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Article: Dress codes for different occasions

Le dress code revu et expliqué

Dress codes for different occasions

In most cases, you must follow a particular dress code for business dinners, weddings, conferences, charity events and galas. If you want to blend in with the guests at your next event, it’s important to wear an outfit that suits the occasion. To help you make a good impression, the fashion specialists at Ernest have put together this short summary of men’s dress code rules. This information will help you choose the right clothes, accessories and footwear for your next event.

White-tie dress code

If you see the words “white tie” on an invitation, be prepared to dress like royalty. You’ll need to pull out all the stops and wear a black tuxedo, a white shirt, high-end shoes and, of course, a white bow tie. This strict dress code is typically reserved for events with important people like dignitaries. If you don’t want to feel out of place, dress like the other guests, smile and enjoy yourself.

Black-tie dress code

Black tie events require chic yet formal clothing. If you’re invited to a black-tie event, expect to wear a black tuxedo, a white dress shirt, a cummerbund, cufflinks and a black bow tie.

Business-formal dress code

If you have an important business meeting coming up, formal business attire is a must. For example, you can wear a well-tailored suit with a well-cut shirt or dress pants with a collared shirt and blazer. Neutral, timeless colours like black, brown, grey and navy are a safe bet. Additionally, you can never go wrong with a nice tie.  

Semi-formal dress code

Semi-formal attire is typically worn at proms and weddings. Therefore, be prepared to dress more formally than you would for a business meeting or interview. You should wear a suit, dress shirt and tie. Opt for a black suit for an evening event and a light-coloured suit for a daytime event. To complete your outfit, don’t forget to wear a nice pair of leather shoes and a matching belt.

Are you looking for an outfit for a special occasion? If so, we have a variety of trendy suits and accessories like watches, ties, suspenders, hats, pocket squares and more.

If it’s raining or snowing on the day of your event, wear a nice dress coat, raincoat or classic overcoat and stylish accessories to ensure you stay warm and look your best.

Business-casual dress code

Business casual attire is what many office workers wear everyday. This dress code has a range of options, including dress pants or chinos, a plain or patterned button-up shirt, a polo shirt or T-shirt or a sweater or cardigan. Make sure your garments are in good condition and not wrinkled. If you’re wearing jeans, make sure they’re dark and have a classic cut. For shoes, choose a pair that’s stylish without being too fancy.

Casual dress code

Dressing casually is all about comfort and simplicity. You can wear everyday clothes, as long as they’re clean and tasteful. To create a casual, yet put-together look, we suggest wearing jeans or chinos, a t-shirt or polo shirt and nice shoes.


You’ll often see the word “optional” for events with black tie dress codes. This gives you a little more freedom. For example, you can wear a tie instead of a bow tie, a black suit with discreet patterns and a nice leather belt. In short, this chic category is more accessible to the average person.

Lastly, regardless of the dress code, always wear matching socks. Choose low socks in the summer and high socks in the winter. Check out our selection of socks in multiple colours and patterns from brands like Orvieto, Hotsox and Anthony of London.

Trust the team at Ernest for expert fashion advice

The dress code for certain events can be nuanced, and it’s easy to make a mistake. The best way to avoid a faux pas is to ask for advice from a men’s fashion expert.

Bring your event invitation with you when you visit our store. Our stylists will help you find an outfit to help you blend in with the other guests. If you find the suit of your dreams in one of our stores that doesn't fit quite right, we’d be happy to alter it.

Are you looking for the perfect tie for a social event? A comfortable and elegant dress shirt for a wedding reception? The right length dress pants for a business meeting? Whatever fashion items you’re looking for, you’ll find them all at Ernest.

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