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in: Featured, Outfit Guide, Style, Visual Guides

• Last updated: June 10, 2021

Dressing for the Occasion: Your 60 Second Visual Guide

Comic guide of Dressing for the occassion.

We’ve been talking a lot about hosting a holiday party lately, but what if you’re invited to one as a guest? It can be confusing trying to decipher the stated dress code. “Black tie” is easy: wear a tux. But what about those other categories? Well, last week we brought you a quick visual guide to dressing for an interview, and this week we offer some general guidelines for how to dress for an event at a glance. (We didn’t do “Cocktail” because the expected dress for that designation can vary so widely depending on time of day and level of formality of the event.)

Illustration by Ted Slampyak

Deciphering the invitation: Dressing for the occasion

Black tie optional

– Crisp white dress shirt

– Dark conservative tie

– Solid dark suit or tuxedo

– Dark dressy leather shoes and dark dress socks


– Crisp dress shirt unobtrusive pattern

– Conservative tie

– Dark suit

– Dark dressy leather shoes and dark dress socks

Business casual

– Tie optional

– White, color or patterned dress shirt

Sports jacket or blazer (Recommended)

– Khakis or nice trousers

– Lace-up or slip-on leather shoes or boots


– Sweater, polo or casual button-down shirt.

– Khakis or dark jeans

– Leather or canvas shoes

Like this illustrated guide? Then you’re going to love our book The Illustrated Art of Manliness! Pick up a copy on Amazon.

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