How to Dress for a Cocktail Party - Men
Cocktail parties give you a chance to mingle among friends, acquaintances, and current and potential business associates. Look sharp and dress appropriately for the occasion.
1. Consider the type of invitation. If it came by phone or e-mail, chances are the party is casual. If you received a formal invitation, and especially if the event benefits a charity or association, consider it a dressier affair.
2. Think about the season. Wear lighter-weight fabrics and brighter colors for spring and summer get-togethers. Stick to dark, muted tones in heavier fabrics for fall and winter gatherings.
3. Dress up casual business attire for a more formal after-work cocktail party. Add a blazer to khaki pants and a button-down shirt, or pair a sport coat with black jeans and a black mock turtleneck. Switch sandals or athletic shoes for dark leather loafers or lace-up shoes.
4. Treat cocktail parties on weekend afternoons less formally than those scheduled in the evening. Go dressy business casual for a more formal late-afternoon gathering; opt for a suit in the evening. For a less formal event, wear a nice casual outfit in the afternoon and dressier business casual clothes in the evening.
Athletic socks and shoes are inappropriate for a cocktail party. Shorts are also not advisable even on summer afternoons. Opt for lightweight pants in cotton or linen instead.
Check a formal invitation for terms like 'semiformal' or 'black-tie optional.' If you see these indications, a suit and tie is your best option.
Coordinate your outfit with your date's.
Tips from eHow Users:
Can't Go Wrong with Khaki by Gary T.
Khaki slacks for men are a great foundation for any casual or dressy-casual social event. Inexpensive cotton khakis in wrinkle-free fabrics always look great, whether paired with an oxford shirt and dark blazer in the winter or fall or with a short sleeved polo in warmer weather.