Dress Code Etiquette means dressing for success by wearing the appropriate attire for any given occasion. This can range from a maxi dress for a picnic to a full length ball gown with evening gloves and diamonds for a White Tie event.
I like being told what to wear; it it gives me comfort to know that I am dressed appropriately and I just need to focus on the people I am going to be meeting during the event, without the added worry of whether I have underdressed or indeed overdressed.
Knowing that you have adhered to what the host desires gives you confidence that you will “fit in” and not stand out for the wrong reasons.
However, nowadays more and more occasions do not specify a Dress Code and this is when the Dress Code Etiquette becomes a little tricky.
You will need to let common sense rule and if in doubt, ask the organiser. I think a lovely touch at the end of any invite, even if by text or email, is to say a simple ‘Casual’ or ‘Smart Casual’, even if it is for a Saturday evening supper at your house.
What is deemed as appropriate attire can also be influenced by cultural, religious and regional customs. Jeans are acceptable in some churches, including my local church, whilst others only your ‘Sunday Best’ is considered respectful.
Business situations can also be influenced by whom you are seeing – a board of directors may demand a skirt suit for an interview, a media team in Soho may prefer something more edgy.
If you get it wrong, take a deep breath, walk in to the room with a big smile and lots of confidence and get on with the evening.
Dress Codes on this site: