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The Ultimate Guide To Dress Codes: What To Wear For Every Occasion

The Ultimate Guide To Dress Codes: What To Wear For Every Occasion

There is much more to our dressing than we might imagine. Our dressing says a great deal about who we are and influences all kinds of impressions. People make snap judgments about us from the clothes we wear. They draw conclusions about our personality from the way we look. So if you think “opinions” don’t matter, “impressions” might do which is why “dressing” most certainly matters.

Dressing is an art obviously, the art of knowing how to carry ourselves during various occasions we partake in. The occasions dictate how we should dress to suit the mood of the events. Dressing for any occasion is about paying respect to the occasion and the people around you. Here below we present to you an easy guide to dress codes for every occasion.

A wedding

A wedding usually is a black-tie or a white-tie event unless the bride and the groom have decided to theme it to some movie they love.

Women should always keep in mind to steer clear of the white dresses in weddings as the color white is just for the bride. Put on the best gowns you have. It is floor-length gowns for weddings but the etiquette rules are softening, knee-length dress is equally fine. Accessorize according to the mood of the event.

For men, it’s always a tuxedo. Dark suit never does wrong in such formal events with dark party shoes. Choose the colors suitable for the time and the season.

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A cocktail party

A cocktail party is largely an informal social gathering where you dress almost-formally; so the dress code for a cocktail party is “dressy-casual” i.e. semi-formal.

Tuxedos for men and evening dresses for women are the dress to sport in these parties. Black color has the evening vibe of the cocktail parties but also any dark color would do as long as you keep it inconspicuous.

Men’s cocktail attire accommodates suit, coat and tie while women’s attire is a knee-length dress with some frill. It’s acceptable if your dress is a little above your knee but you should always keep in mind that there’s a thin line between being sexy and being vulgar.

A dinner party

Suit up in your cocktail attire if it is a formal dinner party. It is always wiser to ask the host for advice. You don’t want to offend your host at their own table, do you? So, don’t overdress. Also you risk offending your dinner companions if you underdress.

It always pays off taking out a little time to make a call to your host before you show up at their doorsteps. If it’s a festive event, dress up like you are there to celebrate, little glitz and color won’t hurt.

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A business dinner or a company party

Don’t dress up an outfit that is too provocative during business dinner party. You want to be taken seriously when it comes to job promotions and dressing provocatively on any of the company occasions would not play to your benefit. The dress code is “smart-casual” i.e. casual but work appropriate. When it is about work, you should always keep it professional.

Style gurus suggest that women can wear dress pants, a casual dress or a skirt with a nice blouse to a company party. Men are advised to stick to khakis or dress pants with a collared shirt and loafers. Look sharp, look professional. That’s the mantra.

An interview

A job interview is one of the most important days of ones’ life. You’ve got to make a good first impression which, for the most part, decides that you remain or you leave. A suit is the standard attire for an interview.

Your attire should reflect that you are disciplined and committed, so look polished. If you are at loss, making a call to the HR executives to inquire about the attire is perfectly acceptable. It shows your respect for the company and interest in the job.

A tailored suit still tends to be the standard for most corporate companies. Ladies would better avoid accessorizing too much with jangly jewelries, it’s distracting. A watch would suffice and serve well, for both men and women, it shows you value time. Don’t presume that they won’t notice, after all, you are literally asking them to judge you.

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A Baptism, a Bar Mitzvah, or Some Other Religious Ceremony

Chose an outfit that is appropriate for a religious facility. Religious events tend to be more conservative thus, it is better to double-check its conventions before you choose an offending apparel.

Women are suggested to wear a skirt that is below the knee, cardigans or nice khakis with no shoulder or back visible. Stay away from low-cut or clingy outfits as they can be offending in such places.

However, on celebrations like a baptism, it is important not to wear anything that is too serious, go with the colors of the festivity. Men can wear a proper formal suit.

A funeral

The color black is the safest choice if you are dressing up for a funeral but it is not mandatory. Solemnity of the event can be conveyed with other dark neutrals like navy, charcoal or forest green.

For women, a pantsuit or a knee-length dress is deemed appropriate for the occasion. Opt for quiet jewelries like pearls. Men can put on a dark suit if that doesn’t look anything near festive.

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A Night at the Theater, the Ballet, or the Opera

There were days when a night at a theatre, ballet or opera meant dressing up to the best to flaunt large. Men were suited on their best tuxedos, women put on their best ball gowns with gloves and scarfs to complement their men.

However, it is not that way anymore and if you dress like that, you will probably be overdressed for the occasion. Casual outfits, jeans and t-shirts are common sights these days. That doesn’t mean you can’t dress up for a classy night out. Throw on your cocktail attire or opt for a pair of jeans and t-shirt as you please.

A First Date

First date is all about leaving a good impression. The secret here is to be yourself and dress casually as you’d always do. If you are trying too hard, that for sure won’t go unnoticed which might play against you. This applies to both the guys and the girls.

Men should wear jeans and shirts with necessary accessories that would sum up their personality. Women, usually, need not do much to impress guys but having said that, don’t look too ragged and laid-back. Stylists suggest to dress up with a nice pair of skinny jeans and a sweater or shirt to look casual yet trendy.

Family Get-Together, Barbecue or Birthday Party

This is family, go laid-back with your choices and get comfortable. The code is casual. Anything goes. The stylists say, “If you are a woman, wear a sundress, a skirt or pants with a pretty top to a casual event. If you are not a woman, wear khakis with button-down, a sweater, or a polo shirt.”

The simplest code to dressing is to dress largely according to your physique, time and season to keep alive the elegancy and comfort at the same time.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Nabin Paudyal

Co-Founder, Siplikan Media Group

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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