Decoding Dress codes for men

At Peter Webber Menswear we are often approached by people who have a function with a dress code. Even though this may provide some anxiety, the dress code is important as it allows for a cohesive look for the guests. Ultimately when we decode the specific dress code it allows for peace of mind by telling one what to wear.

If your latest invitation has left you scratching your head, here is our easy-to-follow guide to the most common dress codes for men.

 Cocktail Dress Code:

Level of Formality: Medium

Created to bridge the gap between casual daywear and evening wear it is a polished smart look with Chinos, smart shirts and shoes. 

We have a great selection of City Club Chinos to choose from plenty of smart casual shirts from Ben Sherman and Cambridge.



Level of Formality: Medium to high.

Definition: For this event, wear a suit and tie, but not a tuxedo.

This dress code runs into a suit but not a Tuxedo, a business type shirt and a tie, good shoes and matching belt.

The location and time of day should dictate the type of suit, If it's a Summer event then a lightweight suit in lighter colours would be appropriate, in Winter a darker colour in a wool would be acceptable. 


 Black Tie Event

Level of Formality: High.

Definition: Black tie is the most common dress code. It always requires the wearing of a Tuxedo. Typical of award ceremonies, galas, and some weddings.

 For this dress code, a black tuxedo with a classic peak lapel will always suit. Most black tie events will require a bowtie, although you may see some people opting for a straight necktie. Tradition states that your shirt should have French cuffs, but barrel cuffs are also acceptable. Either way a pair of cufflinks are expected. Pair black polished shoes and black socks.


 Black Tie Optional

Level of Formality: High.

Definition: For this event, you have the option of a black tie or just a formal suit.

Similar rules to a black tie event were a Tuxedo (not necessarily black) is appropriate, except that you may wear a formal suit instead. 

Follow the rules for a black tie event, although you are allowed to add in extra elements if you wish. If you decide not to wear a tuxedo, wear your most formal suit in a simple colour like black, navy, white, or grey. Remember that most people at the event may be in Black Tie, so opt for an ensemble that feels formal enough for you to fit in.