To maintain a classy look and feel, certain venues may indicate a dress code of 'jacket preferred'. This means just what it says: you won't be automatically turned away because the man in your party doesn't have a jacket, but you might not get a prime table in a high-visibility area.
For the ladies
The 'jacket preferred' dress code does not apply directly to women, but it does indicate a certain level of formality. The same rules apply as with 'business casual': no t-shirts, jeans, or sneakers. Only dress shoes, heels, or dressy sandals would be appropriate for such an establishment. Slacks or trousers can be matched with a blouse or collared shirt for daytime, or something slightly more elegant for evening. Dressing for a 'jacket preferred'
establishment is an opportunity to pay more attention to elegance and glamour than you would with 'business casual'. You will certainly not feel overdressed in a skirt or dress.
For the guys
Here men will want to follow similar guidelines to the 'business casual' dress code: clean, professional, and pulled together. For an evening event with friends or a date, you can try something a bit more daring and dapper, like a button-up shirt in a bold, unexpected color. Establishments with 'jacket preferred' dress codes tend to have a closet
of loaner jackets, but you will have a very limited selection of colors and sizes, especially during busy hours. The mâitre d' on staff at such an establishment is likely to be a true professional, and will not make you feel uncomfortable about borrowing a loaner. But your date's reaction is much harder to predict. Consider this carefully before deciding to flout the rules.