If you think black tie means Chucks with a tux, you’re doing it all wrong. Or are you? Deciding what to wear when to which event — so you don’t end up looking clueless — can be overwhelming for the fashion-challenged. But, with a little help, it’s not so bad.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a quick and dirty cheat-sheet you could refer to before hobbling together your outfit for your next important evening party, interview or meeting? The dress codes 101 decoder covers everything from casual to business casual, to business formal to black tie and beyond.
So, yeah, not all dress codes are created the same. If the occasion, or your office calls for your basic no-brainer casual, breathe a sigh of relief and reach for your favorite T-shirt and jeans combo.
If business casual is the mandate, classy dress pants and a crisp, collared shirt or blouse should do the trick. Top it off with a snazzy pair of dressy shoes and you’re set. The authors of infographic suggest you slip into khakis, the safe choice, for biz casual, but we’re not so sure. Do people even wear khakis anymore? In some places, a nice pair of jeans will fit the business casual bill, as long as you dress them up with a nice top.
Then there’s “smart casual,” whatever that is, and business and business informal. And semi-formal, formal and black tie. Confused yet? Time to conveniently refer back to the handy how-to below. Running potential outfits past your best-dressed friend ahead of time helps, too. Good luck, champ. Whatever you wear, you probably look better than you think.