Attire Emoji

Attire Emoji

Clearly I'm not a great attire emoji designer…

Weddings, Birthdays, Special Events: I'm at a point in my life where I'm increasingly receiving invitations that have the same basic format: who/what/when/where/attire. That last one being the newcomer, and a confusing newcomer at that. "Cocktail attire," "semi-formal," "business casual," and many other descriptions all serve the same purpose: to very loosely and confusingly tell me something that my latest idea, attire emoji, could have told me better.

What, for example, is meant by "cocktail attire"? Wikipedia ignores this concept altogether and redirects directly to the article on "Semi-formal." The only picture on that page, however, is decidedly formal: a Canadian historian in black tie. Indeed, the same article lists black tie as a suggestion, though that is also listed on the page for formal. Most other sources (sorry, Wiki, I usually turn to you first) provide a wide range of options for cocktail attire: slacks with a jacket, suit with no tie, and suit with tie are all considered options, though this is a fairly wide spectrum.

Or take, for example, "business casual," which in some parts of America means jeans with an untucked button-up are acceptable but in other parts implies French cuffs and slacks. And in both of these examples, I'm only touching on men's fashion; where women are concerned, these labels are even more cryptic.

My solution is simple: when you create an invitation, do away with the complex gibberish phrases that normally adorn the bottom right, and replace them with attire emojis. If men are expected to wear a suit and tie and women would be comfortable in a little black dress, you can try to get that across through age-old code-words like "evening informal" (as apparently that's what that means), or you can instead provide a set of two emoji that accomplish the same task.

I should clarify here that I don't intend to suggest a specific set of emoji; any custom images will do as long as they serve the emoji purpose of conveying information in a single simple character. These pictographs or hieroglyphics (which is really all emoji are) can get across a lot more information, perhaps a thousand times as much, as the old adage suggests, as the words we use today.

  • Benjamin Miller

    Interesting idea. Seems you could also just have people be specific about what to wear (e.g. Shirt, tie and slacks).