As we approach another party season – the last if the Mayans are to be believed – many men are looking for those easy style boosts that will help them dress like it’s the last night on earth. From the work Christmas party to black tie invitations to getting drunk at the pub with your friends, there are a number of functions happening over the next month for which style tips would be most appreciated – that’s where we come in.
These three quick and easy wardrobe tips will ensure a welcome boost to your attire at any and all smart/casual/formal events you may be attending this winter. So without standing on ceremony, let’s jump right in with number one.
When it comes to texture, few fabrics ooze the metropolitan sophistication and class of velvet. When done right, a good bit of velvet escalates a look from well dressed to seriously stylish with ease.
The velvet blazer enjoyed a moment last year, staging a comeback in time for the party season. This year the trend is well and truly alive; those in the know value velvet as a timeless addition to their late night wardrobe. A full suit in black or midnight blue is a superb way to set yourself apart at any black tie event, just ask our style icon Ryan Gosling.
Outside of black tie, the velvet blazer still has a more than welcome place at the table. Work it into your smart/casual invitation, decoding looks with chinos or tailored trousers alongside a shirt or polo neck and leather dress shoes. For more velvet blazer styling ideas, check our archived article on the subject.
A blazer isn’t the only way to work velvet into your outfit this season. Accessories, and even footwear, are an often under-used approach when looking to adding some elegant texture to your party season style.
Velvet dress slippers are the perfect dandy accompaniment to bring some flair and panache to your dinner jacket and evening wear. Furthermore, a tie or bow tie in velvet can be just the thing needed to add subtle texture to a smart/casual look or simply breathe some life into a standard dinner or lounge suit.
However, do avoid a full velvet outfit. While velvet loafers and accessories are superb wardrobe additions, they’re best left out of the equation if you’ve taken the plunge with a velvet blazer and trouser pairing.
With the party season set in the depths of winter, solid outerwear is a must. Sadly, this is where a lot of men let their outfits falter. When dressing for an event, a poorly selected piece of outerwear can quickly ruin a great outfit and a first impression. Black tie tailoring paired with a duffle or beat-up single-breasted mac doesn’t exactly match well.
A ‘grown-up’ choice in the form of an overcoat, Crombie, trench, or car coat will help beat the cold in a refined way during the party season. The chill is also the perfect opportunity, when appropriate, to utilise those blockbuster coats that have been trending this autumn/winter.
A further faux pas that becomes apparent when people head to said seasonal functions, is leaving all outerwear at home. It’s hardly stylish to turn up to an event shivering and red faced from the cold, and it certainly doesn’t make the journey home any more pleasant (although the alcohol will certainly take the edge off). Stashing your outerwear in a cloakroom is a necessary evil this time of year; even if you have to pay, it’s still an absolute must.
Among all the practicalities, good outerwear choices bring something extra to an outfit. Your black tie look can be brought up a level or two with a well-fitted overcoat and superbly selected pocket square popped neatly into the breast.
Devil is forever in the details – especially when it comes to formal events, where the dress code can severely limit your options. With this in mind, metal accessories are a great way to bring sharpness and polish to your party season outfits. Coming in the form of cufflinks, bars and pins, a good metal accessory (or two, providing they match) will elevate your style instantly.
When it comes to utilising metals in your outfit, stick to the old adage of never mixing your metals. Remember also to take into account your wristwear, rings and other staple jewellery when it comes to adding cufflinks etc. to your evening look. That means if you’re wearing a rose gold watch and a matching collar bar, adding cufflinks is most likely overkill.
Metal accessories and black tie invitations can be a bit tricky. The most formal of situations tend to call upon strict minimalism – although a boutonnière and cufflinks would be a sensible choice to separate yourself from the crowd (cufflinks of course should only be worn with French cuffed shirts). A tie or collar bar added to evening wear risks creating a more corporate and business-like aesthetic, which is not the vibe you want to be projecting.
Instead, reserve the tie and collar-wear for those smart-casual situations where you are utilising suit separates or wearing a full lounge suit. Worn to a restaurant or upmarket dinner and drinks, a tie bar or collar bar will help separate you from the rest of the gents attending and complete a stellar smart outfit.
Now it is time for you to have your say:
Let us know in the comments section…