Tag Archives | dresscode

MCLV How To: Wedding Attire

After tackling the cocktail attire conundrum in MCLV How To: Traditional Cocktail Attire, I thought I’d help you decode the various dress codes associated with wedding attire. Here’s my cheat sheet for the four most common dress codes you’ll see on a wedding invitation.


  • Her – A sundress or a skirt or pair of pants with a blouse. Think of lightweight fabrics, light colors, and Summery patterns.
  • Him – Slacks with a light-colored button-down shirt or a polo shirt.


  • Her – A cocktail dress or a skirt or slacks with a blouse. For a daytime wedding with a cocktail attire dress code, I would consider bright jewel tones or other solid colored pieces. For evening, a bold hue or black will work equally well.
  • Him – Slacks and button down shirt. And I would also bring a blazer or suit jacket for evening.

Check out my MCLV How To: Traditional Cocktail Attire for more suggestions and tips for the perfect evening look

Wedding Attire Casual Cocktail Formal Dress Code Black Tie San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

Blue Lace Cocktail Dress – BCBGMaxAzxria

Ankle Strap Peep-Toe Heels – Fendi via The Real Real

Black Clutch – Nancy Gonzales

Wedding Attire Casual Cocktail Formal Dress Code Black Tie San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

{Photography by J. Villarete Photography}

Wedding Attire Casual Cocktail Formal Dress Code Black Tie San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

{This was my look for a recent “cocktail attire” wedding in Northern California}

Formal or Black Tie Optional:

  • Her – A chic cocktail dress or a floor-length gown. You want to aim for a classic evening style – Black, midnight blue or metallic are traditional color choices.
  • Him – A tuxedo or a suit and tie. The two looks should match in terms of the level of dressiness, so if she goes black tie and wears a gown, he should also adhere to that dress code and wear a tuxedo.

Black Tie:

  • Her – A floor-length gown.
  • Him – A tuxedo with a bow tie and patent leather shoes. A cummerband is optional.

Now two quick “rules” that apply to most weddings, regardless of the official dress code that you should keep in mind.

(1) Don’t wear white. Or cream. Or off-white. Or champagne. Stay away from that whole side of the color wheel – That’s the bride/bridal party only.

(2) Bring a wrap or lightweight jacket, even in Summer. There’s nothing worse than feeling out-of-place or over/under dressed, and a pashmina is the perfect fix. Just throw it on and you’re all set.

How do YOU feel about wedding dress codes? Any questions I can answer?

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MCLV How To: Traditional Cocktail Attire

I have to confess that I get a strange little jolt of anxiety when I read an invitation that says “traditional cocktail attire.”

Does that happen to anyone else?

And truthfully, I don’t know why… I have been, for the most part, successfully dressing myself for many years now. But it seems that at the very least my subconscious is still concerned that I’m going to show up looking utterly inappropriate for an event.

I get sartorial anxiety. Clearly I have issues.

So, in case anyone else is in this same boat, I thought I’d tackle the age-old conundrum – What should I wear?

In my book, there are four main categories of appropriate cocktail attire.

(1) TraditionalCocktail Dress

Whether you’re going for a classic little black dress, a retro-inspired wrap dress, or something with a little glitz and glamour, a cocktail dress is an easy go-to for these events.

Simple and safe – This is a good option for more traditional hosts or locations.

Cocktail Attire Dress Code San Francisco Bay Area Fashion Food Fitness Lifestyle Blogger Street Style

(2) Modern Lady Suit

If you’re not a dress lady, don’t force yourself into a look you’re uncomfortable with. A suit, or a matching pant and blazer combo with a chic top, is always okay at a party with a cocktail dress code.

The key is to keep the look clean, well-tailored, and classic.

(3) Preppy ClassicSkirt & Top

Bored with your LBDs? Pair a pencil, tea length, or A-line skirt with a shell, sweater, or simple top and blazer combo. It can be sweet and feminine, preppy, or edgy depending on your choice of silhouettes and textiles.

This style offers you more room for self-expression and a chance to have some fun with your look. But be sure to keep your glam on the same level as the ladies around you with killer heels, a bold red lip, or some eye-catching statement jewelry.

(4) Fashion ForwardJumpsuit

Jumpsuits are becoming more and more of a staple for events and red carpets these days. Gone are the days of women-must-wear-dresses.

They key to pulling off this look and meeting that dress code is going for solid colors over prints, keeping the accessories fairly classic, and making sure that you’re fit is impeccable.

This is a good look to try for a cocktail party hosted by a younger crowd or located at a trendy new hotspot.

What’s YOUR go-to cocktail attire style?

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MCLV Style: Prim & Proper

Working in the corporate world means that my office style tends towards classic and traditional – I keep my arms covered and wear knee-length skirts or dresses 4 – 5 days a week. But just because my style is fairly formal doesn’t mean I can’t have fun with work fashion!

{You can shop similar pieces by clicking these hyperlinks: Embellished Empire-Waist Dress – Donna Ricco from Nordstrom, T-Strap Heels – Zara, Top-Handle Handbag – Zara, Black Leather Bow HeadbandBanana Republic, Geometric Gold Bracelet – BCBG, Gold Wrap Ring – JewelMint & Black Bow Ring – Forever 21}

{You can view this outfit on both Lookbook.nu and Pose}

{Check out outtakes from this shoot here – Just log into Facebook to view}

What drew me to this was the embellished empire waist, it gave the retro-silhouetted dress a little something extra. And because the waist is already so dramatic I usually skip the necklaces with this dress and just pile on bracelets and rings. Or in this case, a black faux leather bow headband – J’adore! <3

What’s the dress code in your office? Do you usually dress formally, informally, or business casual like me? Do you have a work “uniform” that you usually wear?

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