Party season: believe the glossy mags, and you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s just one month-long march of the penguins. In reality, far from spending the remainder of the year in a dinner jacket, most guys suit up only once during the holidays. And some not at all.
That’s not to say there aren’t several low-key events and long-overdue catch-ups that require your presence (and your presents) between now and 2018. More importantly, each calls for a different approach when it comes to getting dressed.
Not content with dominating the casualwear market, Superdry knows what regular guys need in their wardrobes at this time of year, too. Alongside the kind of stuff that will take you from desk to dancefloor, the British brand’s partywear edit is packed with pieces you’ll be able to wear long after the gurning in a corporate-sponsored photo booth comes to an end.
With that in mind, here are five outfits to wear to every event you’ll actually attend this winter. Because, yes, at Christmas an all-day session in the pub counts as ‘an event’.
Office Christmas Do
Ahh, the office Christmas party. That one night of the year when the dress code and most people’s behaviour are at spectacular odds with one another. While we can’t do much to stop you acting like a damn fool, there are at least ways of avoiding looking like one.
What you wear will largely depend on the type of event and where it is. If the invitation states ‘black tie’ you should probably, definitely wear black tie (or at least some variation of it). Otherwise, if it’s a casual affair, the onus is on you to simply make more effort than usual.
Aim for the sartorial middle ground with a classic Oxford shirt worn under a premium feel merino crew neck jumper and a pair of could-pass-for-trousers black jeans. The look feels suitably dressed up, but won’t have you looking like the caterer if everyone else has dressed down. To finish, throw on some polished Chelsea boots and leave the tie at home (it will only end up around your head while you tell your boss how much you love them).
Christmas Eve All-Dayer
It may not get paid as much lip service as New Year’s Eve, but for many guys, a pre-Christmas crawl through the local pubs is just as much a tradition. And one that requires due wardrobe diligence.
A day of hot-footing it between watering holes calls for a look that can do the business both inside and out. For that reason, aim for a series of layers that work just as well on their own as they do part of an outfit.
A flannel shirt and a pair of slim-cut jeans, for example, is a tried-and-tested pairing that has passed the pub test for decades. Anchor with dark lace-up trainers, which will ensure you look smart enough to be granted into every venue, and cap off with a black leather jacket, which will have you covered for the inevitable 2am walk home.
Christmas Day Dinner
We’re all for extolling the merits of high-quality loungewear (especially the morning after the night before), but when it comes to Christmas it’s expected that you scrub up for your bird – the turkey, that is.
The trick to getting Christmas Day dressing right is in looking presentable enough for pictures, while leaving enough room to allow for an ever-expanding waistline.
Don’t even think about putting on a shirt, because A) who wants to iron on Christmas Day? And B) straining buttons and peek-a-boo slivers of skin are a good look on no one. Instead, go for a simple white T-shirt and get your collar in the form of a zip-up knit. Add a pair of dark jeans and some sand desert boots into the mix, and you’ve got the day wrapped up.
Boxing Day With Family
Christmas might be done and dusted, and you might be craving your sweatpants, but that post-lunch bloat isn’t going to shift itself. Whether it’s forced family fun or a solo breather, heading out on a walk is a wise (man’s) move that is surprisingly pleasant to dress for.
To balance comfort and style, a sturdy but soft pair of boots is the obvious place to start. From here you can build up with pieces built for facing up to the great outdoors, such as a pair of cargo trousers, a waffle knit jumper and a lightweight yet insulating overcoat.
Best of all, it’s an outfit that works just as well off the trail, should you get a second wind and end up rambling your way (back) into the pub.
New Year’s Eve House Party
With the main event out the way, that just leaves the annual disappointment that is New Year’s Eve. Yeah, we said it. You need to have fun (even if you’re really, really over Christmas) and are expected to rock up to a party looking the best you have all year.
Rather than being kettled into a pen with 10,000 others to watch fireworks, get yourself a house party invitation, which will also make it far easier to select which style move to pull.
Unless said house is Downton Abbey, swerve anything too formal such as a blazer. Instead, achieve the same silhouette-lengthening effect of a suit by opting for a tonal shirt and chino combination. Round off the look with a pair of white sneakers, which should look box fresh unless you want to be told to take them off at the door, and a dark brown belt for a slight accent.
All that’s left for you to do is turn up and look enthusiastic. You can manage that, right?
Shop the full partywear collection now in stores and online at superdry.com.