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  • Writer's pictureLouisa Gabriel

Decoding The Dress Code For The Party Season

Do you know the difference between black tie and creative black tie dress code? What about the difference between cocktail attire and black tie optional? As we enter the party season, it's important that as a personal stylist, you understand the different dress codes so they can ensure your clients make the right impression at their Holiday parties and that they don't stand out for all the wrong reasons.

While dress codes have become more relaxed in recent years there are still many occasions where there is a specific expectation as to what a guest will wear and with many Holiday events and parties happening right now there's a good chance that your client may receive an invite with a dress code included. If you're unfamiliar with the different event and party dress codes then keep reading to find out more about the most popular dress codes so you can find the perfect look for your personal styling clients. And, if you scroll down the page you'll find a downloadable dress code guide that will make navigating the dress codes for the party season even easier.

Black Tie

Black tie is probably the easiest dress code to figure out! For men, the expectation is a classic tuxedo; for women, it's a long gown or formal cocktail dress. When you see black tie on an invite, it's time to dress to the nines so think formal glamour and red carpet ready!

Black Tie Optional

Black tie optional is probably one of the more confusing dress codes for many people. For men, they have the choice, of a tuxedo or dark suit and a tie. For women, they can wear anything from a long dress to a cocktail number. You'll not be expected to look like you're going to the Oscars, but you will need to wear formal attire. Finding the right balance is the key to creating the perfect black tie optional look.

Creative Black Tie

Creative black tie is not one of the more common dress codes, but still important to understand, and definitely something you'll see more of around the Holiday season. The clue to curating this look is in the word 'creative'. You'll still need to think formally but you can add a bit of personality or quirkiness to your client's outfit. For men, it could be a tuxedo with a hot pink bow tie, and for women, it's about adding a fun and creative twist to something formal.

Cocktail Attire

Cocktail attire is one of the most common dress codes for parties and semi-formal events. For men, the best option is a dark suit and tie, and for women, it's time to show off those legs in a shorter cocktail dress. How short can the dress be? This will depend on the event and who will be there. If it's a professional party then you don't want to go too short. Typically a cocktail dress is knee length or one that hits just above the knee.

Festive Attire

The festive attire dress code is very similar to cocktail attire with a suit and tie for men and a shorter dress for women but you'll want to add a festive twist to your client's outfit. For men, a festive twist could be a Christmas tie or maybe swapping a dark suit for something a little more colorful and festive. For women, think sparkle and shimmer, or holiday colors to add a festive twist to their cocktail attire.

Free Dress Code Guide

Don't forget to download the dress code guide to make shopping for your clients (and yourself), easier this party season!

Dress Code Guide - The Style Academy International
Free Dress Code Guide - Download Now

Happy Styling and Happy Holidays! 🥂

Louisa 💕

If you're ready to become a personal stylist or take your styling business to the next level, then we have the training and resources to help you! Click here to find out more!


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