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You’ve Asked, Macy’s Answered!

Macy’s can help make it easy to get dressed for your next big event…because you should always take the saying “dress to impress” seriously.



What Is Formal Attire?

Formal attire for women suggests that the dress code is actually slightly less formal than black tie and more formal than semiformal attire. Black tie events require you to wear a floor-length gown, whereas with formal attire you have a few more options. Semiformal attire is even more relaxed than formal attire where you can have more fun with silhouettes, textures and colors. If the event you’re invited to states that you should dress in formal attire, try these three formal dress options:

1.  Long Evening Dress. Typically, a floor-length gown that helps you avoid looking too casual.

2.  Formal Cocktail Dress. A chic cocktail dress is perfect for a formal event. Midi cocktail dresses are very on-trend right now—they look formal without being too dressy.

3.  Dressy Little Black Dress. Because your wardrobe deserves a LBD. Your feet will be on display with this timeless dress, so grab a classic pair of heels, too.


What Does Formal Attire Mean?

Formal attire can be defined by what you would wear to the fanciest event on your calendar such as a wedding, corporate event, gala party or holiday party. Not all of these events are alike, and the key to creating a flawless formal look is dressing for the specific occasion. For example, while a ball gown is fitting for a white tie wedding or gala party, it would not work during a semiformal daytime wedding or formal business function. We know the saying “it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed” is a thing, but you don’t want to overly stand out either.


What To Wear To A Formal Wedding?

You have a few options when it comes to dressing for a formal wedding. Plus, options are great when wedding season is around the corner and all your friends decided to get married in the same year. Fun (but expensive) times ahead. If you prefer to play it safe and dress on the more formal side, you can opt for a floor-length dress. Avoid a ball gown, as you wouldn’t want to take the attention away from the bride. You could also go with a tasteful cocktail dress such as a little black dress. Formal attire can greatly vary depending on the wedding dress code and theme. Here are some wedding dress code style pointers:

•  White Tie Weddings. You don’t have to be the one getting married—a white tie wedding is the one time it’s acceptable to wear a ball gown…just steer clear of white.

•  Black Tie Weddings. Go with a floor-length evening gown to ensure you do not look too casual. Fitted silhouettes with little to no embellishment are best for a sleek formal look. Simplicity and elegance, that’s all you need.

•  Black Tie Optional Weddings. Also known as formal wedding attire, reach for a formal cocktail dress in a subdued color like a LBD.

•  Semiformal Weddings. You can wear a cocktail dress, midi dress or dressy casual dress—a semiformal dress code gives you a little bit more fashion freedom. Semiformal is usually reserved for outdoor weddings, like beach weddings. Stick with loose flowy options that will keep you cool in the sun.


What Is Cocktail Attire?

Cocktail attire is a standard dress code, typically for parties, weddings and other evening functions. Even if you are just grabbing drinks with the girls at an after-hours work function, cocktail attire should always appear polished and sophisticated. A cocktail dress, night-out dress or smart-casual dress is best.


What Is Cocktail Attire For Women?

Cocktail attire for women consists of dresses that finish above the knee and a pair of high heels. Even though your cocktail attire should always remain refined and sophisticated, you can still have fun with your looks! Try out trendy colors, embellishments, sassy sleeve details, cut-out details and fun silhouettes. Unique accessories are ideal, too. That feeling when all eyes are on you…#Bestdressed.


What Does Black Tie Optional Mean?

Black tie optional is still considered formal attire and only slightly more relaxed than white or black-tie events—it doesn’t give you an excuse to dress down. The “optional” part of this dress code is more for men than women where it allows them the option to wear a tuxedo or suit. Women attending a black-tie optional event such as a wedding or fancy party, can expect to wear an evening dress, formal gown or cocktail dress.


What To Wear To An Evening Wedding?

A good rule of thumb for evening wedding attire is to dress more formal and conservatively. Stick to subdued colors: a black ball gown would look amazing at an evening white-tie wedding and a floor-length black formal gown would be stunningly chic at a black-tie wedding. If it’s black tie optional, definitely keep it formal, but you can also play around with the dress length and incorporate embellishments, texture and trendy colors. A gold formal dress would definitely pop yet look classy at the same time.


What To Wear To A Semiformal Wedding?

You can wear a cocktail dress, midi dress or dressy casual dress to a semiformal wedding. A little black dress is a great option but stick with a hemline that is no shorter than 2 inches above the knee. A semiformal wedding is a notch below formal and a step above casual, it also gives you a little bit more fashion freedom. Fashion trend in the wild: animal print dresses. Have no fear! A semiformal wedding allows you to explore trends, colors and prints. Semiformal weddings can be held during the evening, although they are usually reserved for outdoor weddings, such as beach weddings. If it is an outdoor wedding, stick with flowy options that will keep you cool in the sun.


What Does Dress To Impress Mean?

The saying “dress to impress” suggests that women wear dresses: cocktail dresses, floor-length gowns, formal dresses, party dresses, black tie dresses, black tie optional dresses and more! Essentially, any dress that would make your besties ask you for the deets.


What To Wear To A Holiday Party?

Ring in the holiday season and slay the holiday party scene with a super-festive holiday dress. If you’re heading to a company holiday party, keep it classy with a classic LBD and festive accessories—add a sparkly statement necklace, gold or red blazer, studded clutch and finish it off with a killer pair of pumps. If you’re one of the lucky ones who got the invite to a fancy holiday soiree, grab a velvet dress. It can be floor-length or knee-length. Either way, it’s the perfect weather-appropriate yet stylish event outfit. With a dress this good, you won’t need options!