What is semi formal?


What is semi formal exactly? Are you wondering this after you got an invitation with this rather vague party dress code? Don’t worry, we give you the secrets of looking stunning on your upcoming party. Check out this gorgeous examples of semi formal outfits and read these tips on how to dress semi-formal and nothing can go wrong!


For an elegant and formal look like Beyonce's choose for a plain black dress in a dressy model and fabric. Glamour it up with fancy accessories and you will look stunning and chic in your semi formal attire.

  • Shoes: High Heel Shoes
  • Bracelet: Rachel Zoe
  • Earrings: Alexis Bittar
  • Clutch: River Island

What is semi formal?

Semi formal is a dress code for a party that is being used for events that are in between formal and informal. This sounds difficult but for women choosing how to dress semi formal is more easy than you think. Just dress almost the same as you would dress to an event with a black tie or a cocktail dress code and you’re always safe and elegant!

How to dress semi formal

  • You’re the safest if you wear a knee length cocktail dress that can range from just above the knee to just under the knee, since a long evening gown can appear too formal. If you choose to wear fabrics like satin and silk you’ll always look more formal than in other fabrics and darker colors will look more formal than lighter colors. Choose a seasonal color for your gown. A little cleavage is allowed. Go for a cleavage if you have a bigger bust, this will be extra flattering. Keep your dress simple.
  • Always dress for your body shape, this will make you look extra elegant and sophisticated.
  • As accessories You can take a small evening bag that matches with your gown in color. A small evening bag always looks more formal than a bigger one. And stole is also a possibility.
  • Go for high heels with a low sole. Open shoes are a tasteful possibility. Make sure that the color of your shoes matches with your semi formal attire. Always take an extra pair of stockings if you’re wearing them.
  • Wear jewelry to glam up your semi formal outfit. Go for pretty (not fake looking) earrings or go for a necklace without or with small earrings. Make sure, if you wear a necklace, that it doesn’t compete with the neckline of your dress, in this case it’s better to choose for earrings. You can also wear a pretty bracelet.
  • Go for an elegant hairdo and put some effort in your make up. If you’re attending an evening event your make up can be more dramatic.
  • Still having any doubts about what is semi formal after this article? Just call the host or hostess of the event and she will more than glad to help you defining this semi formal party dress code.

Some elegant examples of semi formal outfits

This red cocktail gown makes Megan Fox look chic and hot at the same time! Although the dress is simple, the bright color and large earrings give her appearance extra glamour!

  • Shoes: Zara
  • Earrings: Talulla tu
  • Ring: Banana Republic
  • Clutch: La Regale

Emma Roberts looks lovely in this white semi formal cocktail dress. A perfect example of a dress for a semi formal event.

  • Shoes: Christian Louboutin
  • Clutch: Reiss
  • Necklace and earrings: Century 21
  • Nail polish: Essie sand tropez

Relevant tips and ideas on what is semi formal:

  • If you're on a tight budget then you might consider to rent a dress.
  • Check out the parties in the navigation bar for more specific parties.
  • Wonder what to wear to a party? Just return to howtodressforaparty.com and check out our newest updates, pictures and information about your next party look!