Dress Codes Guide: Women

Decoding Dress Codes: For Women

Dress codes have always been vague and kind of tricky. This post will provide you with a small description of the most common dress code terms along with outfit examples for women. I am trying to provide you with as many pictures as possible, because, from personal experience, I know that no matter how many descriptions I read, I never seem to be able to completely grasp the concept. Therefore, I think visual representation works better as you can try to mimic the outfits.

Click on any picture to enlarge it.

Next week, I will be posting a similar guide for men.


“Dress comfortably” can summarize this dress code. Come as you are but try to avoid wearing sweatpants. (Jeans, Casual Blouse, Flats, Sundress, Sandals, etc.)

Casual Chic

It’s a feminine style that still maintains the comfort of jeans. It consists of mixing a dressy element, like a feminine blouse with something completely informal, like a pair of jeans. A nice skirt, with a sweater would also work. Heels can be used to dress up your outfit as well.

Business Casual

Business Casual is classical rather than trendy. If you would wear it to a club, you probably shouldn’t wear it in a business environment. (Black trousers, Pencil skirts, blouse, etc.)

Business Attire

This is where things start to get serious. Aim for suits and very formal professional outfits. Dark colors are preferable in this case, or a simple white or beige suit. Avoid flashy colors.

Festive Attire/Cocktail Attire

Depending on the season and event function -usually holiday parties or outdoor weddings. Think dressy but fun! (Colorful cocktail dress, colorful jumpsuit, bold jewelry , glittery clutch, heels,etc.)


Commonly, it is known as the “little black dress” outfit with pearls.

Alternatively, you can wear a little more dressy than a festive/cocktail attire focusing mainly on lace.

Black Tie Optional/ Creative Black Tie

Floor-length dresses or conservative little black dresses and cocktail dresses can be worn for this dress code. If the dress code mentions the term “creative”, you can choose a trendy gown or fun accessories.

Black Tie

Just pretend you’re going to the Oscars!

Happy Dress Coding!



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