Getting the dress code right for your formal event

How many times have you been at an event and noticed that someone looks completely like they don’t belong there?

Did they miss the bit on the invite that said black tie? Or maybe they’re actually from the party next door – because they sure don’t fit in here!

And what if that person is you? Have you ever rolled up to a wedding or special occasion and you feel as though you have gotten the dress code wrong?

Well, the Formal Image team are here to help. We can advise and guide you on the appropriate menswear etiquette for a particular event at a certain time of day.

Here are three basic rules of thumb for suit wearing that can be applied to a special event:

  • Dinner jackets (also called tuxedos) are traditionally black in colour and are distinguished by the addition of satin or silk facing on the lapels. They come in one, two and three button styles and should not be worn before 6:00pm.
  • English morning tails is a grey jacket combined with striped trousers and should only be worn during the day up to and including 3:00pm.
  • Black tail coats can be worn at any time including the evening.

But it doesn’t stop there. Yes, you may have the whole suit going on, but what about shirts and accessories? There are many conventions on what shirt should be worn with each suit and what sort of neckwear is involved when accessorising. There are even rules regarding the size of patterns on vests and the manner in which to tie the cravat or tie.

And there are always variables to consider such as where the special event is and what type of event it is. In this day and age, things are a little bit more relaxed but you still don’t want to be the one caught out in a beige suit when everyone else is in bow-ties and tuxedos.

Remember it is quite acceptable to choose not to follow convention but it’s probably best that you do it by choice and not through ignorance.

It’s all a bit of menswear minefield which is why at Formal Image we are here to guide and assist around these styling principles.

Drop in store at 44 Macquarie Street, Parramatta or call (02) 9635 8108 for more expert advice.

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