Different Types of Dress Codes You Should Know

dress codes

Are you trying to achieve a specific wedding aesthetic? Discover some of the different dress codes to choose from and help your guest dress for the occasion.

Achieve your desired wedding aesthetic with a guest dress code. Dress codes ensure that your guests will appear wearing appropriate attire and help make your wedding look aesthetically pleasing in photos and videos. There are numerous dress codes to explore, offering you plenty of opportunities to find one that best suits your style. However, it can be a little overwhelming to find a dress code that suits you since there seem to be so many out there. Whether you want to host a lavish event or a cozy, intimate one, this guide on the different types of dress codes you should know will help you find the perfect match to make your big day all the more special.

White Tie

Historically, people implemented white tie dress codes in events featuring those with high social statuses and royalty. White tie attire is at the top of formality even compared to black tie attire. White tie means full evening dress, requiring guests to wear full-length gowns and long-tailed suit coats. Other white tie staples and requirements include white ties on suits, cuff links, and aristocratic accessories, such as gloves, white lapel flowers, top hats, and derby-style hats. Modest coverings and low-heeled pumps, flats, or leather evening shoes also fit this dress code.


Moving down the scale of formality, you have cocktail attire. This dress code can be a little more confusing to many people. However, you can find guides to dressing for a cocktail party that outline the dos and don’ts. An easy way to think about cocktail dress is to imagine what you would wear to an upscale bar or restaurant serving fancy cocktails. Another great way to ascertain what the cocktail dress code means is to figure out what you can’t wear. Some clothing pieces not on the cocktail dress code include jeans, shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, flip flops, sandals, athletic wear, leggings, and anything overly revealing. 

Destination Appropriate

Destination-appropriate dress codes refer to attire that matches the wedding’s location and environmental conditions. If your wedding takes place in a tropical area, you may want to have your guests dress in tropical attire, such as floral clothing, loose dresses or tops, open-toed heels, wedges, and mid-length or knee-high pants. Similarly, guests would wear shorter dresses or flowy maxis, sandals, boat shoes, and colored outfits that match the ocean or coral for a beach wedding.

dress codes


Opting for a themed wedding allows guests to get creative and have more fun picking outfits. Themed weddings also add a personal touch to your big day, highlighting specific memories, shared interests between you and your partner, and fandoms you love. Therefore, they can center around anything from specific decades to favorite films and novels.  

Deciding on a dress code can be a creative process that depends on the aesthetic ambiance you wish to emanate at your wedding. Don’t forget that dress codes can also mean a set color requirement. If you’ve put effort into selecting a specific color scheme, let your guests know. Matching your color scheme with their outfits creates a more cohesive and pleasing look. Now that you’ve discovered some of the different types of dress codes you should know, you can have a little more fun planning and fulfilling your dream wedding desires.

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