A Black Tie invitation calls for formal attire. Men wear tuxedos, women wear long dresses or dressy evening separates. A little black dress is appropriate for black tie functions!
Formal usually means the same as Black Tie, but in some trendier cities, it could mean a black shirt, no tie with a tux. Women wear cocktail dresses, long dresses or dressy evening separates.
A White Tie or Ultra-formal invitation requires that men wear full dress, with white tie, vest, shirt. Women wear long gowns.
Creative Black Tie leaves room for trendy interpretations of formal wear. A man can go modern with a tux, maybe a black shirt, no tie. Women wear long dresses, short dresses or evening separates.
A Black Tie Optional or Black Tie Invited gives men the option of wearing a tuxedo or dark suit. Women wear long dresses, cocktail dresses or dressy evening separates.
Semi-Formal, Business Formal or After Five means that tuxes are not required, nor are long dresses. An evening wedding (after 6 PM) would still dictate dark suits for men, and a cocktail dress for women. Daytime Semi-Formal events require a suit for men and an appropriate short dress or dressy suit for women. *Business Formal for men is Semi-Formal and women require a tailored dressy suit or dress.
Cocktail Attire is a short, elegant dress for women and dark suits for men. The little black dress is the ultimate cocktail dress or special occasion dress.
Resort Formal is for beach weddings and out door warm weather events. Men wear button down short sleeve shirts and khakis. Women wear light weight fabric with bright prints, such as a pretty floral sundress.
Festive Attire is usually seen around the holidays with the mood of the party either Semi-Formal or Casual.
Dressy Casual calls for dressed-up versions of casual looks. For men, it could be trousers and a sport coat. For women, dressy separates. *Jeans, shorts, T-shirts and other casual looks are not appropriate for Dressy Casual.
Informal is interpreted as Casual but it actually calls for the same dress as Semi-Formal. Dark suits for men, short dresses for women; especially when associated with a wedding or special event.
Casual generally is anything goes. Jeans, t-shirt, shorts and other relaxed wear are appropriate.