Dress codes tend to mean an entire room of men dressed exactly the same. But you don’t need to go full Liberace to stand apart. Menswear style consultant Andrew Weitz offers some subtle tweaks to what everyone else is wearing, which will guarantee you catch the eye all night. For all the right reasons.
Shake Up A Cocktail Party
The Masses: The tuxedo is a formalwear fail-safe. But where the fairer sex dresses to impress, their other halves drown in a sea of black and white. If you follow suit, expect to sink beneath the monochrome waves.
Your Move: When everyone’s in black, subtle touches of colour ensure your stand out, says Weitz. “Stay classic but wear a red or burgundy velvet blazer with black tuxedo trousers.”
Patterns are equally effective, but think an almost imperceptible paisley with red flecks, rather than an all-over leopard print. “Stick with the classic, crisp white tuxedo shirt and a black silk bow tie, then bring it all together with either a black or burgundy patent leather shoe.”
Forget The Nine-To-Five
The Masses: Take off the tie and, for most men, their grey suit is suddenly party-ready. Follow suit and you’ll look like a politician in ‘casual’ campaigning mode.
Your Move: Separates pull your look away from your desk. “Stick with a solid coloured blazer but pair it with a plaid, houndstooth or patterned trouser,” says Weitz.
Lose the tie, but keep your top button fastened for a look that’s more David Lynch than David Cameron. Then, accessorise. “Add a pocket square or a lapel pin for the extra pop.” Garnish with a negroni.
Black Tie, Tweaked
The Masses: Faced with a bow tie and a predilection for individuality, whacky too often prevails. But patterns and eye-popping colours should be left for professors who never achieved tenure.
Your Move: A tuxedo works, you just need to upgrade its accompaniments. “Stick with a navy or black suit and make sure it’s fitted properly,” says Weitz. “Skip the button-up shirt and opt for a roll neck sweater.” Penguin suit, meet power move.
The Smart Man’s Casual
The Masses: Lacking creativity, most men default to a suit jacket paired with ill-fitting denim. You’re best leaving the Jeremy Clarkson look well alone.
Your Move: Two words: texture and shape. “I’d suggest either wearing a dark denim, wool or corduroy trouser,” says Weitz. Keep the suit jacket on the hangar and couple a button-down shirt with a shawl collared sweater, as a twist on the blazer.
“Round the look off with a designer sneaker or boot, with a fitted leather jacket.” Rock ‘n’ roll meets the in-laws.
Dressed Up Dressing Down
The Masses: The Christmas sweater gets its annual run-out, coupled with a pair of chinos two shades too light. But you don’t need a snowman on your chest to feel festive.
Your Move: Even the most relaxed pieces get a pass if you nail fit and fabric. “Try a wool or flannel designer sweatpant with elastic cuffs at the bottom for a casual look with an upscale twist,” says Weitz. You’ll appreciate the elastic waist when heading back for seconds of turkey.
“Finish with a long sleeve polo and an unstructured blazer.” The collar steers smart, but without too much contrast between top and bottom.
Follow Andrew Weitz on Instagram at @theweitzeffect