Comprehensive guide for men's formal wear

Update:28 Feb 2020

Dress codes are pretty easy these days. Depending on wh […]

Dress codes are pretty easy these days. Depending on where Custom Suspenders we work, we’re asked to maintain a level of industry-specific professionalism, from a suit and tie at some financial concerns to a clean T-shirt and jeans at West Coast tech start-ups. If you’re skimming The Manual, we’ll also assume that you go that extra mile to meet your own high standards of style.

You know how to throw on a suit with aplomb for the new client meeting and how to pair a half-zip with trim-fit khakis to look like a million bucks on casual Friday. Every so often, though, the gauntlet gets thrown down and we’re invited to engage in the highest expression of sartorial splendor, observing highly codified rules of decorum.

The formal event. This is the moment where we need to show up dressed somewhere between the dressed-to-slay panache of Billy Porter and the ennui of the cater-waiter who is required to wear a black-tie uniform. Here is our guide to the “new rules” of formal wear for men.

Whether it’s for a wedding, a fundraising gala, or a fancy dress ball, the dress code should be spelled out clearly in the event invitation. Even with that guidance, it’s always a good idea to confirm with friends and colleagues who have attended similar events to be sure about expectations. Did your buddy go to the bride’s sister’s wedding? Check with him. Did your coworker go to that charity ball last year? What did he wear? Like a good Boy Scout, be prepared.