What is Semi-Formal Attire?

In Western clothing semi-formal is a grouping of dress codes indicating the sort of clothes worn to events with a level of protocol between informal (e.g., lounge suit) and formal. In the modern era, an evening dress or cocktail dress is customary for women.

Women can even pair a dressy top with tuxedo or dress pants, made of an appropriate fabric.

Men should wear a conservative dark suit with a dress shirt to a semi-formal event. A vest that matches the suit is optional. In most cases, a tie should be worn, but in some cases, it isn’t necessary. If in doubt, wear a tie. You can always take it off later. A belt that matches dress shoes and dark socks are essential.
Acceptable men's semi-formal attire includes a sports jacket, slacks, vest and tie or a dark or light business suit with dress shoes, such as oxfords. For semi-formal events that take place after 6 p.m., men should wear a dark suit with a white dress shirt and evening tie.
Semi Formal Outfit Ideas For Stylish Men. Find this Pin and more on Men in style.$ by Sherwin Delima. 15 Sophisticated Semi-Formal Outfit Ideas For Men Here are 15 stylish yet classy semi-formal outfits for men to style at every occasion and event.
In Western clothing semi-formal is a grouping of dress codes indicating the sort of clothes worn to events with a level of protocol between informal (e.g., lounge suit) and formal. In the modern era, an evening dress or cocktail dress is customary for women.
May 31,  · While semi-formal isn’t as formal as black tie, it’s definitely not casual either. You'll want to wear a suit jacket with matching dress pants. With a dashing fitted suit and the right accessories, you can feel confident you’ve dressed appropriately for your semi-formal event%(30).

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Flip flops or other casual shoes are not dressy enough for this look. A range of jewelry is also acceptable for a semi-formal outfit, with bracelets, rings, and necklaces all adding to the elegance of a dress. Materials should coordinate with the outfit; silver, gold, and other metallics would fit with nearly any semi-formal attire, but jewelry made of plastic, wood, or cord would probably seem too casual in most cases. Precious and semi-precious stones could add sparkle, but a wide necklace covered in diamonds would probably be too showy.

Very strict dress codes are less common in most levels of society than they were a few decades ago, and the definition of semi-formal attire has become far less stringent than it once was. Although this means that people have more choices when it comes to dressing for events, it also means that the lines between formal, semi-formal, business semi-formal, cocktail, and other degrees of formality have become confused. In some cases, the host of an event might not be entirely clear on what "semi-formal" really means.

When dressing in semi-formal attire, a person should consider the nature of the event. Clothing for a daytime event is typically slightly more relaxed than for an evening party, while a semi-formal business dinner usually requires a different look than a holiday cocktail party. If in doubt, individuals should take the time of the event and the type of people who will be there into account; a phone call to the host or hostess can also help better define the dress code.

For a daytime wedding, semi-formal attire means a light colored suit for a man and a knee-length dress, dress suit, or pantsuit for a woman. Darker colors and very rich fabrics should generally be avoided as they can seem too formal for the daytime; they would be appropriate for an evening wedding, however.

Other semi-formal evening wedding attire could include a dark suit for a man and little black dress or dressy top and skirt for a woman.

A semi-formal business event doesn't necessarily mean a lot of variation for men, but women's clothing should be more business-like. A dressy suit is usually more appropriate than a cocktail dress, unless the dress includes a jacket. Sleeveless and strapless tops are usually considered inappropriate business attire and should be avoided; in general, clothing should be on the more conservative side. Cocktail and holiday parties generally allow for a wider range of clothing choices for both men and women, although these options should not stray too far outside of the traditional semi-formal definition.

There is more room for creativity for men, with a wider range of tie or vest choices still being appropriate; a red or green tie could be worn to a holiday party, for example. For women, the best choice is usually a slightly shorter cocktail dress rather than a long skirt or dress suit. Jewelry also might be a little flashier, in keeping with a slightly more relaxed mood.

I was invited to a semi-formal affair, and did not know what to wear. I searched it and found you, wiseGeek. You have made my day, and now I can rest for shopping tomorrow. Thanks very much for the way you advertise your site in searches. Also, thanks for the awesome information. You saved my day. Also, a collared shirt with a suit jacket with black pants and any formal shoe color?

Calling a suit semi-formal, regardless, causes confusion, because you have to shift around the whole dress code. As far as I'm aware, semi-formal still means exclusively black tie in the evening. Of course, I am of the opinion that the tuxedo and white tie both were perfected when they were, and any deviation from those rules of formal and semi-formal attire fails to improve the outfit, but only makes it different and usually worse.

A suit is informal because falls outside the "form" of formal and semi-formal attire. It isn't informal in the sense of something one might wear to a casual event, but is informal in the sense that if you put on a suit and walk into a room full of men dressed in black-tie, you will certainly feel like you were in less formal attire.

The whole point of formal attire is to elevate the occasion. It formalizes whatever ceremonial work is to be done, if it is ceremonial, and shows respect to the purpose of the evening if it is not ceremonial. Be clean, polished, smell wonderful and smile. Provided your manner and manners are gracious and you behave with elegance, people will forgive whatever you choose to wear, provided it fits you, suits you and your personality and is clean.

We wear our clothes; don't let them wear you. My Mother always said buy once, buy well and wear often. That way, you'll always have something to wear anywhere. Show respect and stop worrying. An ultra-formal tuxedo shirt front is called a dickie or dickey. Men wore frilly lace dickeys on their tuxedo shirts in the 70s, but the style of dickie in The Three Stooges have been around since at least the late 's. This style completely replaces a shirt, and makes formal wear a shirtless affair.

They are held in place by a tab at the end that is supposed to hook to the inside waistband of one's slacks. The top of the dickey has a small strap that goes around the neck fastening at the back.

The front top of the dickey has a hole for a stud to attach to a equally stiff white collar When the rigid shirtfront is not held properly in place, depending on the brand, it will either roll up to the throat like a window shade as mocked in the Three Stooges , or lift up across the wearer's face, sometimes with a smack! The white collar may also detach and "pop" apart from the neck.

Though you may wonder why a man would wear an article of clothing that could become embarrassing very quickly, to this day a starched dickey is seen as a symbol of status, class, wealth, sophistication, and an icon of ultra conservative "old boy" clubs and banquets.

I am referring to what I saw in a Three Stooges episode, where the shirt front kept rolling up like a window shade. It looks like a real shirt, but it's fake. Was there such a thing and if so, what's it called. Or was this just a "Stooge" shirt? Sometimes the word "suit" is used to describe a jacket and trousers that don't have the same fabric. Is a tuxedo still too formal for semi-formal, if it's worn without a wing-collar shirt? If I wear a slim tuxedo, with flat-front dress shirt, with no cummerbund, and just oxfords.

For women, from your footwear to your dress, everything should be perfect. The correct term is button-front. A button-down shirt is a button-front shirt that has buttonholes on the collar tips that attach to small buttons under the collar. A button-down shirt should not be worn with a suit and tie. Jondress Post 14 There are wide variety of semiformal dresses available for one to choose.

This post is indeed very informative. Tails used to be an integral part of "formal" attire, however, with the passing of the white, tailed tuxedo, "formal" has come to mean a black tuxedo for men formerly semi-formal , and semi-formal has been down-graded to a dark suit worn with more stylish accessories than one might wear to the office: Socks to match the tie couldn't hurt either.

Semi-formal also means the suit is a conservative, usually dark, color and without a loud pattern checks would not be semi-formal, but a thin pin stripe could be.

Moe yells out "Tails! In the daytime, "semi-formal" referred to the stroller jacket to distinguish it from the formal morning coat. Morning coats are rare nowadays, and strollers nearly extinct. A bride in the s and a teenager today might write "semi-formal," the latter expecting jeans and a button-down shirt and the former expecting a tuxedo with a stiff-fronted shirt.

The definition has changed over time and varies between the US and Europe with Europe generally holding a dressier standard. Dress codes that require men to wear a blazer and slacks, meaning that the jacket and pant can be different colors or fabrics, are usually called informal attire, business casual, or smart casual.

Post your comments Post Anonymously Please enter the code: The style quickly caught on as a more practical variation on morning dress. In Japan , it is known as a "director's suit", from the term inside director. For evening wear, the corresponding code is black tie. The origins of evening semi-formal attire date back to the later 19th century when Edward, Prince of Wales subsequently Edward VII , wanted a more comfortable dinner attire than the swallowtail coat.

Not long afterward, when a group of men from the club chose to wear such suits to a dinner at Delmonico's Restaurant in New York City , other diners were surprised. They were told that such clothing was popular at Tuxedo Park, so the particular cut then became known as the "tuxedo". From its creation into the s, this dinner jacket was considered appropriate dress for dining in one's home or club, while the tailcoat remained in place as appropriate for public appearance.

Etiquette and clothing experts continue to discourage wearing of black tie as too informal for weddings , or indeed any event before 6 p. The latter arguing that "no man should ever be caught in a church in a tuxedo. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Semi-formal attire. This article is about the dress code. For the term in the formal methods subfield of science , see Formal semantics. Dress coat " white tie " Ball gown Frock coat Full dress uniform Morning dress.

Tuxedo " black tie " Evening gown Mess dress uniform Black lounge suit. Informal undress , " dress clothes ". Cocktail dress Lounge suit Service dress uniform Pantsuit. Business casual Casual Friday Smart casual. Ceremonial dress Court diplomatic academic , etc. Religious clothing cassock , habit , etc. Folk costume Distinctions Orders medals , etc. Woman in cocktail dress. After-five clothing is a subcategory of semiformal eveningwear. Often called the "cocktail dress," this type of dress if often made of shiny fabric and can be short, from being shorter than knee up to mid-calf, but seldom reaches to the ankle as does stricter semiformal evening wear.

The Emily Post Institute. Retrieved 11 October Mastering the art of Permanent Fashion.

Contrary to the popular belief, semi formal is quite easy to follow. It is not as decorous as white tie or black tie events. Instead, men’s semi formal is a slightly more relaxed dress code. But wait, it doesn’t mean you can wear a jeans or khaki for a semi formal event. Men's oxfords -- be it wingtips, lace-ups or cap-toe styles -- pair with jeans to create a classic, dressed-up look. Brown, black and even navy or red oxfords complement denim and, depending on the style and color, lend a vibrant accent to your attire. Difference Between Formal And Semi Formal At its most basic, contemporary formal dress generally encompasses both white tie and black tie dress codes. Semi formal, as the name implies, is slightly more relaxed – think a dark suit and a tie, or anything you’d refer to as “cocktail” dress.