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With Christmas fast approaching, the invitations to social events start to come in.

However, with the invitations come the thoughts, about what you will you wear, there is a fine line between Formal, Smart Casual and Casual dress.

This article will look at the difference between Formal and Evening Casual wear.

Formal Wear

Black Tie event generally refers to Formal Wear that should be worn larger social gatherings such as weddings or events in top class Hotels.

There are also people who like to wear a Tuxedo with a Cumberband this gives the wearer a sophisticated look.  Tuxedos can be made up of Black Trousers, White Jacket, Black or White Shirt and Bow tie or off course Black Jacket and Trousers with traditional white shirt and black bow tie.

In some countries formal events are good excuse to get out their national dress for example in Scotland the traditional dress for men is the Full Kilt Dress which is very smart although it can either be too cold or warm depending on the extent that they take the tradition and also the weather.

Off course Formal Events for women are completely different, as they do not need an excuse to get dressed up however, an appointment at the beauty salon for hair and nails is more likely.

Then there is the decision about what to wear do they go for the timeless classic of the Little Black Dress or go for the latest cocktail dress that has hit the high streets.

do you have a busy social calendar over the festive period

Smart Casual

This option is in between Formal Wear and Casual and most people are unsure what this actually means and start to panic about what is acceptable for a smart casual dress code.

Smart Casual for Men basically means Trousers and Sports Jacket and a plain shirt, wearing t-shirts is not considered Smart casual and should be avoided at all times.

For Women smart casual can mean the same as formal dress, as the little black dress is considered sophistication personified thanks to Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s however, smart casual can also include tailored trousers or skirt and a nice jacket or cardigan/Shawl.


Unlike the Formal wear and Smart Casual options Casual dress gives a little bit more freedom in what we are going to wear however, we still need to take care with how we dress, as you do not want to offend anyone.

Casual dress should still look smart but not as formal a nice pair of black jeans and smart t-shirt would be acceptable with either a dark pair of shoes or boots, you should avoid trainers at all cost this is not a good look for an event.

Samantha Jones is a fashion blogger that loves to write blogs on everything from Funny T-Shirts to the latest Little Black Dress.

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