How to Avoid Over or Under Dressing

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Renting a or Suit will usually impress anyone (especially the ladies) but sometimes it’s hard to gauge when to dress in a full tux , a business suit, or casual clothes. Today we’ll give you some guidelines so you’ll know when you need to come to Rose for your rental needs. Dress codes can get confusing, we’re here to help.

Full Formal: Usually means guest need to rent attire for the event.

  • Daytime: morning dress, tailcoat, vest.
  • Nighttime: white tie.
  • Usually reserved for highly formal award ceremonies, diplomatic events, etc.
  • Not often done unless in a wealthy upper class social circle and event.
  • Not usually done with weddings or parties.

Semi-Formal: People confuse this and formal all the time, also usually requires guests to rent attire.

  • Often times when people say “formal,” they actually mean “Semi-formal” nowadays.
  • Daytime: stroller (not understood commonly, may need to make notes in invitations)
  • Nighttime: with black tie .
  • Done for rarer events like weddings, not regular events.
  • Make sure your tux fits well and is altered where needed, stress a solid black theme—bright colors are mainly for Proms.

Business Dress: Matched ! Some rentals may be required.

  • Dark, solid (or pinstriped) are the safest bet, usually with a white dress shirt, basic tie, and black leather oxfords.
  • Daytime: You can probably get away with a lighter gray or a dark brown suit.
  • Invitations that do not specify “business” dress but simply state to wear a suit and tie will allow guests to play with color a little more.
  • Church affairs, light-hearted events, nice meals, etc.

Business Casual: Fewer people will need to rent, but not everyone owns the pieces.

  • Suit jackets are not required, but often desired, but the pants are not expected nor required to match.
  • Collared shirt with slacks or khakis encouraged, often worn with navy blue blazer (but colors can vary).
  • It is also acceptable to wear sweaters or dress shirts sans blazer or sports jacket.
  • Safe bet: jacket and tie (easier to remove pieces if you seem overdressed)

Casual: Everyone’s favorite.

  • Neckties are not needed, but a more casual (but nice) jacket can be worn without looking out of place.
  • Jeans are acceptable, but dark fitted jeans in good shape are expected.
  • Collared shirts (like polos) and nice shoes (loafers, leather shoes, etc.) are not required, but will look the best.
  • If they bothered to send out actual invitations, wearing a t-shirt and ripped jeans with flip flops will not cut it.

“Optional” attached to dress code type: This gets confusing.

  • Say your host puts “ black tie optional” on the invitations, this means what it says, but it still has expectations.
  • Guests are encouraged to wear stated “optional” dress, but not required. This allows an event to seem less formal while retaining a level of class. This allows guests to avoid renting a tux or suit (or buying one, for that matter) if they wish to just go with something less formal.
  • It’s encouraged that guests meet closely to the suggested attire, but not go above it (business dress optional would mean you wouldn’t go rent a tuxedo , or “black tie optional,” doesn’t mean you have to rent a tuxedo , but a nice suit would be appreciated).
  • See also: preferred.
    • This allows guests who can’t meet the suggested “optional” or required dress code to feel comfortable

When in doubt, (no dress code listed, or confused about phrasing) ask around. Ask the host, ask other guests, take into consideration the date, time, season, and importance of the event. Chances are, a birthday party will be, at max, business dress while a wedding is likely to require, at minimum, business dress (depending on your relation to the bridal party). Rose Tuxedo has all your suit and tux needs, so give us a call.

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