Why we need a dress code?
Dress code used by companies or organizers of events, staff or visitors to communicate what kind of clothing is in the environment or on the event appropriate and expected. Be dressed worse than is expected greater social offense than to be dressed better (be overdressed) than expected (arriving in suit campfire but it is at least strange). The best is to come properly dressed and we need to know how - that is why dress code exists. We you dress code withing company manuals, for example, or in the invitation to the event.
What levels of dress code do we have?
Let’s start from the least formal. It should be noted that even these dress code levels does not set the universal rule. Moreover dress code rules are changing over the time - what used to be at the turn of the century prohibited (eg. Jeans, T-shirt at corporate level) it is now allowed. Consider for example Steve Jobs’s dress - he used almost everywhere and always the black turtleneck, jeans and sneakers. Dress code is highly dependent on company culture and the culture of the environment (in banking is more formal than eg. IT). For example, for employees of Facebook, the normal for business causal is the T-shirt and jeans while some other companies is business casual strictly at least monochromatic shirt and jeans are not permitted. For example in the Silicon Valley in generally less formal dress code than it is in other parts of the world.
On the other hand, the formal Black Tie is the same worldwide.
Very casual. It permitted almost anything. T-shirt, shorts, sandals.
Also informal. You should use jeans and sport shoes (sneakers). If the event is casual you should not be dressed too formally.
Foolproof outfit for casual: Long slacks, jeans and sports shoes for men and women.
Casual dressy is more formal and elegant version of casual. We should be dressed elegantly but not formally. Shorts are not allowed for men, recommended are long trousers, jeans are not recommended but accepted. T-Shirt with a collar only. Ladies can choose a costume or elegant dress. If you go play golf you choose casual dressy.
Foolproof outfit for casual dressy: black or dark trousers, shirts; ladies choose elegant dress or pants.
Business Casual is typically the work wear to the office. This outfit is expected in the office or on the business meetings. Recommended is a shirt, casual jacket for men. Costume for ladies.
Foolproof outfit for business casual: black or dark pants, shirt, jacket for men; ladies choose elegant dress or pants.
Business Formal is for formal corporate events, lunches, conferences and alike. For men is recommended suit, sometimes the tie is still recommended sometimes not. Ladies use an elegant dress.
Foolproof outfit for Business formal: suit and tie for men; elegant dress for the ladies
Coctail is for social events. If the event takes place in the morning or afternoon it is not necessary to have a dark suit. Shirt is white or bright colors without significant patterns. Black or dark tie is expected. Ladies suit is ideally completed with a jewel.
Foolproof outfit for Coctail: A dark suit with a white shirt for men, evening or cocktail dress (LBD - Little Black Dress) and jewelry for ladies
White Tie is a dress for formal event it is called full evening dress in Western Fashion. The tailcoat is required tails (black jacket with long tails, which has a shiny silk lapels) with a white shirt, white waistcoat and white bow tie. Shoes must be black. Ladies may come in a long evening gown or cocktail dress.
Foolproof outfit for white tie: Tailcoat, white shirt and bow tie for men, long evening dresses for the ladies.
Black Tie is quite clear category especially for men: smoking (tuxedo), nothing else. Tuxedo pants have a shiny lampas, tuxedo jacket has a collar or lapel covered with glossy silk. Shirts must have white cuffs, bowtie should be black.
Foolproof outfit for black tie: Smoking for men, long evening dresses for the ladies.