Everyone would agree with the fact that suits have remained to be a staple wear in men's wardrobe. It doesn't matter whether you are a businessman or a student or anywhere in between there is always an occasion where you will need to suit up. Also the suit which is mostly considered as a formal wear is practically a versatile one which works well for most occasions sometimes surprisingly even for some casual events.
Also there is a varied understanding in different parts of the world when it comes to formal dress codes. Most of the men are still confused about what is acceptable and appropriate when coming to attend black tie events or any formal events. It doesn't help much that our attire has become one of the basic factors when judging a person in the first look. All this unnecessary pressure could turn out to be a burden and this is why most of us do not bother with dressing up anymore. But it is simply unavoidable to ignore these events throughout the lifetime and at one point or other the need for dressing up returns.
So at these times to make the job easier it is better to know the basics which constitutes of a formal wear and how best to work it so that you get through the event unscathed. This article explains just that and some more which might be definitely useful in one way or other
Let us start from the oldest of the formal attire - White tie attire. Basically most of us misunderstand the word formal attire and just think of suit and ties when hearing it. It is actually a higher form of dress code that may require the clothes that most men do not own. So when it comes to white tie events it is better to go with rentals unless you don't mind spending on it. Also nowadays a lot of online sites have started offering these garments at lesser prices. The white tie event's dress code depends on the time of the day that the event takes place. If it is scheduled during daytime you will need to don on a tailcoat with a vest and if it is after six you will need a white tie. White tie events are mostly diplomatic events or highly formal award events. This tailcoat tradition is most prevalent in the United Kingdom than in the U.S. The dress code to these events are actually pretty strict but you have nothing to worry unless you are a high society heir or a renowned diplomat.
Next comes one of the formal wear that is more relevant and the one which most of us would have to purchase. Black tie attire is semi formal but still one of the strictest dress codes. The famous Tuxedos comes under this category and like the white tie attire this also changes with the time of the event. Most of the black tie events are conducted in the evenings and that is why tuxedos are that popular. When in mornings it is better to ho with stroller which is a more relaxed alternative to the morning dress. But nowadays the distinction is lost and tuxedos in mornings have become common. Black tie events include formal parties and other events of important significance like family weddings. You will most probably recieved a dress code that comes with the invite for these type of events. While the white tie events are the highest level of formal events, black tie events are also formal and is mostly only prevalent among high end communities. But it is always better to own a tuxedo since it may come in handy anytime. While you may easily rent out a tuxedo it is always better to get your own and still better to get one made just for you. If you think you cannot afford a custom made tuxedo then you can go for the option of online shopping. Get one that fits your standards and price range and then take it to your tailor to get it fitted to your size.
Business attire is the most easy one till far since it obviously refers to matching suits. If you get an invite to any event that states business attire as the dress code then it is better to go with any dark colored solid or pinstriped suit. You just have to keep everything clean have the suit paired with a white dress shirt, a nice tie and leather Oxfords and then you are good to go. These are the type of events one will have to attend most in the lifetime and hence it is better to have proper suits that serve the purpose. If you are attending a event that is happening at daytime then lighter shades like grey and brown are acceptable. So if you hear business attire remember that it denotes the most formal end of men's suits. Also do not confuse it with events that simply states suits and ties since it means that the casual suits of brighter colors and patterns are acceptable. This is the type of dress code expected of you when you attend brunches and church services and some other events. If you see anything that states optional in the dress code you receive then it is better to go with it regardless of them being a choice.
Business casuals have a number of variations to the term but they all denote the same thing. Blazers come under this category but men are required to keep it professional so classic colors like navy and grey are preferred. This attire is somewhat casual than a formal business attire. You can wear a navy blue blazer along with a light or dark grey trousers and be done with it. The word casual is the key and lets you slightly experiment than it is allowed for the business attire. Jackets and blazers are optional and you can ditch them and go with just shirts and sweater on top for a dressed down look. Sports coats are allowed until you get the basics of trousers with a collared shirt right. You can match your shoes according to the choice of your trousers since slacks and khakis are allowed.
It is actually hard to see an invitation that stated casual attire. The term casual attire means that you can leave out your neckties while a casual jacket is still permitted. When it comes to trousers jeans are allowed but it is always better to keep it dark and well fitted since it is still an event. Casual attire means that the host is not expecting anything of the attenders and simply wishes for a relaxed event. That being said you can still go with collared shirt and slightly formal look to look like you put effort.
As said before optional means that the host would prefer if you wear that is mentioned. So if you are able to do it then it is better to go with it. But when it is harder to do it then it is better to ditch it and go with a lesser option. Like if for a event the invitation mentions tuxedo optional, then it is better to go in a tux if you already have one. But if you are in a tight bind and only could afford a rental one at the last minute then you can go with a dark business suit with a white shirt and a conservative tie. So optional simply appeals to the attendees personal taste and preferences. If you are the host of the event then putting a optional tag on your dress code means that you are flexible and wants to make sure that everyone feels comfortable attending the event.
For events that does not include a dress code forgo the anxiety and stress by simply asking the host what to wear for the event. If the host isn't accessible try asking other attendees. If you have absolutely no idea and also no one to ask then go for the basics. It is always better to dress more formal than required since it is easier to get a dressed down look after reading the room by taking off the tie or shedding the jacket. But if you arrive dressed down to a formal event then the look is hard to salvage. If the event in is daytime go with light colors and if in evening darker colors. Outdoor events are considered less formal than the indoor ones.
After all the dress codes, suits still remain to be one of the staple wears in menswear. They have seen rise and fall in popularity but have withstood it all. Suits apart from the above mentioned events still is one of the most used garments in men's fashion. Most businessmen and working class men in the U.S. still have suits as the office wear. But recent times have seen a lot of relaxation in the rules of a former strict dress code that was seemed appropriate for work wear. Many organisations have included some casual additions that are more comfortable and relevant for daily setting.
Till then the formal wear consisted of a suit with shirt, tie, pocket square and shoes. But nowadays the formal look for daily setting is all about simplifying your attire. The suit does not need exaggerated details line tie pin, braces, pocket square and pocket watch every time you tailor one. It is better to wear a suit that is simple and reflects your personality. Just make sure that your attire is clean and professional.
When it comes to smart casual that has taken over the corporate world by storm, slim fit is out of choice. Though it dominated the men's fashion for quite some time, slim fit is slowly going out of style. Slim fit means that you have your suit at the tightest possible setting and this does not do good especially when you have to wear it the whole day. The suit that you wear as a office attire should be flattering and at the same time comfortable that complements your body shape rather than restricting it.
Daily wear should equal to comfort when talking about suits. Unstructured suits are the best choice to move away from the built up roped shoulders and heavy chest canvassing of the heavy suits. The outerwear such as overcoats is a good choice and better still if they are oversized in the top. By saying oversized we mean that the coat shod be one size up than the jacket you are wearing underneath and the sleeve lengths should be such that it covers till bottom of your wrist while the hands are still visible.
If you are bored of the classic business colors like navy and blue then it is better to explore colors in suits. But keep in mind to stick with earthy colors line bottle green and dark browns that match well with most skin tones and still give out an elegant formal look.
It is always better to wear a pair of proper dress shoes when it comes to formal wear but when dressing down it is acceptable to wear casual footwears like trainers or loafers. Note that the suit you wear should be unstructured and made from less formal fabrics like cotton or t-shirts instead of shirts.
These are the times in which dressing up have become easier than it was before due to level of information available and not to say the internet. Another thing that has made fashion still more appealing is the online shopping. Times of waiting for the for sale card to appear on your favourite store are over and you can now purchase anything you need at anytime you want with a click on your phone. You just have to know the style and the type of clothing that works for you and then you have a million options to choose from.