Contrary to the popular belief, semi formal is quite easy to follow. That being said, verify with the host in order to avoid confusion as certain black tie events mention semi formal dress code in the invitation. Even though the gentlemen are limited to black and other muted, dark tones at the formal event, the prepared man will stand out if he carefully considers the important details in evening dress.
If underdressed, there surely will not be another properly fitted jacket freely available. In a sense, dressing for formal events makes the decision making process easier than more casual events. Because the option of garment type have been decided at formal events, the remaining details are few.
The whole purpose of the black-tie format is to give an almost militaristic, rank-and-file tone to the important occasion. Even though the gentlemen are limited to black and other muted, dark tones at the formal event, the prepared man will stand out if he carefully considers the important details in evening dress.
Please note that some of these terms are only for North America, as the English and Europeans have their own terminology. The same word does not always have the same meaning. When the invitation mentions Black Tie, Black Tie Preferred, Full Dress, Le Smoking, or Smoking for an evening formal event, then your host is providing an elegant affair and expects you to dress accordingly.
Black Tie is the most common expression. No matter which term is used, any black tie event requires a tuxedo. Tuxedo is an American term; it is known as evening dress throughout the rest of the English-speaking world. Much like a fine champagne served at a formal event, there are exact specifications that make the traditional tuxedo the genuine article.
When renting or purchasing a tuxedo, make sure the complete set is presented and available for the suit. Even though black tie events are relatively rare for the average man, buying a custom fitted tuxedo rather than renting one is the best option because it can be expertly tailored. Also, owning a tailored tuxedo can be cost-effective if you attend more than one black-tie event per year. These events include but not limited to weddings, operas, state dinners, charity dinners and balls and awards ceremonies.
This event calls for either a tuxedo or dark suit. Another fashion faux pas many men commit is wearing sports coats to a semi formal event. Consider the fact that they are woefully out of place if the event is strictly semi formal. Sports coats essentially fall under the category of business casual or semi casual attire; a suit is therefore a better choice when in doubt.
You can alternatively wear a blazer, especially if you are dressing for a daytime outdoor event. The later the event is, the darker and dressier your suit should be! This is one of the Golden Rules you must follow when dressing for evening events. Combine the dark suit with a lighter shade shirt. You can even wear cufflinks along with a tie and a pair of laced up dress shoes.
Semi formal is a flexible dress code. As a result, there is enough room for experimenting with your look. By definition, semiformal during the evening is black tie and the day is stroller which is very rare to find these days while formal is white tie or morning dress even more rare.
All you have written about is informal attire and leading guys down the wrong path due to your ignorance. Thank you for your response, LW.
FORMAL attire will be the least worn by the average person the Royals on the other hand will do it with a lot more frequency. A tie bow or straight is a MUST. Please use an etiquette guide next time and readers, please be careful where you get your information. So much of this article is wrong. Semi-formal is defined as black tie. Formal is defined as white tie. As LW states, this article is leading guys down the wrong bath as it is giving advice on informal not even business dress codes.
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I know this is off subject nevertheless I simply needed to ask. While semi formal is more relaxed than formal, jeans or even khaki pants would still be considered inappropriate. Of course, as this article testifies, not everyone knows what they are talking about.
What is missing here is the number one key piece of advice… ask the host what they expect you to wear. Ok people, let me add mud, I mean clarity, to the conversation.
White Tie requires a Top Hat, preferably beaver fur. Think Royal Ascot in Royal Box. White Tie at night is black coat with tails, white tie, waist coat and bib shirt along with tuxedo style pants 2 vs 1 side strip of fashion Nazis. In the ole days, a conductor wore this in front of the symphony. A Stroller suit is the same as morning dress except with a short normally black jacket think Winston Churchill. Stresemann for this exchange of daylight jackets. He noted a Cutaway coat is great for riding horses, but sucks for sitting a desk.
Some attorneys and Masons still wear a Stresemann suit. President Ronald Reagan wore morning dress at his first inauguration and a stroller suit for his second. I will not step off into creative, casual, business casual, cocktail attire, etc. OK, let me share what I have in my closet like you care except I somewhat have all the basics covered at minimum costs.
First, I have both a dark grey and light grey suit with matching light grey vest. Next I have a black cutaway coat and a black vest. I have a choice of black sad vest or light grey happy. During winter, my tribute to a stroller suit is my dark grey suit with either a black or light grey vest.
Loud striped pants are just not me. I add a somewhat bright long tie for happy and long black tie for sad occasions. Basically, I wear the same outfit for both morning dress or stroller except for the jacket. Black cutaway for white tie and grey suit jacket for black tie. For nighttime, I have a black tuxedo for black tie and a black coat with tails for white tie. I use my stripped tux pants for both white and back tie. White tie requires an expensive bib shirt that matches the white-tie-only white cotton vest.
Oh, nighttime white-tie shirt is wing collar with a small loop in back to hold the bow tie ; all the other shirts are turndown collars with cuff links. Many people who should know better like President Bush wear white tie wrong. To wear correctly you need braces suspenders to hold your pants up to nearly your arm pits so no white vest peeks underneath the half-coat.
Anyway, this is what I use to cover whatever comes up. I had all of them tailored to fit well. An inexpensive well-fitting outfit fit looks much better than an expensive sloppy fit. Now the challenge is not to put on weight ha ha. Also, I wear suits for business and sports coats with high-end chinos no double seams , a tie and soft sole dress shoes for business casual—leather soled shoes for business and up.
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