What is the dress code? Types

The so-called dress code actually consists of a series of dress codes for both men and women. Although it is true that many people tend to see them not with very good eyes, particularly due to the tremendous effort involved in having to wear a series of items of clothing in accordance with said code. A good example is found with the possibility of attending a wedding, and the dress code that, in theory, we must comply with when dressing to attend it. Ultimately, no matter how many events we attend, we’ll always be guessing what the terms “business casual,” “cocktail wear,” or “semi-formal” really mean. And although it is true that it is always common to subscribe to the rule that it is always better to dress too much, than to dress badly or inappropriately, it is also true that it is very uncomfortable to appear somewhere in a suit when everyone else is wearing a simple T-shirt. and some jeans. So what are drees code, and how many types are there?

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What are dress codes or dress codes?

A dress code, or dress code, consists of a set of rules directly related to the clothing that should be used in a certain situation, circumstance, event or moment. They are created primarily from both social norms and perceptions, and vary based on occasion and purpose.

The dress codes are, so to speak, codes and symbolic indications of different social ideas, including not only one’s own cultural identity, but also social class, aspects related to political and/or religious affiliation, tradition and attitude towards comfort, among other highlights.

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Furthermore, while it is true that there are dress codes for the purely and solely public sphere, there are also private dress codes, directly related to our workplace, options for wearing business casual clothing, or simply clothing a little more formal.

Especially in the field of business, and for more or less formal events, dress codes are considered to be of vital importance, so they should always be followed.

Don’t miss: How to dress for a business meeting

Types of dress code (or dress codes)

Strict Etiquette (White Tie)

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It is, so to speak, one of the most demanding dress codes of all that exist. It is a code of “obligatory” compliance for events that are held at night, such as weddings, social events of great solemnity, government ceremonies…

In the case of men, the use of serious and elegant suits is required, while for women, long dresses that reach the floor or have a train are ideal. The fabrics must be smooth, and with a certain weight in their fall.

Regarding color, the ideal is to opt for neutral and sober tones, such as black, navy blue, gold or silver.

It is, as we mentioned, the most demanding way of dressing of all. Continuing with the guidelines that we mentioned earlier, although at night it is advisable to wear, for example, a white bow tie, during the day the ideal is to opt for a tailcoat and vest.

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Etiquette or Semi-Formal (Black Tie)

It is similar to the previous one, known simply under the name of “Etiquette”, or also as “Semi-Formal”. It is an equally rigorous style, but less than what we might expect for the one mentioned in the previous section.

Indeed, it is also a strict dress code, in which there may be two slight variants for men’s fashion. For example, while at night it is advisable to wear a tuxedo and an opera collar shirt (to be able to wear the corresponding bow tie), during the day the ideal is to wear a morning suit.

Business (Business Style)

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It is possibly one of the best known and most popular dress codes, probably because it is one of the most common in our day to day. As you probably know, most business suits are made up of a dark-colored jacket and pants, especially those in black, gray, and dark blue.

The shirt, yes, does not necessarily have to be white, since blue shirts are also useful. However, as long as the starched collar is used. Likewise, the use of a tie is always essential, as are dark leather oxford shoes (preferably black).


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It is another dress code that is less interesting, but a little more relaxed than the previous one. In these cases, for example, the use of jackets is allowed, and both the pants and the jacket do not necessarily have to be the same.

Of course, it is highly advisable to wear a tie, as well as a shirt. On the other hand, jeans are not recommended, and the ideal is to always wear dress pants.

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