The original function of clothing was to prevent our bodies from losing too much heat during the colder months, but in the thousands of years since we started draping animal skins over our shoulders, clothing has evolved into a major headache. Whether you're a Toronto taxi cab driver or a socialite, you've probably stood in front of your closet at some point wondering: "what should I wear?" For events, the stress is even worse. Let us make things a little easier by explaining what various dress codes mean for men and women.

Black Tie

This is the most formal of the dress codes. Black tie is appropriate at very opulent events like fundraising dinners for the rich as well as weddings and other momentous celebrations. If your invitation says "black tie," you should wear a tuxedo if you're male and a very elegant dress, such as a ball gown with some stunning jewelry if you're a woman. Your clothing will probably cost almost as much as luxury homes in London Ontario, so most men rent their outfits for black tie events.


This is a very common dress code, especially in cities. It is the daily dress code for many workplaces, such as offices, and is often the code cited in invitations to conventions and events for cosmetic dentists in Toronto and similar professions. Everyone in the white collar world should have several business outfits in their closets. For men, this means suits and ties, though the suit jacket can sometimes be dispensed with. For women, this means feminine-cut business suits (either with trousers or a skirt), heels, and blouses with some understated jewelry.

Business Casual/Dressy Casual

This dress code is often seen in workplaces and for work related events and tends to be the dress code that causes the most confusion. Business casual is appropriate for events like a Maple, Ontario real estate viewing, company barbecue, or work in some offices. It is a step up from jeans and a t-shirt. For men, this means dress pants or chinos with a collared shirt such as a polo, or a sweater. For women, this means trousers or skirts with collared blouses or similarly dressed-up shirts. Heels or flats are both appropriate and jewelry is not necessary.


Casual is the dress code of everyday life. If you're invited to an informal party with friends or are going bowling, this is what you would wear. Companies sometimes allow it when they send their employees to do functional training in Scarborough. With this dress code you can wear almost anything you want - jeans, sneakers, t-shirts, sweaters, polos, etc. The only things that are not really appropriate when dressing casually for a function are sandals, shorts, tank tops, and anything too flashy or revealing.

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