Anyone who has been invited to weddings with diffuse dress codes such as summer chic, creative cocktail, or casual elegance knows how difficult these can be to interpret.
Although the intention behind it is to make it easier for the guests, it tends to give the opposite effect as the level of formality is not apparent.
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Regardless of whether the dress code was a formal dress, tuxedo, or blazer, the purpose was to convey what level of formality the bride or host couple wanted.
It is quite logical as few things can make a guest as uncomfortable as appearing underdressed or overdressed in relation to the rest of the guests.
— Alexander Lundqvist shot in New York wearing our double breasted tuxedo
The most effective way to handle a diffuse dress code is to contact the bride and groom and ask them to clarify their ambition concerning the dress code. It is important to remember that a wedding is the couple’s big day and the two people who should be in focus.
If they desire a casual outfit, this is what one should aspire for, but then casual for one guest can mean a linen suit with a buttoned shirt while another defines it as a t-shirt and jeans, the uniformity risks being lost.
As a bridal couple, if you have specific wishes that may not fit within the four most established dress codes, it is still a decency to write them in the invitation. Dress codes such as club jacket, white dress, or odd blazer are not established but at least explain what you mean. The four most established common dress codes are leaving less room for personal interpretation. We have chosen to summarize them and let you know what a guest is expected to wear if any of them are to be found on the invitation.
Today’s most formal attire usually is an evening dress in black wool, a white dress shirt with a flared collar, and simple cuffs that are still worn with cufflinks. A white, deeply cut vest and white bow tie are worn with this. The bow-tie is most elegant when being tied by hand and the footwear should be black patent leather shoes or opera pumps.
Historically, a tuxedo is an evening garment worn only after 6PM, but today it is an increasingly common feature at both Swedish and international weddings. The tuxedo should be black or midnight blue in a seasonal fabric. It’s characterized by the silk lapel blazer and silk stripes along the sides of the trousers.
The white tuxedo jacket has its origin in tropical climates as white was cooler in these scorching climates. Even today, the version does best in warmer latitudes and more informal tuxedo offerings. The tuxedo shirt is exclusively white and has a classic folded-down collar with double cuffs and can have a pleated or pique-covered breast. To the dress code tuxedo, you wear an exclusively black bow tie, and on the feet you choose, like the evening dress, black patent leather shoes or opera pumps. Albert slippers in velvet could also be suitable for smaller and more intimate parties.
One of the clearest dress codes was previously named jacket, it refers as the name suggests to an entire suit in a dark shade. The suit can be single or double buttoned and is advantageously in a shade of dark blue or gray wool. The shirt should be white but can have a single or double cuff, and for that, you wear an optional tie. Here is the opportunity for a more personal expression in the form of colors and patterns. On the feet, one traditionally wears black lace-up shoes in leather.
Since the dress code dark suit entered, the jacket has been given a more informal interpretation. Historically, it was just a dark suit and black shoes, but today the dress code is open to a broader interpretation. Depending on the season, a light suit, shirt in a light blue or pink shade, and brown lace-up shoes or loafers may be perfectly acceptable. Note, however, that it is still a whole suit and not an odd jacket, as the name may suggest. Despite the more informal meaning, the guest is still expected to wear a tie.