The Most Popular Dress Code: Ranking the Style Preference of the Masses

Choose the dress code you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 12, 2024 07:02
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinion matters! We've curated an exciting ranking of the "Most Popular Dress Codes" and we need your input. Choosing the perfect dress code for an event, party, or just your daily wardrobe can be a daunting task, but worry not - we've got you covered! From casual chic to black tie, dive into our extensive list of dress code options and cast your vote for your favorite. Don't see your preferred style? No problem! Simply suggest a missing option and let the world know about your fashion prowess. Join thousands of fashion enthusiasts and help us determine the ultimate dress code by participating in our interactive ranking. So, what are you waiting for? Click through and let your voice be heard!

What Is the Most Popular Dress Code?

  1. 1
    This dress code is popular for work environments that require a professional appearance, but not necessarily a suit and tie. It allows for more comfortable clothing while still maintaining a polished look.
    Business casual is a dress code commonly adopted in professional settings that bridges the gap between formal business attire and casual wear. It provides a more relaxed and comfortable yet still professional appearance.
    • General Style: Less formal than traditional business attire, with an emphasis on comfort and individual style.
    • Top Wear: Acceptable options include collared shirts, blouses, sweaters, and polo shirts.
    • Bottom Wear: Appropriate choices include slacks, khakis, tailored skirt/dress, or dark-colored jeans (if permitted).
    • Footwear: Footwear can range from dress shoes to loafers, flats, or conservative heels. Sneakers and flip-flops are usually not permitted.
    • Accessories: Jewelry, belts, scarves, and ties can be used to add style and personality to the outfit.
  2. 2
    This dress code is popular for events such as weddings or parties where a suit and tie is not required, but guests are still expected to dress up. It allows for more creativity and individual style.
    Smart casual is a dress code that combines elements of both casual and formal wear to create a polished yet relaxed look. It is commonly seen in professional settings where a full suit is not required but a casual attire is deemed inappropriate. Smart casual strikes a balance between comfort and style, allowing individuals to appear professional while still demonstrating their personal fashion sense.
    • Jacket:: Optional
    • Shirt:: Collared or button-down preferred
    • Trousers:: Chinos, dress pants, or dark jeans
    • Skirts/Dresses:: Appropriate length and style
    • Footwear:: Closed-toe shoes or dressy sandals
  3. 3
    This dress code is popular for semi-formal events such as a fancy dinner party or a theatre opening night. It requires something between formal and casual wear.
    Cocktail attire is a dress code typically worn for semi-formal to semi-casual events such as cocktail parties or weddings. It falls between casual attire and formal black tie attire, representing a more elevated and polished style. The key elements of cocktail attire include a tailored and polished ensemble that is neither too casual nor overly formal.
    • Level of Formality: Semi-formal to semi-casual
    • Suit or Dress: Men: Suit with a tie or a dress shirt paired with trousers Women: Dress or a dressy blouse with a skirt or tailored trousers
    • Color Palette: Neutral, classic, or jewel-toned colors
    • Accessories: Men: Dress shoes, belt, tie, and optional pocket square Women: Heels or dressy flats, accessories like statement jewelry and clutch
    • Length of Attire: Typically knee-length or slightly below for women
  4. 4
    This dress code is popular for formal events such as a charity gala, a wedding or a state dinner. Men are expected to wear tuxedos and women are expected to wear elegant gowns.
    Black tie is a formal dress code typically worn for evening events, characterized by a black bow tie and a tuxedo for men, and elegant, long gowns for women. It is considered to be the most formal attire for social occasions.
    • Bow Tie: Black
    • Tuxedo: Black with satin lapels
    • Shirt: White, typically pleated
    • Shoes: Black patent leather
    • Waistcoat: Black or matching the tuxedo
  5. 5
    White tie
    Leslie Ward · Public domain
    This dress code is the most formal and is reserved for state occasions or royal events. Men are expected to wear tailcoats and women are expected to wear long ball gowns.
    White tie is the most formal dress code that is typically reserved for the most prestigious and formal events. It is characterized by its adherence to strict rules and a specific ensemble.
    • Men's Attire: Black tailcoat, white dress shirt with a wing collar, white waistcoat, white bowtie, black trousers, black patent leather shoes, and white gloves.
    • Women's Attire: Formal floor-length evening gown, long gloves, and elegant accessories such as tiaras and necklaces.
    • Tailcoat Style: The tailcoat should have a black silk-faced peaked lapel, covered buttons, and have tails reaching to the back of the knees.
    • Dress Shirt: The white dress shirt should feature a wing collar and be made of stiff cotton or linen fabric.
    • Waistcoat: The waistcoat should be white, low-cut, and made of piqué or marcella fabric.
  6. 6
    This dress code is popular for everyday wear and is relaxed and comfortable. It can include jeans, t-shirts and sneakers.
    Casual wear is a style of dress that is comfortable, relaxed, and effortless. It typically bridges the gap between formal and informal attire, making it suitable for a variety of occasions. Casual wear allows individuals to express their personal style while maintaining a laid-back and comfortable appearance.
    • Comfort: Casual wear prioritizes comfort, utilizing soft and breathable fabrics that are easy to wear for extended periods.
    • Relaxed fit: Casual wear often features looser, relaxed silhouettes that allow for ease of movement.
    • Versatility: Casual wear can be worn for various occasions, from social gatherings to everyday activities.
    • Informal accessories: Casual wear is often paired with informal accessories such as sneakers, sandals, hats, or scarves.
    • Minimal embellishments: Casual wear tends to have minimal embellishments or decorative elements, focusing on simplicity.
  7. 7
    This dress code is popular for vacations and tropical destinations. It requires light and breezy clothing such as linen pants, sundresses and sandals.
    Resort casual is a dress code that is commonly seen in upscale resorts and vacation destinations. It offers a relaxed and comfortable yet still stylish and put-together look for both men and women. The attire is appropriate for a variety of activities, such as dining at resort restaurants, attending daytime events, or enjoying leisurely activities. Resort casual strikes a balance between casual and formal, providing a polished appearance while still allowing individuals to embrace a laid-back vacation vibe.
    • Tops: Collared shirts, polo shirts, blouses, or dress shirts are commonly worn. T-shirts and tank tops are generally considered too casual.
    • Bottoms: Tailored pants, chinos, linen trousers, skirts, or dresses are appropriate. Denim jeans and shorts are often acceptable, but cutoffs, distressed, or overly casual styles are best avoided.
    • Footwear: Loafers, boat shoes, sandals, wedges, or closed-toe dress shoes are popular choices. Flip-flops, athletic shoes, or beachwear-style footwear might be too casual for resort casual.
    • Fabrics: Lightweight and breathable fabrics are ideal for resort casual attire. Linen, cotton, silk blends, or chambray are commonly used materials.
    • Colors and Patterns: Resort casual outfits often incorporate vibrant colors, pastel shades, or tropical patterns. However, neutral colors and classic patterns are also common for a more sophisticated look.
  8. 8
    This dress code is popular for athletic events or outdoor activities. It includes clothing such as running shorts, sweatpants and athletic shoes.
    Sportswear is a clothing aesthetic that is inspired by athletic and sports activities. It combines comfort, functionality, and style, making it popular among people with active lifestyles or as a casual everyday wear. Sportswear emphasizes flexibility, breathability, and durability, often incorporating technical fabrics and performance-enhancing features.
    • Comfort: Designed for ease of movement and overall comfort.
    • Functionality: Incorporates features like moisture-wicking, stretchable materials, and lightweight designs.
    • Style: Blends sporty aesthetics with fashionable elements to create a modern and trendy look.
    • Technical Fabrics: Utilizes high-performance materials such as nylon, polyester, spandex, and breathable mesh.
    • Athletic-Inspired Silhouettes: Includes track pants, hoodies, sweatshirts, leggings, and sports bras.
  9. 9
    This dress code is popular for professions such as military, police, and healthcare. It includes specific clothing and accessories that represent the profession.
    Uniforms are standardized clothing worn by members of an organization or institution as a part of their official dress code. It distinguishes individuals based on their occupation, rank, or affiliation. Uniforms often serve practical and symbolic purposes, promoting unity, identification, and professionalism.
    • Consistency: Uniforms are consistent in terms of style, color, and design across various individuals within an organization.
    • Distinctiveness: Uniforms help distinguish individuals belonging to a specific organization or profession from others.
    • Identification: Uniforms provide easy identification of members belonging to an organization or profession.
    • Professionalism: Uniforms contribute to creating a professional image and fostering a sense of discipline within an organization.
    • Functionality: Uniforms are designed to cater to the practical needs of a particular profession or task, often incorporating features for safety and ease of movement.
  10. 10
    This dress code is popular for cultural events and national holidays. It includes clothing that represents a specific country or region, such as a kimono in Japan or a kilt in Scotland.
    The national dress is a traditional attire that symbolizes the cultural identity and heritage of a nation. It often reflects the history, customs, and values of the country. The appearance of the national dress can vary significantly between different nations.
    • Cultural Significance: The national dress holds immense cultural significance and is often worn during formal occasions, festivals, weddings, or other celebrations.
    • Materials: The national dress can be made from various materials, including silk, cotton, wool, or traditional fabrics indigenous to the country.
    • Colors and Patterns: The dress often incorporates colors and patterns that are significant to the country's heritage and symbolism.
    • Styles and Designs: The style and design of the national dress can vary greatly, ranging from flowing gowns to tailored suits, depending on the country's traditions.
    • Accessories: Accessories such as belts, headpieces, shawls, or jewelry are commonly paired with the national dress to complement the overall look.

Missing your favorite dress code?


Ranking factors for popular dress code

  1. Geographical location
    The culture and climate of a place can greatly influence the popularity of a dress code. Different regions may have different preferences based on weather, cultural history, and local customs.
  2. Age and demographic factors
    People's clothing preferences often change as they age, so it's important to take into account the age demographic being considered. Additionally, factors such as income level, education, and lifestyle can influence dress code preferences.
  3. Professional requirements
    Some industries and work environments require specific clothing, such as uniforms or business attire. This can greatly impact the popularity of certain dress codes.
  4. Current trends and fashion
    Fashion trends can play a significant role in the popularity of a dress code. People may choose to follow or reject certain trends, which can affect how popular a dress code becomes over time.
  5. Practicality and comfort
    Some dress codes are more popular simply because they provide a practical and comfortable option for daily wear.
  6. Media influence
    Celebrities, fashion influencers, and media exposure can greatly impact the popularity of certain dress codes. The more commonly a dress code is seen and promoted in the media, the more likely it is to be popular in the general population.
  7. Cultural and religious influences
    Certain dress codes may be influenced by cultural and religious factors, which can play a major role in their popularity across different regions and communities.
  8. Sustainability and ethical considerations
    In recent years, ethical and sustainable fashion has become increasingly important in people's clothing choices. Dress codes that align with these values may become more popular as a result.
  9. Availability and affordability
    Finally, the widespread availability and affordability of the clothing items associated with a dress code can contribute to its popularity. If certain dress codes are more accessible and budget-friendly, they may be more popular among a larger range of people.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular dress code. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or code is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 168 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each code once every 24 hours. The rank of each code is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most popular dress code

Dress codes have been a part of society for centuries, and they continue to shape how we present ourselves in different situations. From formal events to business meetings, schools to workplaces, dress codes help to establish a certain level of professionalism and decorum. However, the definition of "appropriate dress" can vary widely depending on the context, culture, and personal preferences of the individuals involved. In this article, we'll explore some of the most popular dress codes and the reasons behind their popularity. Whether you're trying to navigate a dress code for a specific event or just curious about the latest fashion trends, we've got you covered.

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