Formal wear, formal dress or evening dress is now the standard Western fashion code applicable for all the more formal occasions, including weddings, christening, confirmation, funerals, holiday parties, corporate events, performances, and many other high-class formal occasions. The word formal wear is now used to refer not only to clothing but also accessories like shoes, jewelry and even outerwear, which are specially designed and constructed to be suitable for a formal event. This type of dress usually consists of a top (almost always black or white), usually with at least two buttons on each side, and a jacket or blouse over it. It may have other accessories like a tie or coin purse, or be bare to just include the collar, cuffs and so on.
These kinds of wear are available in both Western and non-Western varieties. Western formal wear has undergone several major changes over the years and can be classified into three main groups. First of all there is business casual, which consists of things like a suit, blouse, and necktie, which are often very casual so as to be appropriate for workplace use, i.e. for attending office meetings or for making appointments at businesses like banks, restaurants and so on. For women, this kind of dress codes is very appropriate for professional meetings and even going out for dinner with friends.
Then there is black tie optional, which refers to dresses that are more dressy and stylish and don’t have to follow the standards set by business casual wear. For example, these can include skirts, pant suits, tuxedo suits, pants suits, jackets, and even some blazers. Women’s black tie optional formal attire includes dresses, skirts, and blazers. Men’s black tie optional formal attire includes suits, trousers suits, jackets, and khakis. Black tie optional is often seen in movies, but not in real life, because it isn’t considered appropriate in many work situations. The main advantage of this kind of dress is that it can provide men with a more stylish and elegant look.