Succinct Dress Code Guide for Men and Women_2/2

2. March 2020


Keep in mind a few time-tested rules


Women’s accessories

Women’s accessories should be limited to five elements, including a wristwatch and glasses.


Contemporary fashion favors larger handbags during the day, although this type is more suited to taller and more robust women. In the evening, smaller purses are preferable.


Jewelry should be of good quality. Just be careful not to be too ostentatious for certain occasions.


A string of pearls can be used with any top with a collar or blouse with a bateau neckline. Pearls should not be worn with chains or other necklaces.


The number of rings for business clothing, for example, should be limited to a maximum of two rings on each hand. Formally, one is preferred.



Well-chosen footwear is the icing on the cake of the perfect impression.


The ideal shoes for a woman are pumps with heels of 3–5 centimeters. They go well with dresses, skirts, pants and even suits.

Iconic Vara pumps by Salvator Ferragamo

A closed-toe, very comfortable shoe, slightly wider than a classic pump, with a round toe, semi-high heel and a bow with a clip.

Shoes with closed toe and an instep strap

Typical for an elegant, feminine look.

Ballerina-style shoes

They originate from ballet slippers and were made famous by Audrey Hepburn. This type,

depending on profession, can be worn with a blouse with a collar for smart / business casual occasions It is more suitable for taller women.

Light pumps

Shoes with an open heel or open toe are not intended for high-level social events.


What to wear if the invitation says:

Black tie

Very often this is required only at gala evenings, special balls, state banquets, premieres and formal weddings. If you are attending an event where a black-tie dress code is prescribed, it is necessary to evaluate the type of the event and the venue and decide on the appropriate attire.

  • Ideal is an evening gown in black, deep blue or dark purple. If you are not the focus of attention at the social event, you can exchange the full evening gown with a luxurious version of classic little black dress, cocktail dress or a long skirt. Evening dresses with long sleeves or even sleeveless, with thin shoulder straps or even with fully-exposed shoulders are allowed. You can also wear a suit if it is not a prom.
  • Carefully consider the material and texture. Silk, satin, lace, beads, gemstones, velvet and metallic finish materials are very suitable for formal wear.
  • If you choose two-piece attire, think carefully about how to combine the individual pieces. For example, you can wear a stretch top with beads and a long, narrow velvet skirt, or wear a silk organza blouse with an ankle-length satin skirt.
  • Closed-toe pumps with an open heel are suitable. The best choice is velvet or colored satin high heel pumps, but these are more suited to heavier dress materials. A light satin outfit can be supplemented with closed toe and open heel pumps. However, do not forget stockings without reinforced heels to maintain a “barefoot” effect.
  • Choose a hairstyle that is different from your normal daily hairstyle. Curl your hair, gel it, put it up in a bun or arrange it in an elegant low-set ponytail.
  • Go for a manicure.
  • Pay attention to choosing the correct shade of makeup.
  • Match your lipstick color and nail polish. Highlight your eyes or lips more than you would for your daily make-up routine, but do not highlight both to avoid looking overly made-up.
  • Choose earrings that go with the entire outfit. Pearls are well suited to bead sets, and diamonds accentuate outfits of shiny metallic fabrics.
  • You may have one or more bracelets on exposed arms.
  • Choose a small, mini-purse from your wardrobe or a small clutch in the same material, color and style as your outfit. A black-tie event is not the place for bulky handbags. All you need is powder, lipstick, keys, ID card and credit card or money.

Black tie creative

  • Luxury long knit, luxury sweater with coral stitching in combination with a wide skirt or luxury bustier top.

White tie

A white tie formal dress code is usually reserved to the opera, ballet, charity balls or diplomatic and royal celebration events.

  • Long formal evening dresses reaching down to the ankles, traditionally with a “rabe décolleté” neckline, i.e., a deep neckline, corset shape, bare shoulders, sewn from finer materials such as silk, lace, velvet, brocade, etc. flowing dress with long sleeves and distinctive decor.
  • Short dresses – no matter how luxurious they are – are unacceptable, as are pants.
  • Long festive gloves are the right choice, but women under 25 rarely wear them. If worn, they should be white or matched with attire.
  • Jewelry should be fashionable branded or classic quality, and can be complemented with a headband, earrings, bracelet or necklace. Watches should not be worn, except for watches as jewelry with gemstones, with a covered face that look like a bracelet.
  • Evening handbag should be small, clutch type.
  • If this is a “state decoration” event, women holding honors from the state should have their honors pinned to the chest with a ribbon.

Standard morning dress

  • Short, formal dress
  • Covered shoulders
  • Short wide-heeled or wedge shoes
  • A hat or fascinator can be a suitable accessory


Wear to weddings, garden parties and other evening social events.

Trouser suit made of elegant material such as silk, cashmere or satin, dress or elegant suit with elegant top is suitable, as well as belt heel sandals or elegant shoes without heels. Light gemstones, pearls and elegant fashion jewelry are suitable.


Less-frequently used dress codes

  1. Unofficial, or lounge suit – you can’t go wrong with any kind of suit or cocktail dress.
  2. Business formal– for business meetings, business lunches, conferences, usually during the day. Women’s representative office clothes in the style of a trouser suit with a blouse, or a skirt or dress with a belt. Colors neutral, preferably darker, monochrome or with a fine pattern. The degree of formality can be emphasized, for example, by the length of the skirt – slightly above the knees for a semi-formal look and below the knees for a formal look.
  3. Business casual – is less formal than traditional business attire, but still professional enough to be suitable for the office. For women, this usually means a skirt or pants, a button-down blouse and a closed-toe shoe. Sneakers are prohibited. It is not required to wear pantyhose or stockings with a skirt or dress.
  4. Festive casual – cocktail dress, skirt with top or blouse.
  5. Summer casual – light summer dress or short skirt with a top.
  6. Smart casual – jacket (not denim), dress, skirt or trousers (including designer jeans, if appropriate for the occasion), top, shirt or blouse, pull-over or button-down sweater, not a t-shirt. Suitable shoes are sandals, ankle boots or boots. A coat if weather requires. Jewelry including watch, as required by the outfit.


Never forget that if you are invited with an escort, it is advisable to match your clothes with your partner’s clothes, if at least a little possible.