The Dress Code

Whether you’re the ‘bride to be’ trying to decide on the dress code for your wedding or you’re a guest trying to work out what to wear, deciphering ‘The Dress Code’ can be a challenge.

The invitations and the dress code really set the tone of the wedding for the guests. These are the first (and only) clues about whether it will it be a casual affair, a black tie event or anywhere in between.

No one wants to be caught out wearing the wrong thing, so to make sure your guests arrive looking fabulous, and just the way you want, we have been chatting with the lovely Kate from Style by Kate for her take on ‘The Dress Code’ and we’ve summed it up below.

Smart Casual

For the ladies this is a nice dress or top and skirt/pants combo, nothing to dressy or over the top is required. The men will still need a collared shirt. Dress pants, chinos or suit pants would all be acceptable but we draw the line at jeans (even if they are ‘good’ jeans).


Taking things up a step, a dressier outfit is required. A stylish knee length dress or separates for the ladies with some nice jewellery to add a bit of sparkle.

Suit pants, collared shirt and a tie are on the cards for the men but the suit jacket is optional, dependant on weather.

Semi Formal & Formal

Moving into formal wear territory, the timing of your wedding can give your guests some extra cues about what to wear.

A dressy cocktail dress would work for a daytime wedding and reception with a longer ankle or floor length dress more suited for an evening wedding.


The men will need the full suit including jacket and tie. Lighter coloured suits are acceptable for a daytime wedding with the more traditional dark suit, with a vest, for a night time affair.

Black Tie

At the top of ‘the dress code’ food chain in Australia, a black tie event is pulling out all the bells and whistles. For the ladies this includes a floor length dress or gown with heels, jewellery and purse. A tuxedo for the men including a white shirt, vest or cummerbund and black bow tie.

We hope these handy hints help with choosing the right dress code for your big day and for any special family members struggling to find something to wear, then check out Kate’s ‘Dress to Impress’ styling package, to make finding that perfect outfit a breeze.