Formal wear, formal attire or formal dress is essentially the traditional Western wear code category applicable on occasions for the most formal affairs, including weddings, Christenings, confirmation ceremonies, funerals, holidays, corporate events, as well as certain civic gatherings, balls, and outdoor sports events. It is worn by both men and women, but more frequently, it is women who are seen wearing this type of wear. The most common type of formal wear is a suit or a tuxedo, which can be black, gray, white, or a combination of colors, worn with a matching coat or shirt and trousers. Formal attire is always formal and never informal. On some occasions, men are also seen in tuxedos, though they are not formally called that.
The most common type of formal wear for both men and women, especially for business or formal occasions, is knee-length gowns and suits. Other types of formal wear include evening gowns, cocktail dresses, and formal pants suits, with varying degrees of formality from very formal to very casual. When it comes to women’s formal wear, there is a wide range from extremely simple dresses, like sheath dresses and wraps, right to the very sophisticated and elegant dresses. Floor length gowns, skirts, and suits are worn for almost all occasions except those that require a shorter dress length. Tea party dresses, bridesmaid dresses, and other long dresses are examples of formal wear for women, while a few examples of informal wear are sweat suits, sportswear, loungewear, casual wear, and casual shirts and pants.
In a wedding, formal attire is mandatory, as wedding attire for women includes a long-sleeved or floor-length dress, accompanied by a top or jacket, with or without an accompanying tie. Men also wear a tuxedo, with a jacket and tie, on their wedding day. In some parts of the world, children are not formally invited to parties or schools, as they are too young to be dressed in traditional wear. These occasions include baby and christening parties, birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, and other similar events. Regardless of whether the event is formal or casual, people should always remember the dress code, which is usually followed at all events.