Elegant and chic attire for a woman could be a little black dress with pearls and high heels, and for men it generally indicates a dark suit (with optional matching vest) and a tie. Elegant attire is not as formal as black tie attire but is well above casual attire.
Dressy evening separates can be considered elegant for woman, while jeans would not be acceptable. Elegant dress also includes outerwear, so be sure to match your chic outfit with an appropriate wrap or formal wool coat, depending on the season. Provocative styles, plunging necklines and mini-dresses should be avoided as well as overly sequined dresses and those with fancy designs.
The time of day should also be taken into consideration when choosing attire. Daytime elegant or semi-formal can be considered slightly less dressy than an evening gathering. Gentleman could wear a lighter colored suit during the day, while women may wear lighter flowing dresses and separates.
For the holiday season, men and women may want to add appropriate interest to their ensembles such as a festive bow-tie, sequins or fur. Give careful thought to the location as well. For example, a semi-formal beach party would be less dressy than a soirée in a grand ballroom. Categories of dress codes, according to Emily Post, range from white tie and black tie to dressy casual and casual.