So, you’ve been invited to an event stating ‘Cocktail Attire’ as the dress code. Hmmm… what now? We’ve seen this many times. Like many men, you have probably begun reaching into your closet with hope of finding a solution to this vague form of dress.
So, how do you execute this look?
First, let’s start by taking a look at the occasions in which cocktail dress may be required. These occasions are commonly known as: weddings, anniversaries, engagement parties, christenings, certain sporting events, formal birthday gatherings or celebrations, and cocktail parties, of course.
As the name suggests, cocktail attire is too formal for day wear, yet too relaxed for full black tie. It is the semi- formal, ‘between the hours’ dress code. Here’s how to translate this to your ensemble.
- Tailoring. This is the most vital component of it all. The most common options are a dark blazer or sport jacket and trousers. Unconventional shades will give your outfit a modern edge. It’s also acceptable to mix and match your jacket and trousers. However, denim is still unacceptable for these types of events. Always have a slim cut for your suit.
- Shirting. A crisp dress shirt is essential to your cocktail hour look. Make sure it is freshly laundered and well-pressed. For a more traditional feel, choose a solid tone. For another option, choose a light pinstripe or low-key check. Just make sure your suit isn’t patterned if you go this path.
- Footwear. Leather oxfords are the standard choice. Choose black or dark tan as a statement paired with your tailoring. Sleek tassel loafers are also another choice. Whatever footwear you choose, remember to give your shoes a good polish to ensure they look their best.
- Neckwear. While it is acceptable at certain cocktail events to go without a tie, your choice of neckwear is a chance to push limits. With a plain shirt, add an eye- catching pattern or color scheme. With a patterned suit or shirt, keep things simple with a minimal design that will complement the rest of your look.
- Accessories. This is the final detail. With a pocket square, keep this in mind when choosing your tie. You don’t want your pocket square to clash with your tie. But, you don’t want to be too matchy-matchy. A good quality belt is very important. Cuff links can add a touch of elegance to your semi-formal look.
It’s okay to bend the rules a little bit. Just keep in mind to be polished without being too prim. After all, clothing should be about expression, not conformity. As experts in men’s fashion, Sam Michael’s Menswear is home to a wide selection of casual to formal wear. Call 248.477.4615 or visit us today for a personalized look, tailored for a purpose.