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semi formal wedding attire

What is Semi Formal Wedding Attire? What to Wear to a Semi-Formal Wedding

If you’ve received an invitation for a wedding that specifically calls for a semi-formal dress code but don’t know how to start shopping for the right kind of clothes, know that you’re not alone and look no further. Learn what to wear to a semi-formal wedding!

What is Semi-Formal Attire? 

Semi-formal wedding attire differs from its black tie counterparts by generally being more casual and relaxed. These events still carry an expectation of formality so t-shirts, shorts, jeans, khakis, and sneakers should be left at home. 

Guests at a semi-formal wedding are usually allowed to choose outfits that can be worn to other occasions like graduations, religious ceremonies, corporate events or fine dining restaurants. 

The timing of the event itself also tends to influence the color choice for these outfits. Weddings during the warmer seasons usually incorporate lighter shades. If the ceremony occurs towards the evening, darker colors might be the more stylish option. Cream or ivory clothes should still be avoided at all costs to not upstage the bride and groom. 

Semi-Formal Attire For Men

semi formal menswear

What does semi-formal mean for men’s fashion? Guests can hang up their tuxedo for another day and think about wearing other suit colors such as navy blue, beige, or light grey. These ensembles must be sophisticated and charming, but not enough to steal too much attention away from the groom.

The solid black tie can be replaced with other patterns like plaid, stripes or pin dots while still looking dignified and following the semi-formal dress code. Black leather shoes aren’t necessary as semi-formal attire either if guests wish to wear brown ones instead. Oxfords or brogues work as a stylish alternative as well. 

While belts tend to be the preference for black tie weddings, guests may wear suspenders as part of their semi-formal outfits. A matching vest isn’t required for this kind of occasion either, but becomes a good option for maintaining a refined look. Accessorizing with gold watches, tie clips, or cuff links also helps the outfit stay in formal territory. 

Semi-Formal Attire For Women

semi formal wedding attire women

What is considered semi formal for women to wear at a wedding? Dresses might be the first thought of many potential wedding guests, but they shouldn’t limit themselves to shopping for only those kinds of clothes.

Tailored jumpsuits and rompers make for appropriate and stylish possibilities, especially when paired with bright and colorful accessories that elevates the entire look to formality.

If guests still prefer to wear a dress made out of silk, cashmere, or satin fabrics, wearing sandals or flats balances out the look towards being more casual and relaxed. These kinds of shoes tend to be the most comfortable when walking outside, which becomes especially important if you’re attending a wedding outside.

Floor length dresses reach more into formal territory but miniskirts shouldn’t be considered as an alternative. Guests should look for below-the-knee dresses to look elegant and stay within the semi-formal dress code.

While outfits with solid colors are effortlessly chic, guests can still shop around for ensembles with floral and paisley patterns. Asymmetrical hemlines allow for some experimentation without feeling inappropriate at the same time.

Semi-Formal Attire For Teen Girls

semi formal teens

When looking for the best semi-formal wedding guest dresses for teenage girls, their age should be first taken into consideration. It’s appropriate for younger teenage girls to wear dresses with sequins and sparkles to a semi-formal wedding. Their attire should be paired with subtle jewelry, like a pearl necklace or diamond stud earrings, to tone down the look from feeling too improper. 

Older teenage girls might prefer more mature outfits like off shoulder dresses, but can shop around for dresses with ruffles as a charming alternative. Cardigans and shawls make for a fashionable accessory to their attire as well. If they feel uncomfortable with wearing high heels, older teenage girls can wear ballet flats or kitten heels while still following the semi-formal dress code.

Semi-Formal Attire For Teen Boys

semi formal wedding attire for teens

What should teenage boys wear to a semi-formal wedding? Their attire should look similar to the dress pants, button-front shirts, and blazers of the older male guests. Wearing a tuxedo would make them feel overdressed otherwise.

If they would prefer to skip out on the tie altogether, bow ties are a charming option especially if they are made of tartan or floral patterns. Teenage boys can swap out their leather shoes for loafers ones without sacrificing the formality of their outfits as well.

 

Final Thoughts

If you still feel unsure about shopping for an outfit and would rather not create an embarrassing situation, feel free to contact the host with further questions. They’ll be more than happy to clarify the semi-ambiguous dress code. 

If you have decided already, let us know in the comments about which kinds of semi-formal outfits sound perfect for the upcoming ceremony!

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Lauren Peterson

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