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Deciphering the Dress Codes

Dress codes can be very confusing. So I consulted the folks 'in the know.' Here's what the experts tell us.

In California, we are generally more casual and trendy. There are always 5 things that must be considered:

* Type of event
* Time of day
* Location
* Relationship with the other guests
* Formality of the invitation

Almost anything goes.

Dress Casual/California Coastal Casual
No shorts, t-shirts. Jeans with a beaded sweater or jacket. It could also mean a casual dress. For men, a collared shirt with jeans or casual slacks.

This one really depends on the 5 factors listed above: It could be a suit, but probably is a sport coat and a collared shirt with or without a tie. For ladies, it means a suit, or at least 3 pieces, a pant and sweater set, or blazer.

Cruise Ship
Most cruise ships have relaxed the dress codes. You would need to check with each specific cruise line. The captain's dinner will probably be the dressiest event. For men, either a tuxedo or a black suit. For ladies, nice separates and/or a dress.

Country Club
No jeans, or t-shirts. Collared shirts are still required at most Country Clubs, and a jacket is always safe.

This is the trickiest. It usually means that tuxes are not required. The safest bet is a dark suit for him, and a cocktail dress or suit for her.

Usually means the same as Black Tie, but it could also mean a black shirt, no tie with a tux, and women can wear cocktail, long cocktail, long dresses or dressy separates.

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