Choosing what to wear for a party can feel like an impossible task. You might have a wardrobe full of clothes but still feel like you have nothing to wear.

It’s frustrating and stressful and can even take the shine from going to the party in the first place. Some invites will specify the dress code you should adhere to for the event. This article will unpick some of the most common dress codes and what to wear if one isn’t specified.

Smart Casual

An easy, laidback dress code that demands a mix of smart and casual clothing. Think smart jeans paired with a fitted shirt or blouse to wow with this dress code. Shorter dresses and skirts are also a safe bet for this dress code. Blazers can give an otherwise casual outfit a smarter edge. Avoid trainers and opt for pumps, sandals, smart shoes, or boots for a dressier casual look.

Black Tie

A go-to for formal events, black tie is all about sophistication and Hollywood glam. For women, floor-length gowns paired with elegant jewellery, shoes, and a matching clutch is the best bet. Pay close attention to lace or beading on your dress or accessories to add glam to your outfit. If dresses aren’t your cup of tea, you can opt for a tailored tuxedo or trouser suit for these events.

Cocktail Wear

A semi-formal dress code, cocktail wear is a common dress code for weddings and big milestone events. It’s the perfect dress code to make a statement with. Think bold colours, silhouettes, and accessories for this. Shorter dresses with puff sleeves, dipped hems, and cut-out detailing are perfect for this dress code. With a cocktail dress code, you can really let your personality shine through. Whether you decide to wear a dress, or separates, or if jumpsuits are more your thing, play around with patterns and colours to make a style statement.

Come As You Are

A come-as-you-are dress code allows you to wear whatever you feel the most comfortable in. This dress code is all about causal comfort. The best thing about it is you can wear whatever you want with no pressure of having to nail a certain look. Think jeans and crisp white t-shirt or flannel shirt, smock dresses or shorts if it is summertime. The most important thing is that you wear your clothes with confidence.

Themed Dress Codes

You either love them or hate them; either way, themed parties are popular, and you will need to make some effort. Popular themed parties include Great Gatsby, 80s, 90s, Hollywood, pirates, movie characters, and Halloween. It’s up to you whether you fully embrace the theme or subtly incorporate it into your look. For example, if the party is a Hawaiian beach theme, you could wear a casual sundress with a flower garland around your neck.

No Dress Code

Establishing what to wear when there is no dress code doesn’t have to be complicated. In these cases, the host wants you to go in what you feel comfortable in. However, if you don’t want to look out of place, it is best to ask the host and other guests what they’re wearing before settling on an outfit.

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