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Dress Code for Formal Events

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Dress Code for Formal Events

When an invitation arrives for a formal event, it is important to pay close attention to one thing above all else: the requested dress code.

No matter what - a gentleman’s attire should always adhere to the unwritten rules of style. But we also know that that can vary, based on the type of event that he is planning to attend.

Formal events are the perfect opportunity to showcase a more cosmopolitan look - though that doesn't mean a gentleman’s options are confined or limited. In fact, it is possible to display your own personal flare, even in some of the most customary ensembles. Here's how:


Black Tie Attire vs. Formal Attire/Black Tie Optional:

Elegant affairs, such as black tie events, are the perfect occasion to dress up and showcase a tasteful look that differs from your everyday attire. A gentleman dressing for a black tie event should keep in mind that a simple and sophisticated look will go a long way. A sharp tuxedo is certainly a must, but it is acceptable to incorporate some unique touches of personal style into the classic look. Our Silver Paisley Bow Tie is an exceptional option for customizing the standard black tie look because it incorporates an understated pattern and a glittering, eye-catching color, but it still abides by the rule that simple and elegant is best.

Many individuals believe that the dress code for formal attire, otherwise known as black tie optional, means that they do not have to wear a tuxedo, but that is not always the case. A formal event certainly allows for some flexibility when styling an ensemble; however, tuxedos are most often still the appropriate style choice. Accessories play a large role in formal attire because a gentleman can include more colors and pattern when selecting pieces to accompany his formal ensemble. Our Black/Red Quicksilver Paisley Bow Tie paired with the White/Red Linen Border Pocket Square incorporates some bright colors and whimsical patterns, and the pairing is also quite unique, meaning that you will certainly stand out in a sea of guests.


Semi Formal + Cocktail Attire:

For a semi-formal event, such as a cocktail party or a gala, a gentleman can retire his tuxedo for the night and instead sport a dark or gray suit. A pressed white shirt is certainly acceptable; however, with semi-formal attire, it is also permissible to wear a shirt that features a muted color, as well as accessories that display subtle patterns and various colors. Tartans are an excellent choice for holiday cocktail parties, and our Prince of Wales Tartan Necktie would most definitely make a bold statement at your office’s Christmas cocktail soiree. Our Navy Derwin Repp Necktie would also be a great choice for a more conservative look, while still making quite a dashing statement.


Based on the event, a well-crafted outfit is often incomplete without accessories such as a cummerbund, bow tie, and a pocket square; however, confidence and sophistication are also considered to be two of the most important contributing factors in some of the very best formal wear.

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