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Deciphering the dress code

HerCanberra Team

What do you wear when the invite says black tie, lounge suit, after five, formal or cocktail? We decode the dress code…

Black Tie

When the invite says Black Tie, it’s an invitation to go all out. Opt for a floor length gown and accessorise with dramatic makeup and jewellery.


Clockwise from top left: RODIN OLIO LUSSO, Perfume $346.00, Mecca. CARLA ZAMPATTI, Plitter Precious Metal Gown, $898, MIMCO, Aura Brooch (Matte Gold), $129, Mimco. THURLEY Concerto Beaded Jacket, $699.99, NARS, Audacious Lipstick (shown in Audrey), $48.00, Mecca. Exclamation Clutch (Black Mesh), $249, Mimco. WITTNER, Black Suede Tomas Pump, $229.95. THURLEY, Concerto Pant, $249.99,


One of the more flexible codes, Cocktail can translate to anything from a knee-length dress or skirt to an evening jumpsuit.


Clockwise from top left: IRIS & INK, Embellished Bandeau Jumpsuit, £225 (Approx. AUD $381), THEOUTNET. ALISON JACKSON, Oxidised silver large texture stud earrings, $60, GINGER & SMART, Yukon Delta Top, $599, GIORGIO ARMANI, Si Eau de Parfum, 50ml, $140, David Jones. CUE, Rosewood satin slip dress, $249, TONY BIANCO, ADER (Black Kid Suede) heel, $199.95. GINGER & SMART, Salt Lakes Skirt, $469, Airbound Hip Bag (Black), $399, Mimco.


Slightly less formal than black tie, a longer cocktail dress or a floor-length gown will fit the bill, which can be lightened up with a pop of colour.


Clockwise from top left: FOREVER NEW, Gold Plated Circle Ring, $19.99, Forever New. VERONIKA MAINE, Jersey Tie Midi Dress, $229, Ozone Mini Hoop Gold, $69.95, Mimco. NARS, Eyeshadow Duo (shown in All About Eve – Flesh toned neutrals), $52, available at Mecca, Canberra Centre. IRIS & INK, Wool and Silk Bandeau Cocktail Dress, £225 (Approx. AUD $381), THEOUTNET. CAMILLA & MARC, Brooklyn Zip Clutch, $110, TONY BIANCO, ATKINS (Skin Capretto) heel, $199.95. VERONIKA MAINE, Midi Ruffle Skirt, $199,

Lounge Suit

One of the more relaxed dress codes, a dressy top and pants with a pop of colour is a winning option here.


Clockwise from top left: Supermicra Passport, $59.95, Mimco. CARLA ZAMPATTI, Royal Crepe Royal Train Jumpsuit, $999, CHANEL, Chance Eau Vive Eau de Toilette 50ml, $130, available at David Jones. LIFEwithBIRD, Whispers In The Wind Bustier, $345, Skylounge 110 Pump (Black), $229, Mimco. WINK JEWELLERY, Silver Hammer Ring, $29 and Black Stacking Ring, $39, BY JOHNNY, Link Knot Down Pencil, $280,  Traveller Sunglasses (Black), $199, Mimco.

Smart Casual

The most casual of codes  should still have elegant elements: think a silky blouse with tailored pants and interesting accessories, or a relaxed dress with chic flats.


Clockwise from top left: BY JOHNNY, Razor Front Sports Top, $110, VERONIKA MAINE, Lace Up Top, $239, Alchemy Timepeace (Rose Gold), $399, Mimco. CUE, Pendant Print Dress, $289, Sparks Fly Pouch (Schiaparelli Pink), $89.95, Mimco. VERONIKA MAINE, Crop Wide Pant, $199, Levitate Ballet (Rose), $179, Mimco. IRIS & INK, Ariana Metallic Leather Midi Skirt, £270.83 (Approx. AUD $459), available exclusively at THEOUTNET.

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