Dress Codes (2)
All employers will discuss with you their company's policies on office attire and dress codes as part of the interviewing process. You might need to invest in your work wardrobe. When you are on a tight budget you can search online for great deals on clothes and shoes or take advantage of special offers and coupons.
Dress Codes in Dining:
Many establishments that serve food and drink strive to create an atmosphere appropriate to their target market - i.e. the kinds of people they wish to serve. Some restaurants don't offer good food, but rather fine dining - indicating that the food may be the star of the show, but the experience of the meal is more than just a "supporting cast".
If you're planning an evening out to a fine restaurant, it is a good idea when you phone for your reservations to ask about the establishment's dress code.
What The Codes Mean:
Taking into account the three categories of modern life where dress codes come into play, you can easily find yourself facing an amazingly long list of "codes" to decipher. And, as men's and women's fashions are totally different, dress codes mean different things to each gender. Below is a listing of the dress codes you are most likely to encounter in work, dining and social gatherings, where you are likely to see the terms and what they mean for both men and women:
Black Tie - generally seen referring to social gatherings, and some fine dining
For men this means wear a tuxedo or please do not attend. A dark or black suit is not 'just as good' for a black tie affair. It is also not a function where you should take liberties with the tuxedo look. Simple, classic tuxedo with black bow tie is exactly what you want.
For women, dress code black tie means dressing for elegance - preferably long gowns, although a very nice cocktail dress would suit. A black tie affair would be an occasion to visit your hairdresser to have your hair done for the evening. Use jewelry to accent your ensemble.
Black Tie Invited - generally seen referring to social gatherings, and some fine dining
For men this means your host would like for you to wear a tuxedo if at all possible, but you will not be turned away without one. However, the option you have is for a dark (black) suit and tie. Nothing that is less formal will be appropriate.
For women, black tie invited is the same as black tie. Women have more variety in what is available to wear in these situations but should stick with the long gown or nice cocktail-length dress. As with black tie, a trip to the hairdresser is appropriate.
Black Tie Optional - generally seen referring to social gatherings, and some fine dining
For men this means that if you would like to wear a tuxedo, you should feel welcome to do so, but your host has no preference and would be happy as long as you wear a dark (black or navy) suit and tie.
For women, black tie optional is the same as black tie. Women have more variety in what is available to wear in these situations but should stick with the long gown or nice cocktail-length dress. As with black tie, a trip to the hairdresser is appropriate.
Business Casual - typically a business clothing term, but also used by some restaurants
For men, business casual means that wearing a suit and tie to the office is overdressing. Khakis, slacks, button down collars, and maybe a sport coat if you feel you must have one, but wearing a tie is inappropriate. Jeans are not business casual.
For women, business casual means skirts, pants, blouses and dresses in simple fabrics and comfortable, more conservative styles - something appropriate to the office environment. Jeans are not business casual.