Formal wear for him & her

Sukilynn Photography

After this past weekend, it’s safe to say that holiday parties are in full swing. As of late, my husband and I have been invited not only to formal weddings, but also formal parties, and found ourselves questioning what exactly qualifies as “formal wear” today. While there are some traditions that are timeless, there are others that change with generations and trends. So,we sat down and compiled a simple, short¬†list of what qualifies as formal wear for men and women alike. In the end though, remember that your style is a direct reflection of you.¬†So choose something you are comfortable in and something you enjoy and you will exude confidence and style!

Formal Wear: MEN


  • dinner jackets (white jackets) & tailcoats should not appear in daylight; EXCEPTION: for places where daylight lasts past 6PM,¬†it is acceptable to wear formal jackets¬†as long as it is after 6PM
  • boys do not wear dinner jackets before age 15 and do not wear tuxedoes before age 18; EXCEPTION: if a boy is in a wedding ceremony in which case he will/can dress like the other men in the ceremony
  • “black tie” = black tuxedo with a matching black bowtie and cummerbund
  • buttons = tuxedo jackets should either have one button or two buttons; if a jacket has two¬†buttons, then only the top button should be buttoned
  • bow tie/tie: a bow tie is traditionally seen as more formal, but both a tie and bow tie are socially acceptable
  • A tuxedo should be worn with a french cuff shirt and¬†cuff links
  • pocket square = a pocket square was traditionally added to break up the monotony of a suit’s bodice; it should not be the same fabric as the tie


  • “black tie” still means a tuxedo, but white accessories are socially acceptable
  • If an invite does not specify “black tie,” then the gentleman can choose what color his accessories are
  • pant length is a personal preference

Formal Wear: Women


  • “black tie” = floor length gown
  • long gloves often accompany an evening gown
  • make sure dresses are tailored to fit your body
  • coordinate your colors with your date (you don’t have to choose the same color, simply compliment each other)
  • color: if you are a guest attending a wedding, do not wear white; only the bride should wear white
  • If members of the armed forces will be present at the event, women should cover their shoulders


  • black tie” = floor length gown or dressy cocktail dress (this post I demonstrate an option for the later)
  • black tie optional is seen more and more now – this gives women the option to forego a long, evening gown and wear a shorter gown. If you decide to forego a long gown, keep your dress “formal” appropriate by choosing¬†an appropriate length (don’t go more than 1 inch above the knee), choosing a classic material, and/or choose a classic cut
  • Clutch > large bag; Clutches are easy to carry and tuck under your arm to free up your hands to hold a drink or shake hands with guests

In the end, follow my rule of thumb if you have any doubt: dressier is always safer.

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We had the extreme good fortune of taking our photos at Glass Optical located on Davis Street in Oak Cliff.¬†One step inside this glasses boutique, and you will never want to leave. Glass Optical is a boutique that offers its customers a unique experience – eye exams and¬†eyewear and sunwear from unique vendors across the world. If their products and experience don’t capture your hearts, then leave it to their interior design to take your breathe away! Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post that featuring Glass Optical!

photography: sukilynn

Travis: Calvin Klein Tuxedo

me: ann taylor dress (on MAJOR sale) | target heels | vintage clutch (similar, similar, similar) | accessory jane bracelet  (similar)| pieces boutique earrings Рin store only (similar, similar)

xo – anna & travis