A dress code is one of the most important things to consider when choosing what to wear to an event. Some of the most important events in your life will call for a formal dress code. Formal suits or dresses should be staples in your wardrobe that you bring out whenever you must attend a classy meeting, ceremony, or party. Use these four examples of occasions when you should wear a suit or formal attire to guide your attire decisions.


Weddings give couples and guests the opportunity to look their best. Traditionally, weddings are formal evenings that call for men to wear sophisticated suits and women to wear dresses below knee-length. How formal a wedding is and when it takes place will determine the material, color, and length of the outfit you choose. Cocktail or daytime weddings allow guests to wear knee-length dresses and lighter color suits with or without a tie. Couples will usually mention their wedding dress code on their wedding invitation.

Religious Ceremonies and Funerals

Important religious ceremonies require formal attire because they often observe life milestones and take place in formal venues. Some examples of formal religious ceremonies include bar and bat mitzvahs, baptisms, and first communions. Similarly, formal attire is most appropriate to wear to a funeral or a celebration of life. Be sure to wear dark colors to a funeral unless you receive alternative instructions from the family or event organizers.

Award Ceremonies

Award ceremonies celebrate outstanding achievements and hard work, and wearing a sharp suit or a full-length gown is the best way to commemorate the honorees. This is especially true if you are expecting to be recognized or a guest of honor. But if you are making an appearance at the ceremony as an attendee, you don’t want to outshine those being celebrated by wearing flashy colors or accessories. Instead, opt for something simple, timeless, in a neutral palette.

Business Dinners and Parties

Lastly, suits and other formal wear are typical at distinguished business events such as parties and conferences. Business events are more relaxed than other formal occasions but still require a professional appearance. Be sure to consider the event venue and agenda to help you decide what to wear. And if you are an executive, wearing a sharp, tailored suit is a great way to convey authority and professionalism at a formal company event.

There are many other occasions to wear formal attire, such as networking events, holiday parties, and galas. Formal dress codes still allow guests to express themselves through style while looking sophisticated and chic.

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