend a white tie event, this is the highest degree of formal wear there is. Galas, charity balls and some weddings are strictly white tie events, which means the man must wear a tuxedo with a white (or black) bow tie.

For the ladies, this means wearing a floor length ball gown and pump shoes or stilettos, along with fine costume jewellery for accessories.

Formal – Black Tie Occasion

This is what we call semi-formal, as it does give the guest some options and with gorgeous 2019 prom dresses from Peaches Boutique, the prom is a fine example of a semi-formal social occasion. If you are wearing a floor-length gown, keep the accessories to a minimum and of course, high heels are a must.

For such an event, a knee length dress is perfectly acceptable and footwear should be in black patent leather or a similar material. Party-like dresses are fine, as long as you avoid anything too loud.

Semi-Formal Cocktail Wear

black dress

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From cocktail parties to corporate events, the semi-formal event is very similar to a formal black tie occasion. For the ladies, anything from a black dress to fancy separates are fine for such an occasion, and one can get away with wearing flat shoes, should you prefer that style.

Ask the Host

If you have been invited to a social event and are unsure of the dress code, you can always ask the host, who would much rather you ask than turn up unsuitably attired. Once you know whether it is a formal or semi-formal occasion, you can plan your outfit accordingly.

If you buy your dress online, there are many retailers with extensive catalogues of both formal and semi-formal dresses, and all at affordable prices. Online boutiques would not have the huge running costs like the traditional bricks and mortar boutique and they do not have to hire sales staff either, so most online boutiques will be cheaper than their traditional counterparts.

Famous designers from all over the world are represented by online boutiques and if you are going to the prom, for example, there would be little chance anyone would wear an identical outfit, as you would have sourced it online.

femmeluxe lbd christmas outfit

Plus size special occasion dresses are getting easier to find nowadays. In the store Blue Bungalow for example you can find a range of cocktail dresses and gowns with the latest patterns and trendy fabrics such as sequins, jacquard, lace or velvet.

If the event is formal, then certain rules must be followed, whereas a semi-formal event gives you more choices and you can move away from the traditional tuxedo and ball gown.

Whatever the occasion, you will certainly need a new outfit and with a firm design in mind, you can browse the online boutiques looking for that perfect dress.