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Dress robes are a formal variety of robes worn by witches and wizards for special occasions. Most dress robes for boys had a formal black robe with a white, buttoned-down shirt underneath. Girls' dress robes were basically prom dresses instead of traditional robes. In the 1994–1995 school year, students of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry were required to bring dress robes in addition to their normal uniforms and equipment. This was due to the fact that the school was hosting the Triwizard Tournament that year, which included the Yule Ball in December. Members of the Slug Club also appeared to be wearing dress robes when they attended the Slug Club Christmas party two years later. They are more expensive to purchase than ordinary robes. Those who attended Fleur and Bill's wedding also wore dress robes as they would have for any wizarding wedding, party, or other special event.
Harry said that the only real difference between dress robes and regular robes was the colour. Specifically, mens' dress robes can be compared to tuxedos and fancy suits, as they serve the same purpose, to be worn at highly formal events. Ladies' dress robes are for all intents and purposes equivalent to Muggle dresses or gowns.