Have you ever been invited to a black tie event and wondered what that really means? It’s wedding season in Wisconsin so we’ve come up with some tips to help you dress appropriately for every event you attend. 

Many invitations give you instructions on how to dress for the formal event, but what do those instructions mean? If you’re invited to a black tie event does that mean you have to wear a black tie? What about women, what are they to wear? Klinke Cleaners has deciphered some of these dress code instructions for you, but keep in mind that there still are no hard and fast rules and it’s common to see people deviating from the prescribed invitation dress code. 

Casual – A casual dress code means you can wear whatever you want. 

Informal – Informal dress codes tend to cause a bit of confusion, they do not mean casual they’re actually the same as a semi-formal event. 

Semi-Formal – A semi-formal event means the men should wear dark suits and the women should wear a cocktail dress of any length. For women this means that a knee length dress is perfectly suitable. 

Black Tie Optional – This party invitation dress code is one of the most confusing but it basically means that a man can opt for a dark tuxedo or suit and that a woman should wear a formal gown or cocktail dress. 

Black Tie – At black tie events the men wear tuxedos and the women wear gowns or cocktail dresses; quite often the women’s dresses are floor length. 

Formal – If you receive an invitation to a formal event, it generally falls under the black tie dress code, but in some places formal just means that you should dress for the occasion. It depends on the event and the host(ess). 

White Tie – This is the most formal event dress code. Women are required to wear long gowns and the men have to wear a tuxedo and quite often tails with a white vest, shirt and tie. 

Modern weddings and parties run the gamut from a casual affair on a beach to black tie formal events at exclusive resorts. It’s best to use the above definitions as a guideline and consider the host or hostess’s intentions. Every Klinke Cleaners location handles party and wedding clothing on a regular basis, make sure you have your clothing dry cleaned before and after the event so you look your best on the big day and so you preserve your garments well into the future