The trouble with evening wear is that it’s often incredibly boring. For too long men have been limited to the same look: black suit, white shirt, bow tie, and let’s face it, who wants to walk into a room and look exactly the same as everyone else?
It’s a good job then that Topman has turned once again to Charlie Casely-Hayford, who’s created a collection designed to inject some much needed fun and experimentation into the black tie dress code. Taking cues from his own brand, Charlie – arguably London’s coolest designer – has also looked to rock stars of the 1970s for inspiration; just look at that belted velvet smoking jacket, which wouldn’t look out of place on Mick Jagger in his heyday.
It’s interesting that, at a time when streetwear is dominating fashion, one of the biggest high-street brands decide to release a collection focused on fine tailoring. But, due to the contemporary nature of the clothes themselves, versatility is one of their biggest assets. In fact, Casely-Hayford intended for his designs to be worn out of their original context, and actually encourages clients to wear them with streetwear.
“For my second Topman collection I wanted to create a capsule that brought a youthful, vibrant element to evening wear,” he says. “Intricately designed clashing jacquards and an unstructured smoking jacket form the basis of the collection and look perfectly at home teamed with tracksuit bottoms and a pair of Reebok Classics.” Eveningwear will never be boring again.
Belted Smoking Jacket
Looking for a statement dinner jacket you can wear to your office Christmas party and beyond? This will be all you need. An opulent yet minimal take on the traditional smoking jacket, it features a Bond-like shawl lapel with satin piping, large patch pockets and a simple waist belt, giving the jacket plenty of shape when tied.
An update on the classic navy two-piece, this vibrant blue suit may appear like any other at first glance, but it’s the details that make it stand out. First there’s the colour – brighter than classic navy, giving it a slightly younger look; then there’s the cut. Slim through the body, the arms are slightly shorter than usual as are the trouser hems, which combine to elongate the body, making the wearer appear taller. Bonus.
Black Tuxedo Trousers
They may be designed to be worn with an accompanying dinner jacket, but these black trousers are something of a wardrobe staple. They are cut slim and with cropped hems meaning they’ll complement a new pair of trainers or boots come winter, and wear just as well with a dress shirt or polo.
Teal Velvet Blazer
Plenty of A-list celebrities have been adopting bolder colour evening wear on red carpets of late. The trick is to pare everything else down. Take this teal velvet jacket for example – a bold colour for some, yes, but when worn with an all-black look it’s the perfect subtle statement.
Forget the perfect white shirt, you need the perfect blue shirt. Made from pale blue cotton twill, this one boasts a flattering tailored fit that’ll sit perfectly under jacket and the generously sized collar will stand up to a bow tie with ease.
Jacquard Dinner Jacket
A belted waist not for you? Perhaps this jacquard that looks as though it came straight from the red carpet is more your thing. Despite its all-over abstract rose print, it’s a surprisingly wearable piece that’ll look just as good dressed up to the nines with a bow tie and patent shoes as it will with black jeans and a T-shirt.
Pinstripe Chore Jacket
The chore coat was one of our must have garments for 2018 but due to its workwear origins it usually only works in casual settings. This one however has been crafted from a soft pinstripe wool, instantly elevating the humble piece into something altogether more luxurious. Pair it with the matching pinstripe trousers and you’ve got a seriously sharp outfit on your hands.
See the full collection at Topman.com.