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How To Decode The Party Dress Code

Posted on: by Women's Health

By Mari Groenewald

Yep, party season is upon us! No idea what to wear to that wedding, end-year function or Christmas dinner party? We help you decipher the dress code with these few dress up do’s and don’ts… 

White Tie or Formal

CODE FOR: This means you need to make a serious effort. Think red carpet.
DO: wear comfy shoes. As long as it’s sparkling or has shiny detail you can get away with it.
DON’T: go for a poofy shape if you’re short, try a slinkier silhouette that contours your shape.
TRY: These Dolce Vita Diamante detail red pumps (left) or this Gert Johann Coetzee twist maxi dress in red.
White Tie Event

Black Tie or Semi-Formal

CODE FOR: This type of invite is calling for smart attire but allows for some creative freedom.
DO: show off some skin in an elegant way. A high-slit and asymmetrical neckline reveals just enough without looking cheap.
DON’T: outshine the bride with a fabulous white or ivory number, stick to pastels if you want to go for a lighter palette.
TRY: This Eligere one shoulder black gown (below) or Ilan Eternity dress in pink.
Black Tie Event


CODE FOR:  Fun, sexy and not-so formal.
DO: Consider a longer dress, a short little number isn’t the only go-to.  Or go with a high-low hemline that will give you the best of both worlds!
DON’T: stick to black, try a statement hue instead.
TRY: This Gert Johann Coetzee high-low maxi dress or Mango Little Red Dress.

Smart Casual

CODE FOR: This means neat but informal. 
DO: add some drama. Add a statement neck-piece to a simple shift dress for an instant upgrade.
DON’T: stick to dresses only, try a jumpsuit for a fashionable statement paired with cute flats or heels.
TRY: This Inch beaded tribal necklace black (below) or a Next Metallic jumpsuit.

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