Dressing for a Big Deal!
For most men it doesn’t happen often, yet when an invitation to a formal event graces your mailbox it can make even the toughest guys knees shake. How often have you cursed the fact that women get away with just about anything? They can wear whatever ridiculous frock they like and their choice is in most cases quite acceptable.
For men on the other hand there are a lot more rules in place to master the ceremony and many men still haven’t quite made peace with those rules of fine clothing. So why not address this sure-to-happen-again-scenario and rid yourself of any confusion and angst attached to big events?
Most invitations should state the dress code. If you are at all unsure what is expected do not be shy and simply ask! After all the people who invite you have made a considerable effort to stage an event, and it is an act of politeness to make sure you fit the picture.
Overall there are 4 different types of dress codes.
The first is the classic black tie event.
It is the event for a tuxedo. However a lot of men nowadays opt for an elegant black suit instead and that is quite acceptable. Again there is no harm in asking, as you might not want to be the only male turning up in a black suit when every other guy wears his tux. Compliment your choice with a crisp white dress shirt, shiny patent leather lace-ups and a black tie and you are sure to be a success.
The second dress code you will come across is the semi-formal occasion. No tuxedos are expected here … so don’t wear one!
However you might still consider a dark suit and a white shirt yet maybe with a tie in a different color. A very elegant choice is a tie in silver or charcoal gray for example. You can wear a tie with a pattern but it is best to stay rather conservative.
Business casual is another step down in formality. Here a tie is optional yet you are still required to wear nice trousers and a dress shirt. A jacket is not strictly required and especially in summer you might want to omit it. However it is certainly a good addition to your outfit and always gives you a better outline. Think V instead of A!
The most confusing dress code is often the casual occasion. It is rarely clear how casual it really is. Again my advice if in any doubt is to simply ask! It might safe you embarrassment.
Literally casual means that you can wear any type of pants including Jeans and Shorts. A safe option is to still wear a button down shirt or an impeccable polo shirt in summer. It certainly is always better to be a little overdressed rather than underdressed. Works for the girls anytime…believe me!
One word of advice is, if you would like to have a little fun with your outfit, do it with your accessories only. Most occasions you will go to are staged in order to celebrate other people (e.g. weddings or funerals) and it isn’t a sign of style to draw attention to oneself. That is what truly separates the men from the boys!
And last but certainly not least: Always make sure your outfit fits well. If you go to a black tie event on average once a year you should invest in a tailored tux or suit and stop renting one!
About Gloria Mundi ‘Gloria Mundi’ is the woman every man needs. She has seen it all: guys who succeed and guys who fail. With many years of experience in the style arena she knows the magic ingredients to transform any frog into a prince. If you want to get inside a woman’s head (or simply inside her pants)… let Gloria whisper in your ear.