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Decoding wedding dress code: your ultimate 'how to' guide

Decoding wedding dress code: your ultimate 'how to' guide

From the fashion-fearless to the trend-benders, wedding dress code can cause angst and confusion for many a wedding guest. Included on your wedding invitation as a seemingly innocent reference, wedding dress code can be a hard nut to crack. Here we share with you some cryptic clues to help you decipher the code and get it right every time:


Good news for the guys if it's a mid-summer celebration is that no suit and tie is necessary at this nuptial celebration. However, the question remains; how casual is too casual? Acceptable attire for gents includes dress pants and a button-down shirt or polo. Sorry boys, jeans and t-shirts are still out of the question unless specifically mentioned on the invitation. For the ladies, skirts and dress pants teamed with billowing blouses, or a summery sundress would pass the wedding dress code test.

Island Wear

Also known as Formal Beach Attire, Island Wear encompasses lightweight suits in an assortment of sand-coloured hues from beige to light brown. Ties are rarely in sight. Pastels could also work, if this is your personal preference. Ladies can evoke that island feel with a maxi dress or printed kaftan.


Cocktail can sometimes be the most dangerous of all wedding dress codes to decipher, as it opens up a whole world of options for the ladies. As a rule, steering clear of formal floor-length gowns in favour of higher hemlines should do the trick. Although not too high—we recommend knee-length as your safest bet. Gentlemen require a darker shade of suit, but can get away with choosing to lose either a tie or a jacket.

Lounge Suit

More commonly known as Semi-Formal in modern-day weddings, the standout factor for this form of attire is the necessity of a suit and tie for the guys, which can be dark or light, depending on the time of day or night and the season. Ladies still enjoy a wide range of options, with similar style parameters to the Cocktail dress code.

Black Tie/Formal

Just like the name states; the lads can get away with no less than a tuxedo and a bow tie, preferably in black for these formal evening affairs. Tradition dictates that the ladies should be adorned in a floor-length gown; however shorter styles are becoming more socially acceptable for the risk-takers.

White Tie

The strictest of all wedding dress codes, White Tie indicates you will be attending an extremely formal function. Typically reserved for events held after 6pm in the evening, White Tie designates tailcoats and top hats (optional) for the gentlemen, and a ball gown that skims the ground for the ladies in the crowd.

Wedding dress code: cracked

Now you've cracked the wedding dress code, find every other detail to create a perfect wedding celebration at

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