What Is Formal Wear?

Formal wear describes typical upscale clothing that is worn at formal social events like weddings or formal parties. While the definition of formal wear is relatively consistent across most countries, certain cultures have their own outfits or types of clothes for special occasions.

The typical example of formal wear for a man is a tuxedo. While some consider suits formal by everyday standards, a suit is not formal wear under most definitions. Women have a greater variety when it comes to formal wear, given the choice of elegant cocktail dresses or long evening gowns. In general, formal wear consists of black and white clothing.