Formal dresses

What it is a semi-formal dress code

Mary Smith
By Mary Smith. Updated: January 16, 2017
What it is a semi-formal dress code

For social events, it is standard to specify the dress code for the guests. This is nothing more than the type of clothing that is appropriate for the meeting or celebration you are attending. Often this information can be confusing, so at we'll clarify what a semi-formal dress code is and how this can be defined.

Steps to follow:


An event with a semi-formal dress code suggests a thought-out and elegant dress but nothing too formal. A wedding, christening and even an office party can be considered an opportunity to wear semi-formal clothing.


Women can wear knee-length or calf-length cocktail dresses. You can also wear longer dresses so long as these are not too elegant or formal.

What it is a semi-formal dress code - Step 2

Women can also choose to wear a skirt and shirt or trousers and shirt, as long as they are made of suitable materials, so forget about simple cotton clothing.

What it is a semi-formal dress code - Step 3

Men normally wear suits in dark colours but may also wear light colours if it is a daytime event (no t-shirts and jeans). It is common to wear a tie and dress shoes, trainers are not permitted.

What it is a semi-formal dress code - Step 4

For women, the shoes are usually high heels and are very elegant. Avoid those that are too casual and try to create a harmonious look between clothing and complementary accessories.

For men, it is typical to use smart shoes such as Oxford style shoes and to accompany them with dark socks.

What it is a semi-formal dress code - Step 5

Regarding accessories, ties or bow-ties are a must for men. They can also accompany their suit with a pocket hanckerchief and/or cufflinks too.

For women, it is suitable for them to wear well-balanced accessories with what they are wearing. Usually very shiny and big pieces of jewelery would be too formal and a hairpiece may also be too overdressed depending on the occasion but, if discrete, may also add beauty to your outfit.

What it is a semi-formal dress code - Step 6

Regardless of the dress code, it is never good to overdo makeup or wear your hair in a way that it draws too much attention. Do what looks good on you but without overly exaggerating, or you could become the focus of the party and not for the right reasons. For example, take a look at how to apply makeup for a Wedding guest so you can get a better idea or some tips for long lasting makeup so you look amazing throughout the event.

If you want to read similar articles to What it is a semi-formal dress code, we recommend you visit our Fashion & Style category.


  • Nowadays, dress codes are more lax and permissive, it's just a question of not standing out or going too over-dressed or under-dressed.
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What it is a semi-formal dress code