My Mother always said buy once, buy well and wear often. Semi-formal or cocktail attire doesn't just mean a little black dress. What Is Informal Attire? An ultra-formal tuxedo shirt front is called a dickie or dickey. Precious and semi-precious stones could add sparkle, but a wide necklace covered in diamonds would probably be too showy.
Semi-formal dress is typically conservative, so the color of the suit, shirt, and tie should be muted. For most occasions, the suit should be dark; black or dark blue are often the best options, although a lighter color would be acceptable for a daytime event. The shirt should typically be white, and neckties should also be conservative, with a subtle pattern and in colors that coordinate with the suit. Dark trouser socks and dress shoes like Oxfords should be worn.
Sports coats, novelty ties, polo shirts, and khaki pants are not appropriate at any semi-formal event, nor are jeans or shorts. For women, a relatively wide variety of clothing can be considered semi-formal attire. According to some strict definitions, a woman should always wear a dress to a semi-formal event, although other etiquette experts suggest that a dressy pantsuit or dress suit would also be appropriate.
Preferred fabrics include silk , velvet , cashmere, or high quality polyester brocades; usually, anything silky-looking can be a good option.
Except for cashmere, a wool business suit is not considered semi-formal attire since it is typically not dressy enough. As with men's clothing, women's outfits for a semi-formal event should be relatively conservative, and avoid showing too much leg or cleavage. Hem lengths vary, but dresses or skirts should end no more than 1 inch 2.
Longer skirts paired with a dressy top can be appropriate, but a floor-length gown might be too formal for most events. Tops should not be cut too low or be too revealing. Strapless tops or dresses can be acceptable choices for some semi-formal events provided that they aren't too skimpy, but should be avoided at business functions.
Pantsuits can work as semi-formal attire, if they are made in silk , polyester, cashmere, or a similar fabric and accessorized appropriately. A woman might also wear a dressy top and tuxedo pants made out of appropriate fabrics and still fit in. Jeans, shorts, very short skirts, and other casual clothing items should not be worn to a semi-formal event. Generally, semi-formal attire means dress heels for women, usually in colors coordinating with the outfit. A dressy flat or strappy sandal could also be appropriate, depending on the style; a metallic or shiny patent leather shoe is often a good choice.
Flip flops or other casual shoes are not dressy enough for this look. A range of jewelry is also acceptable for a semi-formal outfit, with bracelets, rings, and necklaces all adding to the elegance of a dress. Materials should coordinate with the outfit; silver, gold, and other metallics would fit with nearly any semi-formal attire, but jewelry made of plastic, wood, or cord would probably seem too casual in most cases.
Precious and semi-precious stones could add sparkle, but a wide necklace covered in diamonds would probably be too showy. Very strict dress codes are less common in most levels of society than they were a few decades ago, and the definition of semi-formal attire has become far less stringent than it once was.
Although this means that people have more choices when it comes to dressing for events, it also means that the lines between formal, semi-formal, business semi-formal, cocktail, and other degrees of formality have become confused. In some cases, the host of an event might not be entirely clear on what "semi-formal" really means.
When dressing in semi-formal attire, a person should consider the nature of the event. Clothing for a daytime event is typically slightly more relaxed than for an evening party, while a semi-formal business dinner usually requires a different look than a holiday cocktail party. If in doubt, individuals should take the time of the event and the type of people who will be there into account; a phone call to the host or hostess can also help better define the dress code. For a daytime wedding, semi-formal attire means a light colored suit for a man and a knee-length dress, dress suit, or pantsuit for a woman.
Darker colors and very rich fabrics should generally be avoided as they can seem too formal for the daytime; they would be appropriate for an evening wedding, however. Other semi-formal evening wedding attire could include a dark suit for a man and little black dress or dressy top and skirt for a woman. A semi-formal business event doesn't necessarily mean a lot of variation for men, but women's clothing should be more business-like.
A dressy suit is usually more appropriate than a cocktail dress, unless the dress includes a jacket. Sleeveless and strapless tops are usually considered inappropriate business attire and should be avoided; in general, clothing should be on the more conservative side. Cocktail and holiday parties generally allow for a wider range of clothing choices for both men and women, although these options should not stray too far outside of the traditional semi-formal definition.
There is more room for creativity for men, with a wider range of tie or vest choices still being appropriate; a red or green tie could be worn to a holiday party, for example. For women, the best choice is usually a slightly shorter cocktail dress rather than a long skirt or dress suit.
Jewelry also might be a little flashier, in keeping with a slightly more relaxed mood. I was invited to a semi-formal affair, and did not know what to wear. I searched it and found you, wiseGeek.
You have made my day, and now I can rest for shopping tomorrow. Thanks very much for the way you advertise your site in searches. Also, thanks for the awesome information. You saved my day. Also, a collared shirt with a suit jacket with black pants and any formal shoe color? Calling a suit semi-formal, regardless, causes confusion, because you have to shift around the whole dress code. As far as I'm aware, semi-formal still means exclusively black tie in the evening.
Of course, I am of the opinion that the tuxedo and white tie both were perfected when they were, and any deviation from those rules of formal and semi-formal attire fails to improve the outfit, but only makes it different and usually worse. A suit is informal because falls outside the "form" of formal and semi-formal attire.
It isn't informal in the sense of something one might wear to a casual event, but is informal in the sense that if you put on a suit and walk into a room full of men dressed in black-tie, you will certainly feel like you were in less formal attire. The whole point of formal attire is to elevate the occasion. It formalizes whatever ceremonial work is to be done, if it is ceremonial, and shows respect to the purpose of the evening if it is not ceremonial. Be clean, polished, smell wonderful and smile.
Provided your manner and manners are gracious and you behave with elegance, people will forgive whatever you choose to wear, provided it fits you, suits you and your personality and is clean. We wear our clothes; don't let them wear you.
My Mother always said buy once, buy well and wear often. That way, you'll always have something to wear anywhere. Show respect and stop worrying. An ultra-formal tuxedo shirt front is called a dickie or dickey. Men wore frilly lace dickeys on their tuxedo shirts in the 70s, but the style of dickie in The Three Stooges have been around since at least the late 's.
This style completely replaces a shirt, and makes formal wear a shirtless affair. They are held in place by a tab at the end that is supposed to hook to the inside waistband of one's slacks. The top of the dickey has a small strap that goes around the neck fastening at the back. The front top of the dickey has a hole for a stud to attach to a equally stiff white collar When the rigid shirtfront is not held properly in place, depending on the brand, it will either roll up to the throat like a window shade as mocked in the Three Stooges , or lift up across the wearer's face, sometimes with a smack!
The white collar may also detach and "pop" apart from the neck. Though you may wonder why a man would wear an article of clothing that could become embarrassing very quickly, to this day a starched dickey is seen as a symbol of status, class, wealth, sophistication, and an icon of ultra conservative "old boy" clubs and banquets. I am referring to what I saw in a Three Stooges episode, where the shirt front kept rolling up like a window shade.
It looks like a real shirt, but it's fake. Was there such a thing and if so, what's it called. Or was this just a "Stooge" shirt? If you're more comfortable in pants, try the same blouse or sweater with a slim, ankle-length trouser in a dark color and high heels.
Choosing pieces that balance proportions on your particular figure will fit and flatter from every angle. The fit-and-flare silhouette is a flattering style option for any shape.
It is fitted on top with seaming or a belt at the natural waist, and an A-line skirt to create that hourglass look. Try a short cocktail dress in this silhouette or do a fitted blouse on top with an A-line skirt. Balance top-heavy proportions with a high neckline and voluminous skirt or wide-leg pant. A wide boat- or V-neckline on top helps balance pear shapes, so try a classic wrap dress with a sparkling necklace and heels.
Occasions like holiday parties, corporate events and weddings often have a semi-formal dress code. Whether you wear a dress or separates, accessories like jewelry, a clutch handbag and shoes add polish to your look. If you are attending a semi-formal daytime event, choose lighter colors and keep jewelry more minimal.
You can still wear those black dress pants, just pair them with a nude pump and pastel chiffon blouse to lighten your look.
Flatter a fuller figure with a straight-leg pant and heels to create a long, lean leg line. In lieu of high heels, statement jewelry and a metallic clutch bag dress up your look. Extreme weather can require some tweaks to your semi-formal attire. Keep cool for outdoor summer events with light yet elegant fabrics like chiffon, organza and lace.
Going sleeveless or even strapless is an option, just make sure the neckline is well-fitted if you're top heavy.
Attending a semi-formal or cocktail event used to mean dresses only for ladies. Nowadays sleek separates like dress pants and skirts can also be appropriate semi-formal attire. Stick with something in a luxe fabric, like jacquard, lace or chiffon. of over 3, results for "semi formal wear for women" Showing selected results. See all results for semi formal wear for women. VfEmage Womens Elegant Bell Sleeve Wear to Work Party Cocktail Sheath Dress. by VfEmage. $ - $ $ 25 $ 44 99 Prime. FREE Shipping on eligible orders. Women have a wide range of choices with semi-formal attire. This may include a pantsuit in a dressy fabric, such as silk, cashmere, or satin. A dress or dressy suit with a dressy top, with heels, strappy sandals, or dressy flats may also be worn.