If you’ve ever been invited to a semi-formal wedding, odds are you’ve been a bit confused about what to wear. While formal weddings may call for full black-tie outfits with tailcoat tuxedos and floor-length ball gowns, semi-formal attire allows guests to be a bit more creative while still looking elegant and put together. What’s the best outfit for this happy medium?
The first step is recognizing the differences between formal and semi-formal dress codes—there are several! Fortunately, after reading this article, heeding our advice will help ensure that you look like the best version of yourself while also dressing appropriately for any situation.
What to wear to a semi formal wedding as a guest
You’ve received a wedding invitation in the mail and you’re wondering what is semi formal attire? While we can’t tell you who to bring as a plus one, we can help you with the other important question: What do I wear to a semi-formal wedding? Here’s your answer.
A Semi-Formal Wedding Attire Guide for Men
- A dress shirt or polo. No, it doesn’t need to be a tuxedo or tails, but something nice—like button-up shirts in patterned or solid color with long sleeves.
- A nice pair of pants. No jeans allowed! Go for wool trousers that don’t have any rips and match your dress shirt (in color, print or pattern).
- A tie. Skip the bow tie and stick with standard tie options like silk, knit ties, club ties, striped ties and more.
- Dress shoes. Forgo sneakers or sandals if possible; try to wear lace up oxfords, loafers or brogues instead since they are appropriate footwear for the occasion at hand (a wedding!). When all else fails, wear a pair of black leather dress shoes that complement your outfit nicely; just make sure they’re clean!
- Get groomed! Make an effort by shaving (or trimming) facial hair—or getting dressed in general—and put some gel in your hair so you look like the cool guy that everyone wants on their arm at this event. You’ll want to make sure everything from head down looks polished too: Have freshly washed clothes without any stains hanging off them; make sure there aren’t holes anywhere where it shouldn’t be visible due to torn threads either!
What is semi formal attire for a wedding
Semi formal attire for women includes a cocktail dress, a formal pant suit, or a dressy separates. For men, semi formal means a dark suit, dress shirt, and tie. Men may also wear a blazer and khakis instead of the suit. Women should never wear jeans to a semi formal wedding; instead, opt for slacks or a skirt in an appropriate fabric. If you’re going to be outside in the summer heat, consider wearing light colors and breathable fabrics (like cotton) over heavier ones (like wool). Be sure to avoid sandals at all costs—these are not acceptable footwear options for any type of wedding!
The most important thing to remember is that you want your outfit look good without being inappropriate or over-the-top.
What is semi formal attire for guys?
In order to look dapper, we suggest going with one of the following:
- A dark suit, such as navy or charcoal.
- A black tuxedo.
- A suit in a lighter shade, such as gray or tan.
- A white tuxedo.
Pair your suit or tux with any of the following classic accessories:
- A shirt with a collar and long tie (or bowtie) in a solid color or pattern. (If you’re not sure what works best for you, our friends at The Tie Bar can help.)
- Black dress shoes and dress socks.
When should you dress semi-formal?
Semi-formal events have become a very frequent occurrence in modern society. This means that people are getting married more and more often, which is great news for ready-to-wear wedding fashion. As you go through your shopping preparation, it’s important to ensure that you know where you stand on the semi formal dress code.
- Wedding: If the event is intended to be a big dance with lots of dancing, then it will likely be appropriate to wear semi formal clothing for part of the occasion. This can include tuxedos and formal dresses (or even better, both!). Don’t fret if you’re not able to find a suitable outfit—a non-formal dress might serve just as well!
- Cocktail party: You could wear semi formal clothing anytime during the day; however, this isn’t considered ‘real’ semi-formal attire. Semi formal clothing is meant for events where there won’t be too much dancing or too many other activities that would make it inappropriate to wear pants (for example).
- Workplace social functions: Semi formals are typically associated with work functions such as birthday parties, Christmas parties and work anniversary celebrations. Typically, these occasions tend towards the ‘casual’ side of things, so there will be no need to worry about deciding whether or not you can wear semi formal clothing at these events!
All said and done though—knowing when it’s appropriate to wear what kind of clothes will help you get yourself suited up properly on numerous occasions!
How do you dress for a dress code semi formal?
This type of wedding is more casual than your typical black-tie affair, but the dress code still calls for a suit and tie. The groom’s attire can be anything from a tuxedo to jeans, but the bride will typically wear a long gown with an overskirt and train.
There are some other details that should be noted regarding the following:
- If you decide to wear a blazer, it should have no decorations or embroidery on it—only plain dark buttons. No flashy pocket squares or fancy buttons as well. This is designed as a very conservative look. You will be much more likely of being asked to leave if you dress like this than if you wear something like tuxedos without ties or blazers with embroidered arms or lapels (or khaki pants).
- The shirt must button down one way only: the shirt collar must be tied to the first button at the top of your neck. This is called “butterfly wing.” Only do this if you wear button downs daily and know how to do it properly!
- Pants must have pleats in them (not wrinkles), so avoid baggy pants such as cargo pants or sweatpants. Wearing these types of pants makes people unsure about whether or not others will think you’re dressed appropriately for the wedding or date night later in the evening so make sure you don’t get stuck wearing them because they’re comfortable!
What does men’s semi-formal look like?
Semi-formal events for men can be a little tricky. The dress code is more formal than business casual, yet it’s still not as formal as a tuxedo or suit. Generally speaking, men wear a blazer, button-down shirt and khakis, or a dark suit with a tie.
The outfit would ideally be tailored to fit the individual man’s body type. For instance, if you are shorter and stockier in build, you should opt for smaller patterns on your suit and avoid wearing double-breasted jackets, which will make you look even boxier. Conversely, tall and skinny men should opt for larger patterns that help widen their frames.
You can be stylish, elegant and comfortable at your event and still look your best.
You can be stylish, elegant and comfortable at your event and still look your best. There are many options for semi formal attire. You can wear a suit or a blazer with a pair of jeans. You can wear a dress shirt with a pair of dress pants and a tie etc.
The bottom line is that you should always wear what makes you feel comfortable and confident. While it’s a good idea to keep the event in mind when choosing your outfit, the most important thing to remember on your big day is that everyone will be looking at the bride and groom, not at you. Plus, once the dancing starts, who’s going to care if your dress is slightly too short or your tie is slightly too wide? At the end of the day, it’s more important to dress for the occasion and the weather than it is to worry about what the dress code says.
For example, let’s say Your best friends, Rebecca and Chris, are getting married. They’ve invited you to the wedding, which is scheduled for a Saturday afternoon at a vineyard near your house. You’re excited! There will be delicious food, glasses of champagne pouring like waterfalls over the cliffs of France—or was that somewhere else? Anyway: there will be plenty of booze and good times to be had.
You check your email and find their invitation has arrived. It reads: “Semi-formal attire requested.” What does this mean? In order to help you figure out what to wear to this wedding as a guest and avoid any embarrassing faux pas, we prepared this guide on how to dress for a semi formal wedding.