How To Communicate a Dress Code to Your Attendees (2024)

How To Communicate a Dress Code to Your Attendees (1)
By the time you send out your invitations, you know your theme, colors, and what you want to wear. But your guests may need a little guidance about how to dress for your event. Learnhow to communicate a dress code to your attendees.

Put It on the Invitation

The simplest way to tell your guests what they’re expected to wear is to put a dress code in the invitation. There is a time-honored glossary of dress-code wording short enough to include on invitations, or on a card inserted with the invitation. If you have created a website for your event, include information about the dress code.

Time of Day Is a Big Hint

Guests will be confused if you specify black tie for a morning or afternoon event. Traditional gentlemen’s formal attire for the morning is—you guessed it—a morning coat. This is a gray cutaway coat worn with a vest and tie. Dapper gents add a top hat. Ladies wear tea-length or longer dressy daytime frocks.

Tuxedos, co*cktail dresses, and floor-length gowns are for events after 6 p.m.


Social dress conventions define several categories of appropriate attire for events, and several of them refer to ties. Gentlemen know what to wear if the invitation states “white tie,” “black tie,” or “black tie optional.” Ladies take their cue from the level of formality the “tie” code defines.

“White tie” is the most formal category. Gentlemen wear white tie and tails, while ladies will wear long, formal gowns. White tie is rare, used for only the fanciest ball or diplomatic event.

“Black tie” refers to a tuxedo. It’s still very formal, but a little less strict than white tie. Ladies still may prefer long evening gowns, but classy boutique style co*cktail dresses are permissible.

The next notch down in formality is “black tie optional.” Gentlemen can show off their tuxes after 6 p.m. if they want to, but they can also choose to wear a dark business suit. Ladies have a bit more flexibility with dressy separates or co*cktail or short evening dresses.

Beyond these well-known categories things can get looser and more confusing. “Casual” can be beach casual, business casual, dressy casual, chic casual, or sporty casual. Be kind to your guests about what you mean by “casual” or “semiformal,” or you risk guests showing up in attire that doesn’t come close to what you had in mind.

A formal event requires a formal, printed invitation. A more casual or just-for-fun gathering might deploy an invitation app that communicates via mobile device. Whatever means you use to communicate a dress code to your attendees, clarity is key. Effie’s boutique has the selection and variety of formal wear to ensure your guests can find something appropriate and lovely to wear to your event. Schedule a fitting with us today!

How To Communicate a Dress Code to Your Attendees (2024)


How To Communicate a Dress Code to Your Attendees? ›

Put It on the Invitation

How do you inform guests about dress code? ›

Answer this question by stating your dress code in a direct sentence ("The dress code for our wedding is…"). Following that, you can include a brief explanation with attire suggestions and specifics—for example, that your venue requires a jacket and tie or if the ceremony will take place on the beach.

How do you communicate a dress code to your attendees? ›

One of the most important things to do when communicating the dress code for your event is to use clear and consistent terms that your guests can understand and follow. Avoid ambiguous or confusing phrases like "smart casual", "dressy casual", or "festive attire", which can mean different things to different people.

How do you inform a dress code? ›

Please remember to dress in a manner that is respectful and appropriate for the office.” “Let's make sure our outfits are professional and don't contain any offensive language or imagery.” “It's important that everyone follows the dress code policy so that we can maintain a professional workplace.”

What is an example of a dress code announcement? ›

Our company's official dress code is [ Business/ Business Casual/ Smart Casual/ Casual. ] We may change our dress code in special cases. For example, we may require employees to wear semi-formal attire for an event. Then, both male and female employees should wear suits, ties, white shirts and appropriate shoes.

How do you introduce a dress code? ›

Your dress code policy should be clearly explained and documented in your employee handbook. Make sure it's explained to new hires so they come in properly dressed on their first day. Explain the consequences. Clearly explaining your dress code also means outlining the consequences for violations.

How do you write a dress code notice? ›

Dress Code Policy Template
  1. All employees are expected to be well-groomed and to have good hygiene. ...
  2. All attire must be appropriate for work, do not show up in workout or outdoor activity dresswear.
  3. All employees are expected to dress professionally, anything that is revealing or inappropriate will not be tolerated.

How to have a dress code conversation? ›

No matter what you may be thinking about this employee's judgment in choosing what to wear to work, stick to a nonjudgmental tone when you address the issue. Get right to the point. Say that this person's attire is unacceptable and that you need to discuss what can be done to fix it.

How our dress code is an example of communication? ›

Answer: Nonverbal communication can be seen in our dress code. The technique of transmitting and receiving messages without using spoken or written words is known as nonverbal communication.

How do you mention the dress code on a party invitation? ›

You can include your Dress Code on the lower left or right-hand corner of the invitation. Alternatively, the Dress Code can be placed at the bottom centre of the design.

How do you tell someone about dress code? ›

How to Tell an Employee to Dress More Professionally
  1. Avoid public humiliation. ...
  2. Be consistent. ...
  3. Set the right tone. ...
  4. Own up to any management mistakes. ...
  5. Explain why professional attire is important. ...
  6. Give examples of professional attire. ...
  7. Recommend tailoring. ...
  8. Discuss exceptions.
Feb 8, 2023

What is proper etiquette for dress code? ›

All clothing should be clean, ironed and in good shape. Refrain from wearing clothes that have tears, rips or holes, even if it is the current fashion. All employees should maintain an acceptable level of bodily hygiene to ensure that interactions with other staff and clients remain positive and pleasant.

How do you impose a dress code? ›

A clearly worded dress code policy provides:
  1. Understanding of what is or isn't acceptable attire for the workplace, including: Clothing. Hygiene. Grooming. Piercings.
  2. A path to address dress code violations.
  3. Clearly defined consequences for not following it.

How do you tell guests about dress code? ›

Put It on the Invitation

The simplest way to tell your guests what they're expected to wear is to put a dress code in the invitation. There is a time-honored glossary of dress-code wording short enough to include on invitations, or on a card inserted with the invitation.

How do you say dress code for a party? ›

You're best off sticking with established names that can most often be easily researched, such as:
  1. White Tie.
  2. Black Tie.
  3. Formal or Black Tie-Optional.
  4. co*cktail.
  5. Semi-Formal or Dressy Casual.
  6. Casual.
  7. Concept or Themed.
  8. Come As You Are.
Oct 3, 2022

What is an example of a dress code? ›

If you ask someone what the dress code at their office is, they'll generally give you one of four dress codes: business professional, business casual, smart casual or casual. There are some other in-between dress codes, but these four generally cover the spectrum of what your average American wears to work every day.

How do you politely tell someone to dress appropriately? ›

Watch your wording.

Instead of telling an employee, “Your appearance is too messy,” say, “I think your appearance could be more polished.” Or, rather than say, “Your clothes are too revealing,” explain, “It would be beneficial for you to dress more modestly.” Use language that is clear, but also kind.

Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Manual Maggio

Last Updated:

Views: 6408

Rating: 4.9 / 5 (69 voted)

Reviews: 84% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Manual Maggio

Birthday: 1998-01-20

Address: 359 Kelvin Stream, Lake Eldonview, MT 33517-1242

Phone: +577037762465

Job: Product Hospitality Supervisor

Hobby: Gardening, Web surfing, Video gaming, Amateur radio, Flag Football, Reading, Table tennis

Introduction: My name is Manual Maggio, I am a thankful, tender, adventurous, delightful, fantastic, proud, graceful person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.