The festive season has arrived, arguably the most social time of the year. Sparkling occasions abound – Christmas drinks, office parties, New Year’s Eve – it’s enough to make anyone have a wardrobe crisis! Whether planning a special date, heading out for cocktails or hosting a soiree at home, everyone wants to make an impression. Dressing up is becoming increasingly rare in our casual 21st century world, but nothing beats it for injecting some glamour into a gathering.
Gentlemen, even if it’s a casual occasion, you still want to look like you made an effort, don’t you? A pair of dark wash jeans and a simple shirt worn with a v-neck jumper is a good starting point. Add some ‘oomph’ by topping it off with a black leather jacket or contrasting blazer (in wool or tweed). For evening, keep the colour palette neutral – think black, grey and navy – it will be more than appropriate and inject a bit of elegance.
If you’re heading straight out to a more formal festive do, by all means wear your office suit, but don’t make it look like one. What do I mean by that? Well, lose the tie, for starters, and unbutton your top button. You will still look sharp (assuming your shirt and suit fit well) but less like you’ve just left work. A suit with some pattern or texture (grey check or tweed, for example) will also be more interesting, especially if you add a pocket square.
Stepping up the formality a bit, a dark grey or navy suit will take you almost anywhere, particularly when worn with a classic French cuff shirt fastened with cufflinks (every man should have at least one in their repertoire). Oh, and worn with a tie, of course. For sharp tailoring options on the high street, try Jigsaw menswear, Reiss, J Crew or even M&S. Better yet, seek inspiration from men’s online clothing and lifestyle destination Mr Porter.
For black tie events, choose a dinner suit in black or midnight blue (the Duke of Windsor’s favourite) in wool. A velvet jacket in navy or bottle green is also very contemporary, and can be worn with (or without) a richly coloured patterned tie (not a bowtie), pocket square and plain trousers. If you’re going to buy a full dinner suit, look to Austin Reed or Reiss. For velvet jackets, take a look at John Lewis.
Here’s to festive elegance. Enjoy !