Image by Grace Torres
So you’ve been invited to a wedding, and the invitation states that the dress code is black tie optional (or black tie encouraged). You’re left wondering what you should wear–you don’t want to look too formal, but you also don’t want to be too casual. This dress code has become increasingly popular over the last couple of years to encourage guests to dress up without feeling the pressure of a true black tie dress code. However, if you’ve never attended a wedding with this particular requested attire before, you may be left feeling confused.
Here at Junebug, we’re here to help couples planning their weddings and wedding guests alike. That’s why we’re here to break down what black tie optional means and even give you a few outfit ideas so you don’t have to spend all your time at the mall or online shopping.
What Does Black Tie Optional Mean?
Before we can give you outfit ideas, we have to break down what the dress code entails. In simple terms, the couple tying the knot would like to see all of their guests get dressed up. Although a gown or tux is not required, the newlyweds would appreciate it. The term is vague for a reason–the couple is giving you flexibility in your outfit choice. This is ideal for those who don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on wedding guest attire.
To paint a picture, there’s a good chance that the wedding party will be wearing tuxedos and floor-length bridesmaid dresses, so guests should match the formality of the wedding.
Image by Laura Diliberto
How to Decide How Formal You Should Be
If you’ve received a black tie optional invitation and you’re not sure what to wear, the first thing you can look at is the venue and the season of the wedding. If the wedding is in the summer and you’re concerned about being too hot, you may choose to go for a cocktail dress or a long gown with a slit for some breathability–though there are ways you can still dress this up, too. If it’s winter, lean into the warmer colors and long gowns.
The same goes for the venue. Is it taking place in a garden? Don’t be afraid to rock a floral gown to match the outdoor setting. Is the affair going to be Italian-themed? Think about what you’d wear to a formal dinner on the Amalfi Coast.
Recommended Reading: Wedding Guest Dresses for Every Type of Wedding
How Should You Do Your Hair and Makeup?
Because you are going to be dressed up, your hair and makeup should match. Now’s the chance to experiment and take your regular routine up a notch. Not typically one to wear bold makeup? Go for it. Wear your hair up most of the time? Don a half-up-half-down hairstyle or loose waves.
Black Tie Optional Outfit Ideas
Black Tie Optional Dresses
1. Melora Sleeveless Maxi Dress. 2. Nookie Viva 2Way Gown 3. BHLDN Dylan One-Shoulder Satin Side-Slit Gown 4. Loveliest Vision Sweetheart Trumpet Hem Maxi Dress 5. ELLIATT Sakura Gown 6. BHLDN Leila Deep-V Flutter-Sleeve Satin A-Line Gown
We know that picking out the perfect outfit for upcoming weddings is more overwhelming than one would think. Choosing the perfect outfit is just part of the fun of going to a wedding after all. If you’ve got a wedding coming up, we’re helping you find the outfit of your dream, no matter what season. Have a summer wedding coming up? We got you! Maybe fall. You’re covered there too. Same with winter and spring too. Happy shopping!
Image by Mackensey Alexander Photography
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