Dress clothes are sometimes referred to as semi-formal outfits. This is in-between formal clothes and the casual ensemble. People wear dress clothes in corporate settings, special occasions like graduations, Easter and Christmas celebrations, funerals and other events that do not require formal attire but where casual outfits are unacceptable.
Male Dress Clothes
For men, dress clothes pass off as business attire. This is made up of suit trousers and coats, dress shirts, neckties, dress socks, leather shoes and leather belts.
- Trousers and suit coat. Dress trousers and coats are made from wool, flannel and cotton. Neutral and conservative colors work best: navy blue, grey, brown and black. Buy the coat and trousers together so the color and material will match perfectly. The suit coat should fit properly, covering your backside. The sleeves should reach the knuckle of your thumb. When buying trousers, the waist should be snug and comfortable, fitting just above the hip bones. Dress trousers are never tight; they fit loosely along the legs but never in a baggy fashion. The bottom of the pants should be barely touching the floor when seen from the back while wearing shoes.
- A dress shirt is essentially a button-down shirt. The sleeves should reach the base of the thumbs. When the cuff is buttoned up, it should not slide down the wrist. The forefinger should fit between the neck and the collar when the collar button is closed. Go for classic colors and patterns and match them with a necktie in a bolder design or color.
- Socks should match the color of the shoes and your belt. Conservative colors are the best. Remember that the shoes (and belt for that matter) can make or break the whole ensemble. So don’t buy cheap, go for quality all the time.
Female Dress Clothes
Dress clothes for women can be a dress or a skirt or dress pants with a blouse. This is matched with heeled shoes, pantyhose (when necessary), subtle make-up and tasteful accessories.
- The little black dress is every woman’s friend. No matter what shape or size a woman is, there is a style and cut of sheath dress that can flatter her figure. With just a touch of a scarf, shawl, jacket or complementing accessories, the sheath dress can go from casual to semi-formal in an instant. When buying other dress styles, stick to elegant and classic looks that can easily be accessorized and be worn throughout all the seasons. The length should flatter the body but never be too short, as it will look tasteless.
- Items considered as dress clothes should be dressy. When buying skirts, pants, and blouses for semi-formal occasions, choose those made of silk, velvet, polyester, rayon and more. For female suits, wool and flannel are appropriate. Take note of proper skirt (and dress) lengths. Mini-skirts are a no-no. Pants should at least cover half of the back of the shoes.
- Nice dress clothes are usually worn together with shoes with heels. Only wear heels that are comfortable. Those killer stilettos may look fantastic but if it will land you in the doctor’s office, it is not worth the pain. Stay with classic styles. Buy quality shoes, not cheap ones whose leather will peel off easily.
It is not difficult to buy nice dress clothes that are both stylish and reasonably priced. You can find major sellers of brand names offering great discounts. Whether you are a man or a woman, when buying nice dress clothes, stick to classic styles that you can easily mix and match.