What Is The Difference Between Semi Casual and Semi Formal?

He's wearing a suit jacket and dress shoes and a tie.  Can we even define this look?

He's wearing a suit jacket and dress shoes and a tie.  Can we even define this look?

We get asked this question quite often.  People are invited to a banquet and the invitation states that you should dress "semi casual", or sometimes, "semi formal".

So What Do You Do?

A good rule of thumb is going by the lowest or least dressy item in the description.  Casual, would assume that jeans are acceptable, or perhaps sandals, or something with no socks, but then no matter what you put with those jeans or sandals, you will be put into the casual category.  Semi formal can have the same guidelines but because of the word "formal", assume that they don't want jeans, t-shirts or sockless footwear.  The least dressy you would want to go with in this case would be a pair of pleated pants, but not necessarily suit pants, a shirt with a collar, and maybe even a suit jacket, and some matching socks.  

Some Quick Examples

Semi Formal Warm Weather:  Pleated cotton pants, a collared short sleeve shirt tucked in and a tie, a pair of comfortable shoes that aren't joggers, or runners.

Semi Formal Cold Weather:  Dress pants, a collared shirt, no tie, a scarf, and a pair of dress shoes.

Semi Casual Warm Weather:  Nice, clean, jeans, a collared short sleeve shirt, and a pair of comfortable shoes or sandals

Semi Casual Cold Weather:  Khakis, a collared shirt untucked, a cardigan, and a pair of warm but functional (clean) hiking boots (such as Timberlands)

In Conclusion

The lines are becoming more blurred between formal and casual, but we find that if you play it on the safe side by dressing up, you will always be safe.  We hope this guideline was helpful.  If you need more help in putting a look together, feel free to come down to the store and our proffesional staff with help you.  Also don't hesitate to contact us.