Dress Code 101: Women's Attire - QC Makeup Academy

This blog is a cross-post from our Style Academy blog. We thought it might be useful here, too!

Fashion styles and trends are constantly changing and evolving from year to year, which makes it pretty hard to keep up! But do you know the appropriate attire to wear on different occasions? Our handy graphics may help.


Casual Wear


Casual wear constitutes the “everyday” look, such as what you would wear while running errands or shopping for groceries. Faded skinny jeans, runners, and a comfy t-shirt are perfectly acceptable for casual events. You can dress it up slightly with some accessories or keep it simple. Just be sure there are no stains, rips, or holes in your clothing and that all of your clothes are clean and fit properly!


Business Casual


Just what does “business casual” mean? This is an outfit that is work-appropriate. Most business places will have a dress code that is made up of either “business” or “business casual” attire. In some cases, there is a mix of both. Business casual attire can involve dark denim or pants, a flowy blouse, flats, accessories, and an optional blazer. Clothes should be clean and pressed (no wrinkles!) and lint-free.



Business Attire


Business attire is made up of clothes that you would wear to the office. Some offices expect strictly “business” attire, which is more formal and dressy than its cousin, “business casual” attire. A skirt or pant suit, high heels, modest accessories and a mandatory blazer are acceptable for business attire. Ensure that clothes are well-pressed, clean, lint-free and polished.


Formal Attire


Formal attire is what you would wear to a cocktail party, work dinner, gala, wedding, or reception. If the invitation does not specifically state “black tie”, it is safe to assume the dress is formal. A dress (knee length is fine!), high heels, pantyhose or tights, accentuated accessories and classic makeup are expected at formal events.



Black Tie attire


Black tie attire is most often specified on an invitation well before the date of the event so that attendees have time to prepare their wardrobe. It is reserved for very formal occasions such as weddings, operas, and galas. A long, flowing gown, lavish jewellery, classy heels and a tasteful clutch are acceptable for black tie affairs. (Note: invitations that say “black tie optional” mean that you should wear your black tie attire!)


Author Erin Siksay

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