A business casual dress code is standard for most workplaces. However, it's suitable for an office event like celebrating a colleague's birthday during the workday, a white elephant drawing or an important company announcement. A button-down shirt, slacks and closed-toe dress shoes suffice for
this type of gathering, but you can opt for a blouse or skirt as well.
Smart casual dress code is slightly more casual than business casual attire. This type of attire emphasizes being clean and tidy when you enter the event. Tailored pants with a button-down or polo shirt can serve you well in this situation, and you can adjust this wardrobe if your event is in warm weather.
Festive dress code is applied during the holiday season, but it draws similarities to cocktail attire. You're encouraged to leave jeans and a sweatshirt at home—unless the host specifically says you can wear casual clothes—but it's preferable to wear a
button-down with a blazer and slacks to fit in with the style of the season.
Cocktail attire is less formal for parties and other events with your coworkers. A signature little black dress is a common fashion choice for a holiday celebration, a reunion or anniversaries. A skirt and blouse work well if you're in a warmer climate too. Suits are commonly gray and
paired with a black tie at cocktail events, but you can forego cuff links.
A lounge suit dress code, also known as business attire, can apply to events held during the morning, afternoon or evening. It's appropriate to button the top button of your suit to look more formal at these occasions, which can range from weddings to funerals. A dress should have a long
sleeve or a jacket if it comes with one, but you can ask your plus-one for their jacket when necessary.
Black-tie events have the same level of formality as a white-tie event. You should consider wearing a gown, dress or tuxedo to the event, but you need to pay extra attention to if the dress code is black-tie mandatory or black-tie creative, which displays some flexibility in changing up your wardrobe.
A white-tie event is one of the most formal dress codes, as it's typically the signature attire for a fancy dinner or ball. Attendees are expected to wear a dark suit or floor-length dress, while accessorizing with white ties or bowties and vests. This event presents you with the option to wear accessories that
accommodate your outfit, such as gloves, cuff links and a top hat.