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What does formal dress mean?

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Quick Answer

Formal dress may refer collectively to all attire considered appropriate for social events that demand strict adherence to ceremonial etiquette. It may also refer specifically to a ladies’ garment suited to that purpose.

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Full Answer

Although the trends of the 20th and 21st centuries in Western society have moved toward the loosening of fashion conventions, formal wear is still often considered de rigueur for social events steeped heavily in tradition, such as weddings, dances and debutante cotillions. For a man, a formal dress code conventionally requires a black tuxedo with a black tie or bow tie. For a woman, formal dress requires a long gown. Although the black tuxedo leaves little room for interpretation, ladies’ gowns vary more widely in color, fabric and style.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is formal attire?

    A:

    Formal attire refers to clothing that is suitable for formal events such as parties, weddings, dances, business functions and dinners. Formal attire for men typically consists of tuxedos and ties, while women's formal attire entails evening or ball gowns.

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  • Q:

    What is casual dress?

    A:

    Casual dress is typically more informal types of attire for men and women that is worn outside of office or formal settings. Casual dress may be more comfortable than business or professional attire.

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    How do you dress for success?

    A:

    Dressing for success includes wearing conservative attire, always wearing more instead of less, and asking an interviewer about the dress code if there is uncertainty. Men should wear such clothes as suits, dark pants and a white long-sleeved shirt. Successful clothing items for women are pant suits, or matching blouses, and hosiery.

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  • Q:

    How do you dress for a concert?

    A:

    Concert attire varies depending on the city and the venue, but semi-formal is always a safe option. For classical and symphony concerts, or recitals, semi-formal or business attire is appropriate. For opening nights or holiday events, formal wear or semi-formal wear with elegant or upscale accessories better marks the occasion.

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