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Ask Kate: Italian Dress Code.

August 6, 2013

Kate Thompson has been offering heart-felt advice and sparklingly different wedding inspiration for ten years. She is married with two children, and often features in the national press. With her warm and caring nature and off-beat sense of humour, she'll answer every question with knowledgable insight and understanding to help and inspire or simply restore your peace of mind.


We are planning a wedding next May in Italy. We are struggling to find the right phrase to describe the dress code we would like. We do not want white or black tie as we think (hope) the weather will be fine and this might be uncomfortable. Smart/casual however is a little too casual for us, and we would like people to come dressed for the occasion, and this implies that the dress code is a bit of a free for all. A friend has suggested “Italian Chic” but I fear this is also too open to interpretation. Do you have any ideas how to convey that we would like people to be well dressed and not casual – ideally suits and ties are still involved, but will a bit of a summer twist (rather than people using their office suits or turning up in their old khaki trousers). A list of dress code options woudl be really useful if you know where I can find one…


suggest stating in your invitations that the dress code is ‘formal’ as that communicates the fact that you would rather have guests dress in shirts, ties and dresses but does not mean that they will be restricted to wearing overly formal black or white tie outifts. I do love your Italian chic idea though and agree that the hot weather may not be suitable for heavy suits so perhaps you could state:

Dress code: Summer formal/Italian chic

Then you are likely to get a mixture of interesting and chic yet formally dressed guests.

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