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Definitions of formal wear
There are special occasions in life when guests try to look our best. Weddings, proms, and special parties may require guests to dress up in formal clothing, which means suits for the gentlemen and dresses for the ladies. There are usually a wide selection of dresses and suits available, from high end designer brands to secondhand dresses from thrift shops. Also, most formal clothing stores allow for rentals, which means you do not have to buy an expensive suit you will likely only wear once. The following are common terms related to formal wear.
Bridal gown - The dress worn by the bride for her wedding. There are some formal wear stores dedicated solely to providing bridal gowns. They are usually white, and an emerging trend in bigger weddings is to have two, one for the ceremony and one for the after party.
Evening gown – Gowns designed for balls, proms and parties. This length of this gown extends to the floor, providing a long silhouette. Some brides chose to outfit their bridesmaids in evening gowns, especially if it is a very formal wedding.
Cocktail dress – A more casual gown that can be worn to parties, but likely not to more formal night functions like balls. Cocktail dresses are shorter than evening gowns and usually hang down to the knees or above. For a more casual wedding, like a beach ceremony, some brides choose to outfit their bridesmaids in cocktail dresses.
Tuxedo – Tuxedos are suits worn at formal events and distinguished by its satin finish on the jacket lapels. When a function is described as “black tie”, that means you will need to wear a tuxedo.