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Dress Code Ideas: What to Wear for Different Occasions?

There are different types of clothing to be used for different types of occasions and it would be an error on your path if you wear the wrong type of clothing for the wrong occasion. There are different types of dressing and know what to put on for the appropriate occasion depicts elegance and style.

Even though you may not actually be trying to but knowing what to wear and what fits you appropriately will give you a sense of social confidence and as well grant you an audience in the social world.

Let me give you this tip: Most people in a social gathering who are not exactly socially known are approached simply because of what they wear and how they combine their accessories. To gain social stature, you need to know what to wear for each occasion.

If you are still wondering on what to wear for an occasion, I believe this article should be able to give you a little help in choosing appropriately. For the sake of diversity, this article will only be giving you some tips, but you can always free-style and fine tune to what suits you for the occasion.

There are different occasions and they will be highlighted below with what dressing should be worn for those occasions.

For Weddings


As a wedding guest, you are supposed to look elegant and beautiful. What you wear to a wedding depends largely on where the wedding is supposed to take place and the type of wedding that you are going for.

This is what I mean: you can’t wear a dress for an African traditional wedding to an Indian wedding. For the white wedding: As a guest, you can look for a nice casual outfit to wear. If you want to opt for a dress, you can wear a floral dress or a nice short but not revealing dress.

For the reception or a wedding taking place in the evening or on a beach: You can as well wear a nice cocktail dress with nice heels and matching purses to go with it.

A small tip for the men; You can decide to opt for a nice well-tailored coloured suit as this would show you are confident in what you are wearing.


  • Don’t wear revealing dresses or the kind of dress that you would wear to the club. This could portray you as being too desperate for attention and it can put you in a bad social limelight.
  • For the men, if you are wearing a suit, avoid wearing anything dark such as a black or navy colored suit. This is because it may begin to look as if you just came from the office or you are on your way to the office
  • Avoid wearing jeans or extremely casual clothing such as wearing jeans and cowboy boots to a wedding. Though you might portray casual but if it is a church wedding, then it could portray you as someone who is seeking for attention.
  • For the ladies, avoid wearing white. If you must wear a light colour, you can opt for peach or pink. You really don’t want to overdo things or overshadow the bride.

You are allowed to be very beautiful but don’t do it excessively. You can decide to go for a full make up or something light. This depends on you. You can be classy but try not to come out as desperate for social attention.

For Proms


Dear young ladies, I know you are all excited about going to prom and you probably have picked up a dress or you are thinking of picking a dress, well let’s help you, shall we?

When going for proms, there are some do’s and don’ts that must be taken into consideration and they include:

  • You must be beautiful and comfortable in your dress. Don’t compromise one for the other. If you do, you just might regret it. If you are a little bit lumpy, don’t try to squeeze yourself into a tiny dress. If you do, you would simply end up getting air snuffed out of your lungs and end up being a negative drama queen for the night and we sure don’t want that.
  • Remember, be modest but yet classy. You sure don’t want to dress skimpy for the night. Prom dresses are allowed to be long or short but then we don’t want the extra skimpy or mini gowns. That could portray you as a very desperate lady who needs attention.
  • If you are going for a long dress, ensure that the hem of the dress complements your height very well. If you must go for a short dress, then ensure that your short dress is no shorter than the mid-thigh length. Anyone that is shorter than the mid length simply shouts “desperation” and will remove very sense of class and elegance from you.
  • Opt for dresses with colours that will complement and flatter your skin tone and not the one which would oppose your skin tone or tend to downplay your skin colour. For example, if you are someone with a dark skin tone, don’t wear dresses with colours that won’t enhance or brighten your skin tone. You can wear dresses that will bring out your skin tone. Also, be careful not to wear colours that are unusually too bright for your skin tone.
  • Go for dresses that compliments your body shape and figure. If you are a little bit plump, then you can go for dresses that are for example flares which will complement your body shape.
  • Ensure you don’t go for dresses that add too much glitz and glitters to your accessories. Remember you want to look superb but not shiny. Try not to wear shoes you aren’t too comfortable in or shoes that will make look like you are standing on a “hill”. Elegance is what you want to speak and not an uncomfortable princess who can’t even manage her wardrobe.

When going for a funeral

funeral dress

In most cultures and traditions, black is the appropriate colour to wear when mourning and for those who are attending a burial, most people are expected to wear black dresses or suits.

However, this colour has been seen to not be the only one used for funerals. In some cultures, the family is allowed to wear white or an ash coloured clothing.

  • Avoid wearing clothes that are revealing or cloths that festive or excessively casual. Cloths like jeans or miniskirts or heels that are excessively high should be avoided.
  • Avoid wearing too much accessories and you can as well wear plumps for your shoes or wedges are likewise okay. In some cultures, for example the English culture, women are allowed to wear hats to funerals. So, if you are from that culture, you can as well wear a hat to the funeral.
  • When going for a burial, you are expected to dress modestly not with colours that are too bright. A pant suit or a skirt suit is appropriate. Cloths with long sleeves or sleeves that are at the elbow length too is appropriate.

When going for a job interview

job interview dress

When going for a job interview, one of the most important criteria that judges, or your interviewers will look out for is your dressing. If you want to get that job, you must consider your dressing and remember what you wear will have a huge impact on the minds of your superiors.

You need to look professional, classy and yet elegant. Whether you like it or not, your dressing has to speak of your self-confidence and self-worth.

Your dressing depends on the kind of company you want to work for as well as the kind of position you are applying for. You need to look very neat and presentable, you need professional and very polished.

  • You can decide to go for a pant suit or a skirt suit. If you are going for a skirt suit, your skirt must not be too short or too tight. It has to be exactly perfect for you. You can decide to add a little splash of colour with a scarf but don’t overdo it. Also, try not to go overboard with your shoes.
  • Make sure your make-up is light and not screaming. Don’t go overboard with your hair-do as well. Make sure if you are going to pin your hair, you can pin it to a nice bun. But if not, you can comb it very well and stylishly pack it or leave it free but neat depending on your choice.
  • Do not go overboard with your accessories as well.
  • Wearing a plain shirt or blouse, or maybe a striped shirt or blouse is the safest option for you to wear when going for a job interview. You can use this with a button down or a blazer.
  • Don’t wear too much perfume. You need to as well smell very good but not so much that you would begin to make everyone around you feel nauseous because your perfume is too strong or too much.
  • DONT WEAR JEANS OR A T-SHIRT TO A JOB INTERVIEW. It screams irresponsibility. Also, don’t wear clothes with flashy colours.
  • Avoid wearing flops or sneakers for an interview. Wearing flats is the safest option to go. If you need to go on heels, let your heels be not to high and let them be very comfortable for you to walk in

When going on the first date

first date dress

We all know that first impressions matter a lot and when going on your first date, your first impression would matter. You can take your pick on this as well as what you think your partner would like to see you on.

If is a restaurant-going kind of date, then you can opt for a dress that is really fancy with nice shoes and a very nice make-up. But if it is a movie-kind of date, you can opt for a jean trouser and a nice shirt or blouse to go along with it.

Your shoes depend on your preference, but I would advise using a nice flat. Don’t wear heels if you won’t be comfortable in them. If your dress or blouse is dull coloured, you can use a scarf that is brightly coloured.

Avoid trying on New fashion on your first date, it just might not work for you. Dress to impress but make sure you are comfortable in what you are wearing.

When going for a beach party

beach party dress

All you need to remember is that this is a very casual event stand so wear anything casual or anything you feel comfortable in. Wear clothes that are easy to pull off when you want to go diving in the beach.

Likewise, don’t forget to take along your swim suits. You can take along a hat or cap to block out the rays of the Sun. If you are likely to get a Sun burn, don’t forget your sunblock.

Flat sandals and little or no accessories are perfect for this occasion. Keep your hair natural and simple. Keep your make-up as well very natural. If possible, apply no make-up at all or if you must use some, then use the kind of make-up that is water proof.

Don’t go to the beach wearing something extremely formal. Avoid wearing jeans. They are not quite easy to pull off thought they are casual. Don’t wear heels to the beach. If you must wear, then wear beach sandal wedges or plainly go for flat sandals.

When going for a business party

business party dress

You need to look elegant, beautiful but subtle, professional but not the office kind of professional.

You need to look beautiful while looking professional. So, we would advise that you go for any of the following options:

  • You can go for a smart skirt or pants with a beautiful blouse and moderately low heels.
  • You can go for a smart office dress with a blazer and beautiful low heels
  • Likewise, you can go for a suit with a beautiful blouse and nice low heels
    Avoid wearing miniskirts or too tight skirts or any other thing that is too provocative. Don’t wear outfits that are casual and likewise avoid wearing any flashy jewellery or accessories.

When going to the club

club dress code

When going to the clubs, you can wear trousers, short skirts or miniskirts depending on your preference. But always make sure that you dress elegantly.

You may also decide to use flashy accessories to the club. Make sure that your shoes are comfortable for you because you will have to be in your feet dancing most of the time.

Avoid wearing clothes that will make you feel warm e.g. sweaters or blazers. This is because you will definitely feel hot at some point in the club and you would get all hot and sweaty from all the dancing in the club.

Avoid going overboard on the sexy look. You want to look too available for everyone to see. Don’t wear clothes that are too revealing as well.

Ball events or black-tie evenings

black-tie evenings

This kind of event has a strict specific code of ladies wearing long dresses but then yet again, some rules could be changed by us making exceptions. To be safe, you can use a beautiful long dress that isn’t too revealing.

Simple make-up is usually advised for this event. Don’t wear trousers with blouses for this event. Don’t wear anything too sexy and likewise avoid using large hand bags. Instead, you are allowed to use a clutch purse when going for this event. You need to look sexy and classy not sexy and trashy.

These dressing options are the ones ideal for the different kind of occasions that you want to attend. To properly dress up for an event wearing the appropriate clothing is the best dress etiquette.

Let this article be a guide. And you can decide to change somethings, but the article written is just a guideline on how one is expected to look when going for different occasions. Always remember that your dressing speaks a lot about you

Deborah Akinola
Wirter, poet and public speaker

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