A Beginner’s Guide To Formal And Semi Formal Styles

A Beginner’s Guide To Formal And Semi Formal Styles

A Beginner’s Guide To Formal And Semi Formal Styles

Many years ago, men used to attend events often where black tie and white tie were worn. At that time, formal dressing mainly meant white ties and coat tails, whereas semi formal dressing was dinner suits and black ties. People of that time knew way more about fashion than that of today. Despite living in a fashion forward time, some of us don’t even have the slightest of clue about the difference between the two types of clothing. If you struggle with this too then keep reading, because this article has everything you need.

At its core, traditional formal dressing includes both black tie and white tie. However, semi formal dressing is more comfortable and relaxed like a dark suit with a tie.



Tuxedos are the ultimate formal dresses. For very formal occasions, a bow tie is crucial along with a tailed coat and white shirt. The bow tie must be white. For slightly less formal events, a black tie is a must along with a tail-less coat along with a cummerbund or a waistcoat. A black bow tie is also acceptable. Some events demand a morning attire. A morning dress includes a morning coat, striped trousers and a waistcoat. If the event is not too formal, you can wear a blue tux as well.

However, to be on safe side, familiarize yourself with the classics. If in doubt, you can rock those without a second thought. Try not to experiment if you’re new to the game and stick with the classics. Make sure your suit fits you perfectly. Like your suit, keep your hairstyle simple, too, and don’t wear gaudy accessories.

Semi Formal


Despite not being meant as a semi formal item of clothing, you can wear a tux to a semi formal occasion for its suave and sophisticated look. For evening events, a dark suit and tie are more appropriate. You can wear light colored suits too as long as you keep your shirt and tie conventional. Keep the shoes smart and accessories, such as watches and pocket squares, subtle and not too flashy.

As you have so many choices in semi formal dressing, there is a higher chance that a beginner ends up wearing something wrong. So, feel free to ask your host about the expected dressing and nail it. While dressing semi formal, you should know that you can ditch the tie if you want to. Also, while picking a necktie, keep it simple. Anything too bold is not appreciated. Semi formal doesn’t mean casual, so keep the essence of your overall attire formal and stay away from khakis, jeans, shorts and other casual pieces.

This is all you need to know about the basics of formal and semi formal dressing. To sum it up, if you’re invited to a formal event, go for a well-fitting tux and do not experiment with your attire. And if you’re expected to dress semi formal, dark suits are the best option for an evening event and traditional light suits for the day. Ditch the tie if you want to, and use the opportunity to have fun with your look while following rules.