top of page

Complete Bespoke Guide to Men's Dress Codes

White Tie? Creative Black Tie? What Now?

So you've been invited to a wedding and the invitation says white tie, it is not unusual for panicked questions racing across your mind once the initial excitement is over. What is that? Can I wear a Tuxedo? Bowtie or Tie?

Fret not! We will list a quick rundown on all the formalities and Vestio Bespoke got you covered.


Morning Dress

+ Known as formal day dress or morning suit

+ Only worn during the day, before 6pm

+ Morning coat, cutaway front, peak lapels

+ Waistcoat, same fabric as coat or coloured ("odd waistcoat")

+ Trousers, grey striped or checks

+ Shirt, turndown collar with tie or high wing collar with formal ascot

+ Shoes, black oxfords or boots

+ Optional, top hat, cane, umbrella, pocket watch, boutonniere


White Tie

+ Known as full evening dress, tails or dress suits

+ Most formal style of dress for the evening

+ Tailcoat, peak lapels, worn unbuttoned

+ Waistcoat, white, low cut

+ Trousers, high waisted with braids on sides

+ Shirt, wing-tip with stiff fronts

+ Shoes, black shoes, court or opera

+ White Bowtie


Black Tie

+ Less formal than white tie

+ Tuxedo Jacket, dark coloured with silk lapels

+ Cummerbund or low cut, waistcoat, never both

+ Trousers, braids on sides

+ Shirt, winged-collar, cufflink holes, pleated or bib

+ Shoes, black, patent, or velvet slippers

+ Bowtie, Cufflinks, Shirt studs


Creative Black Tie

+ Twist on the formal black tie, play on the main attributes

+ Tuxedo Jacket, go loud with bold colours or patterns with silk lapels

+ Cummerbund/Waistcoat, coloured only if tuxedo is more subdued


Cocktail/Fashionable Attire

+ In between black tie and smart casual

+ Suit, try lighter colours, or lighter materials ie linens, or monotone

+ Shirt, opt for an air tie(buttoned up without tie)

+ Swap your shirt for a rollneck or a tshirt

+ Shoes, put your best foot forward

+ More is more is more can be ostentatious unless you are a maestro of maximalism, for the rest of us, edit your look to have one focal point, be it colour, jacket, accessories, or shirt.

+ Contrast is key, bold jacket - simple shirt, statement coat - subdued inners, loud trousers - minimal top


Smart Casual / Business Casual

+ Fine line between smart casual and business casual

+ Business casual is for professional environment sans suit & tie

+ Smart Casual can be more informal such as jeans accented with a blazer

+ Jacket, sports, shade and fabrics can be more casual

+ Trousers, do not need to match jacket

+ Shirt, polos or tshirts are acceptable today

+ No Neckties

+ Shoes, ranging from moccasins, loafers to even sneakers



+ Suit jacket & trousers should be the same fabric

+ Dark shades, navy, grey, black or patterned

+ Shirt, stiff collars,

+ Necktie, bold colours

+ Shoes, same colour as belt


Adhering to dress code is not just a formality or tradition, it is about showing respect to your host, respecting the professionalism of a workplace, etc.

That being said, as we go towards a more informal society, with offices filled with employees in track pants, what is acceptable as the dress code or the specifics of what you wear will be dependant on the event location and occasion. When in doubt, go all out, at least you will look better than those that do not bother.

774 views0 comments


bottom of page