When hosting a themed party or event, a dress code for guests helps set the atmosphere of the party. Whether it is the event location that requires a specific dress code, or your event that calls for themed apparel, the party invitation informs guests of the expectations. The wording you use is important, as this is how to get the point across without seeming rude in your request.
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Make a polite request to adhere to the event's dress code at the bottom of the invitation. If you want your guests to dress formally, for example, write "formal attire preferred," "formal attire requested," "formal attire suggested," "formal attire required," "formal attire welcome" or "formal attire preferred." Replace "formal attire" for the dress code desired.
Use words such as "luxury," "formal" and "black tie" to request that guests dress elegantly. You can use the phrases "black tie" or "black tie optional" alone to indicate the formality of the event. Most male guests will wear an appropriate black suit, if not a tuxedo, and women will know to wear evening gowns.
Use "informal," "semi-formal" or "business formal" to indicate a grade below black tie but still jacket and tie; for example, "semi-formal attire requested."
Describe in detail the type of casual if the dress code is casual attire. Use familiar terminology, such as "business casual," "sporty casual," "day casual," "dressy casual" and "resort casual;" for example, "business casual attire required."
Describe the color scheme, if the event has a color theme. For example, a color-themed formal ball can be described as a black-tie event black or white attire preferred.
Give an example of what is acceptable and not acceptable if you use nontraditional dress styles such as urban chic, cocktail formal or beach formal. Inject humor into the invitation, if appropriate, for a casual affair.