Understanding the 3 Basic Dress Terms + An Illustrated Guide to Tying a Bow Tie!
This dress term has the least dressy meaning, but offers the broadest range of possibilities. For extremely casual events, a more descriptive term than "Casual" may be used. Another option is for the hostess to use "Casual" on her invitations and tell her guests what she will be wearing, as a way of clarifying how they might dress.
Military casual function — The invitation will state the uniform, probably "Class A" (Army Greens) or "Duty Uniform."
Civilian casual function — The important point for men to remember is that a casual function means no tie. They may or may not wear a sports jacket, depending on the casualness of the event. When in doubt, they can wear a jacket and plan to take it off if the host ins't wearing one. Other tems occasionally used for events that are more casual are "Open Collar," "Very Casual." "Sporty." Or "Jeans"; these terms imply that no jacket is expected.
Because casual functions can range from dinner parties to backyard barbecues, the range of dress is extensive. Guests need to consider the type of party and, if still in doubt, ask the hostess what she plans to wear. An invitation to a "casual" function usually means a lady wears a simple skirt, dress or nice slacks, with simple (or no) jewelry and either low-heeled or flat shoes. Unit coffees are usually considered "casual." For even more casual events, very casual slacks, jeans or shorts may be appropriate.
Bonus Tip: Understanding the difference between "informal" and "casual" is the key to understanding dress terms.
Next Slide: Tying a Bow Tie