A Guide to Women's Dress Codes for All Occasions

Fri, 2022-08-26

Women's Guide To Stylish & Appropriate Outfits For Different Dress Codes

Have you ever experienced receiving an invitation only to be stumped by the dress code? If you often find yourself having to second guess what kind of outfit an event requires, you're not alone. There are many in Singapore who still feel confused by the various dress codes and what they mean. You wouldn’t want to risk being underdressed at a big social gathering, and the same is true for the opposite, where you’d stick out like a sore thumb if you’re overdressed for a more casual get-together. Here's a guide on what to wear for any event, from smart casual to formal wear, to ensure you can always rise to any occasion in style.


The casual dress code is basically an open invitation to wear what you feel most comfortable in. There’s also no need for heels or overdoing the accessories, just wear something comfortable that suits your style. With that said, this doesn’t mean you should look unkempt or frumpy - it’s essential to keep in mind the venue, attendees and scale of the event you will be attending. For birthdays or office wear on casual Fridays, go with a great pair of well-fitting jeans or pants, matched with a feminine blouse and heels or boots. Alternatively, a “dressy” dress can also be played down with sneakers or a leather jacket.

Smart Casual

smart casual shirt

The smart casual dress code is often thought of as one of the most confusing ones around. Usually combining well-fitting, polished business wear with elements of casual attire, smart casual outfits are all about finding the perfect balance between relaxed and professional. When dressing for a smart casual dress code, opt for smooth materials like silk and viscose and steer clear of off-duty or too-casual types of cotton. A pencil skirt, denim jeans, a staple top or a jacket is always a great option. Simply pick between comfortable heels or dressy flats to complete your look.

Business Casual

Business casual clothing

Business casual is a dress code that’s becoming increasingly popular in both office wear and even outside the office. While the term can vary between companies and cultures, business casual traditionally refers to a polished, office-appropriate look that is smart, but still somewhat comfortable and relaxed rather than overly formal. This can include pencil skirts, blouses, button-down shirts, dress pants, co-ord suits and blazers. Additionally, a business casual outfit can also be accessorised with simple jewellery for a dressier look, upping your glam factor at the same time.

Black Tie or Formal

Black tie or formal clothing

Black tie or formal clothing

Black tie or formal is the dressiest of all dress codes; therefore, requiring a more sophisticated level of dressing. For women, the code typically calls for a maxi-length dress or gown. While cocktail dresses can sometimes be appropriate for a formal event, long dresses tend to be a more elevated choice. Choosing a refined dress that features a simple, feminine silhouette and an elegant colour such as black, can help to nail the etiquette of this dress code effortlessly. Complement the style with high heels and elegant jewellery, and your look is good to go!

Keeping to the right dress code can sometimes be a confusing process, but we hope this guide has been useful in helping you dress for the right occasion. Her Velvet Vase provides a wide range of clothing options for every dress code. Browse our collection of online women’s clothing today!