Dress codes for the big day

Have you ever receive a wedding invitation card and wonder what does the dress code even mean? You may receive a dress code such as “White tie” but you are not sure what is actually appropriate to wear as guests. Here is some explanation of what the different dress code truly means and what not to wear for a wedding.

White Tie

White tie is the most formal in the traditional western dress code. As men would dress up with a black dress tailcoat worn over a white formal shirt, a white vest and bow tie around the collar and will complete the outfit with black trousers and a black leather shoes. For ladies, it will be to wear an evening gown. you can pair your dress with jewellery, heels and clutch. However, nowadays nobody would demand a wedding dress code to be like this.

Black Tie

Black tie is a semi-formal dress code compared to a white tie dress code. As men would dress in a black tuxedo, white formal shirt and cuff ring. For ladies, it will be a long dress, cocktail dress or even dressy pants to match up with heels or dressy flats.

Smart casual

This is the most common dress code in Singapore as many couples do not expect their guest to wear a black tuxedo or evening gowns for their wedding as long they look presentable. We always hear of smart casual but what does that mean? How formal do we need to be or how casual can we be? It is a dress code that is quite as done-up as formal attire but also not formal. Smart casual is less restrictive and still look sharp and elegant but are also comfortable. For men, smart casual would be jacket or blazer and shirt to match up with trousers or even a pair of dark coloured jeans and leather shoes. For ladies, chic dress in an appropriate cut and pair with heels and casual accessories. You can even wear dress pants or jumpsuit to have a different style.


This is the most nowadays if the wedding is outdoor, it will be most likely a casual dress code. Casual dress code depends on the location of the wedding. For men, it could be a casual shirt with a pair of jeans and shoes. For ladies, it can be a nice casual dress to match with sandals or shoes.

What NOT to wear for a wedding?

#1 Wearing white

Everyone knows that you should not be wearing white to a wedding as it can be very disrespectful for the bride. On that special occasion for the bride who wants to be the only one wearing white and being the main star of the day. The only exception would be if the couple has asked all the guests to wear white as the dress code of the wedding day.

#2 Wearing similar dress as the bridesmaid

Sometimes it is hard to know what the bridesmaid is wearing on the day itself. If you know what they are wearing, try to avoid it. You will not want people to mistake you as a bridesmaid.

#3 Underdress

It is better to overdress for a wedding then underdress even though you might not be very sure of the dress code. If a wedding invitation card states smart casual or even casual, try not to wear shorts or ripped jeans as it can be very inappropriate for such a big occasion.