A semiformal dress code means that the event requires a touch of glamour but not as much as to ask for an evening gown and a tuxedo. The semiformal dress code is flexible but not casual. If you are like most people, you may be unsure of what to wear. These etiquette guidelines can help you choose the proper semiformal attire.


Semiformal Attire for Women

Semi formal attire is often expected during events such as weddings, bar mitzvahs, holiday parties or dances. This dress code is quite flexible for women. Hemlines for dresses can be short but no more than one inch above your knee. Black cocktail dresses are ideal. A mid-calf length dress or one down to your ankles is also appropriate. A long skirt or trousers with a dressy top can be worn as well.

Choose shirts or dressy sweaters that are light blue, light green, peach, or lemon. Wear pink, black, and mauve to an evening wedding or a dinner party. Trousers should be blue, black, or gray and they can have vertical pinstripes. The hem of your pants should reach down to the ankle. The outfit should be made of high quality fabric such as cashmere, velvet, silk, rayon or polyester brocades. Wool is not acceptable because it isn’t dressy enough.

High heels with a heel up to 6 inches should coordinate with your outfit. You can also wear a medium high heel as long as the shoe is made with rich brocade and beading so that it has a touch of glitz. Consider the event when selecting the right shoe. Your shoes may be in prints or bold colors such as gold and silver as long as it is not a business function.

Accessorize with a simple gold or silver necklace and with a ring. Stay away from jean skirts, khakis, cotton dresses and flip flops because they are too casual.


Semiformal Attire for Men

Men have fewer options when it comes to semi formal attire. They are required to wear a suit with a buttoned-down, collared shirt and a matching bow or necktie. The shirt should be solid or pin striped but cannot have a loud pattern. A vest is not necessary but its fine to wear. A sport coat, blazer and matching trousers can be worn during daytime events.

Light colors such as tan or cream should be worn in the day while dark colors such as black, charcoal, and navy are reserved for nighttime events. The fabric of the suit should be wool gabardine or cashmere.

Add style to your outfit with a neatly folded pocket square and a set of cuff links. Patent leather slip-ons or oxfords are an excellent choice for shoes and they give a man a polished look.

Avoid seersucker suits or linen because they are not formal enough.

References and Resources

Dress code - what does it mean?

Resources

Dresscodeguide.com