Formal wear, formal apparel or full formal dress is the standard Western wear-code category applicable mostly for the most formal social events, including weddings, graduations, Christenings, confirmation ceremonies, funeral services, Easter and Christmas celebrations, as well as some state dinner, ball, and sports gatherings. A man’s formal wear typically includes three components: the jacket (which may come with or without a belt), the trousers, and the cravat or top hat. This outfit usually consists of shoes of various styles, formal socks, neckties, and perhaps even apron or a pocket bag. Women’s formal wear is generally characterized by a skirt, blouse, blazer or jacket, or by jeans with or without tops, and by sandals or flats. Men’s formal wear consists mainly of tuxedos, suits, jackets, and bow ties.
Formal attire can be worn to express any of the following moods: pride and formality, admiration and respect, formality and intellect, casual or comfortable, or sincere or respectful. The mood of each occasion or type of social gathering will dictate which type of wear would be appropriate, whether it is an evening party, wedding reception, corporate meeting, or Sunday school class. Formal attire is not appropriate for all occasions or types of gatherings and therefore the wearer should determine what the occasion is and choose formal wear accordingly. In short, the wearer needs to determine the mood of the occasion or event before deciding on what to wear.
Tuxedos are among the most traditional forms of dress for any society, in particular for the United States where it has been in vogue since the late 19th century. A tuxedo is worn to award or affirm a man’s authority and superiority. A tuxedo can also be worn as a formal attire to celebrate a marriage or a promotion of a person into a higher position. As well, a tuxedo is a popular choice for weddings and other occasions that require a formal look, like funerals and graduations.