Men’s Guide On How to Dress for Every Occasion

White Tie

Getting an invitation that requires white-tie is a rarity these days. Many people have stopped doing this dress attire besides the royals. There is more that goes into achieving white-tie than just merely wearing a white tie. However, if you do get an invite for such an event, here is how you pull off white-tie.

How to wear white-tie:

The Tailcoat
The tailcoat must be worn unbuttoned with peaked lapels. Having a tailcoat is required with no designer labels showing, as it would take away from the look.

Trousers
Trousers must be high wasted and have a two-lined braid down the outside of the leg.

Shirt
A plain white stiff shirt that has folded cuffs and a wing collar

Shoes
Black patent leather pump shoes with a round cut. Wear shoes with black laces and an optional black ribbon on top of the shoe.

Socks
Socks are preferred to be black, and silk but a plain black sock will do.

Tie
Leave your neckties at home as only hand-tied bowties are allowed.

Waistcoat
A low cut white waistcoat must sit perfectly underneath the tailcoat with none of the waistcoat showing underneath.

Top Hats
Adding a hat is optional but can add an even more of a formal touch to your look.

Black Tie

Black tie dress is for social functions that it will generally start after 6 pm. You can expect the event to be very fancy and formal. This style of dress was invented in the Edwardian era as a way to still dress formal but not as much as white tie.

How to wear black-tie:

The Suit
You are going to want to get a black or midnight blue jacket with a shawl lapel. The material should be wool, silk, or velvet with wool being the most common today.

Trousers
The trousers should be the same material and color as the jacket with one single braid.

Shirt
A formal white shirt with a winged color and cufflinks on the sleeve will be required.

Shoes
Black patent leather shoes or velvet will work; however, suede will not.

Tie
A black silk long tie is common however you can go with a bowtie.

Suspenders
Instead of a belt, suspenders will be needed.

Socks
A quality black evening sock.

Semi-formal

Compared to white or black tie; semi-formal is still dressy but more relaxed. Semi-formal attire is often worn for dinner parties and weddings.

How to wear semi-formal:

The Suit
You are going to want to select a suit that corresponds to the time of the event. For evening events you are going to want to wear a darker suit. Colors such as midnight blue, charcoal, navy, or black are great choices. For daytime events, lighter colors such as cream, white, tan, lavender, or beige would be most appropriate. The fabric should be wood or tweed with a small pattern for winter events. For summer events, aim for material such as cotton and linen as it gives more breathability for heat.

Trousers
Wear a tapered pant that coordinates with your suit.

Shirt
Since semi-formal is a little more casual, a white shirt will not be needed. Based on the color of your suit, pick a color that is lighter with the option of playing with patterns.

Shoes
Materials can range from suede, leather, or velvet. Light-colored suits should have brown shoes and black for dark-colored suits.

Tie
Wearing a tie is totally up to you. However, if you do wear one, a simple thin tie would be best.

Belt
Wear a simple leather belt that compliments the color of your suit.

Socks
Choose a plain dress sock that is dark-colored or black.

Cocktail Attire

This style of dress is still popular for weddings or evening parties that are still dressy but allows room for personalization.

How to wear cocktail attire:

Jackets
Jackets that are dark-colored such as navy blue, charcoal, or black is best. However, if the party is less formal, you can wear colors such as burgundy, olive green, or khaki.

Trousers
Can have different material and color from your jacket, make sure they complement each other. Do not wear denim as this is too casual.

Shirt
A simple white shirt can never do you wrong; however, you can play with colors and patterns. Colors can be neutral such as grey or blue; to colors such as light pink or light blue.

Ties
Depending on your shirt and suit choice, you can go with a more subtle or bold slim tie. You can play with colors and textures, to more wild prints depending on the formality of the event.

Shoes
Whatever you wear to the office will be allowed here such as oxfords, loafers, and monk-straps. Colors should be neutral and complement your look.

Belt
A leather or suede belt is a good option with the color and design being up to you. Stick to brown or black if not sure.

Socks
Socks should be calf-length and coordinate with the look so far.

Beach Formal Attire

This attire is designed to keep you stylish and suitable for the occasion while having materials that keep you cool.

How to wear beach formal attire:

Suit
The suit can be a simple color such as light grey or more fun with blue, off white, pale grey, or pink. Due to the location, you will want to have a breathable fabric such as lightweight wool or linen.

Shirt
A printed or light-colored shirt that goes with your suit is best. It can be rolled up if need be and have a different collar such as the grandad.

Pants
Linen or khakis are an excellent choice with their colors being up to you.

Shoes
Quality low top sneakers or loafers are best.

Tie
Either choose between going with a pocket square or a tie; don’t do both. Neither one is necessary, but if you do decide to wear one, make sure it’s still casual.

Business Casual

This style of dress was made to be more comfortable in the workplace but still look professional. Dressing for this can be difficult as it seems that every employer has their ideas of business casual. When going in for an interview, it is always a good idea to dress better than what they require to give a good impression.

How to wear business casual:

Blazer
While some offices require a suit without a tie, others may require a blazer. When picking out a blazer, make sure it is slim cut and single-breasted. Colors such as navy or grey are always great choices. The material can be light wool to tweed and corduroy depending on the season.

Shirts
A quality cotton long-sleeve button-down shirt is best. Light colors are acceptable as well as subtle patterns. If your employer allows for more creativity with your clothing; bold patterns and colors are fun as well. Sweaters can be worn during the winter months under your blazer but over your shirt.

Pants
Dress slacks, chinos, and khakis are great options in neutral colors. The fit should be slim and not too tight. Jeans or shorts are not to be worn for business casual.

Shoes
Stick to more dressy shoes such as oxford, derbies, monk straps, chelsea boots, and loafers. If your employer is okay with you wearing sneakers, make sure that they are presentable and high quality.

Belt
A simple leather black or brown belt will do.

Socks
Navy or black socks are acceptable; however, the option to wear socks that show more of your personality is there.

Dressy Casual

This style of dress should incorporate some of the things you already own. It is still a structured and fitted look without being as formal as business causal.

How to wear dressy casual:

Shirt
Think of this style of dress as if you were going on a date. Knitwear is a great and easy way to give yourself an elevated look. Also, pairing an open-collared shirt with a blazer or coat is a good option as well.

Pants
Jeans are allowed as long as they look formal with no holes or patches. Chinos or slacks are going to be your best option for a formal event.

Shoes
Sneakers that are well taken care of are allowed for causal events, while oxfords and loafers are for more formal.

Belt
Adding your own style of belt is acceptable, while always the black or brown leather belt is a good choice.

Tie
A tie is optional, while a pocket square may be required depending on the event.

Casual Attire

Being able to wear something practical and fashion-forward is a causal attire. You still want to make sure that your clothes fit well but can be more relaxed and informal.

How to wear casual attire:

Shirts
A classic casual look is a white t-shirt with jeans; however, there are way more options. Any style that expresses your individuality and makes you feel confident in is what you should wear.

Pants
Depending on how elevated you want to go with your look, you can choose different cuts of pants. A slim and straight leg jean or pant will give more of a polished look while a looser cut is more relaxed and laid back.

Shoes
Any clean shoes besides tennis shoes are best.

Jackets
Pairing a casual look with a bomber, denim, or leather jacket is an easy way to add some extra style.

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