Dressing for a backyard party
Fashion is not meant to be comfortable, but then, house parties are not exactly an haute couture affair. Wearing something uncomfortable to a house party is a recipe for disaster. You do not want to be that guy tugging at his too-tight collar, or pulling down his too-short long sleeves, all night. You also do not want your uncomfortableness to be immortalised photographically, as is bound to happen considering people love taking photos at parties. Importantly, you do not want your outfit to ruin your night. Dressing in clothes that breathe well and have enough give for you to move properly is always essential, but never more so than at a house party. Comfort and neatness have a convenient overlap with certain items. You want to be at this intersection point when dressing for a party.
Wear a shirt
You can get away with wearing a tee shirt to a party, but you will look much nicer if you wear a shirt instead. House parties are an opportunity to wear a patterned shirt, which in many other contexts would leave you a little underdressed, but is just the right amount of formality for a house party. Whether or not to tuck in your shirt is an important consideration; if your shirt fits exceptionally well and is not too long, it may look better untucked. As always, you definitely need a belt. This is especially true at house parties, as you do not want to see photos later only to find that your pants were hanging a bit too low. One huge advantage of wearing a shirt is that it has sleeves. Whether they are long or short, they are doing a better job of obscuring your upper arms and underarms than a tank top. Guys who wear tank tops to parties either look like they are itching for a fight (if muscly), or look painfully awkward (if too skinny).
Do not look too sharp
Usually, it is better to be overdressed than underdressed. However, enough guys make the mistake of getting far too dressed up for a house party that this needs to be said. Wearing a three-piece suit to a backyard party makes you look pretentious, and it makes you look quite silly when you’re also drinking cheap cask wine. For a typical, trashy house party, the following items should be banned: ties, top hats, overly shiny dress shoes, suit pants and waistcoats.
It may be a casual backyard party, but that is no excuse for wearing “junners” (jeans with runners), also known as “sneans” (sneakers with jeans). Jeans are a great house party staple, but you cannot wear them with those shoes. Chuck Taylors are the exception to the rule. A pair of canvas shoes is comfortable and dressed-down, without being hideous. A pair of matte leather dress shoes is another option.
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About Natasha Abrahams Natasha Abrahams is a writer and journalism student from Melbourne, Australia. When she is not busy with being a principal writer on Weekendnotes or skipping lectures, she can be found emptying her wallet at the nearest shopping centre. You can read more from Natasha at: http://mensstyleandfashion.com/