Dress Codes For Men

Dress Codes for Men

Throughout your life, you will be invited to events that have Dress Codes for men – some of these can be confusing.

Forget freedom of choice, men’s fashion comes with rules. Rules that must be obeyed.

Keep reading to learn the seven most important dress codes for men, starting from the most formal.

#1 – “White Tie” Dress Code

Dress Codes for Men - White Tie

This is the most formal of the male dress codes. Most men will never experience a white tie event. This “full formal” dress code is for rare special evening events, like the Nobel Prize ceremony or the Vienna Opera Ball.

A strict dress code with no individual flair: a tail coat with matching waistcoat and trousers, a freshly starched white dress shirt. Everything must fit perfectly. Braces are worn instead of a belt. Wear long black knee socks and shiny, polished patent leather shoes. And most importantly, wear a white bow-tie.

Accessories (maximum): one pocket watch.

Avoid individual interpretation of the dress code.

#2 – “Black Tie” Dress Code

Dress Codes for Men - Black Tie

A black tie event is glamorous and majestic, like the opera or a gala/ball or a high society wedding.

This event requires a tuxedo suit, usually black and single-breasted with silk lapel. Tuxedo trousers will have a matching silk strip down the outside seams of the trouser legs, and the trousers are worn with braces. Tuxedo shirts have flap collars and concealed buttons. Choose between a cummerbund and a matching tuxedo waistcoat. Wear high gloss, polished shoes. And of course, wear a black bow tie.

If you decide against the classic white silk handkerchief, ensure your handkerchief matches the dress of your companion.

Accessories (maximum): cufflinks and a white or matching dress handkerchief.

Avoid individual interpretation of the dress code.

#3 – “Black Tie Optional” Dress Code

Dress Codes for Men - Black Tie Optional

This is clearly the best dress code. You can either glam it up with a tuxedo, or wear a black suit and tie. An elegant look is a classic black suit with waistcoat and bow tie, or a dark suit with a narrow black tie. Wear long black socks and polished shoes.

Accessories (maximum): cufflinks and a matching dress handkerchief.

Avoid adding color to your outfit.

#4 – “Business Suit / Business Attire” Dress Code

Dress Codes for Men - Business Suit / Business Attire

Wear a well-fitting dark suit (not black), a white shirt and tie. For an important appointment, you could wear a matching waistcoat. For on-the-job clothing, ensure it fits perfectly and is good quality – you will feel more comfortable. Comfort improves your confidence, which helps improve your image. Choose a shirt that is classic white or a pale color. Ensure your necktie is elegant – nothing too conspicuous or bright. Choose fine, matching lace-up shoes, belt and bag (or briefcase).

Accessories: Cuff links or a flat watch, plain black belt

Avoid combining more than two colors and patterns.

#5 – “Business Casual” Dress Code

Dress Codes for Men - Business Casual

This is usually for business trips, a business lunch or a day at the office. Many businesses have adopted this dress code for their daily office attire. Business Casual allows a choice of clothes and is less formal than the Business Attire, but you should still remain upmarket and professional. You should wear a suit, but the necktie becomes optional. Wear a light-colored shirt and lace-up shoes.

Accessories: a slimline watch, belt matching shoes and bag.

Avoid loud colors and patterns.

#6 – “Smart Casual” Dress Code

Dress Codes for Men - Smart Casual

Here is where you can show your personality and individuality. This dress code is popular in creative fields.

You must remain elegant – you are still representing yourself and your company. Combine high quality items of clothing in an individual way. Perhaps wear a denim jacket with a light shirt and chinos with a belt. Maybe opt to wear a sweater during winter instead of a jacket. Choose elegant shoes, avoid trainers and sneakers.

Accessories: stylish belt to match shoes and bag, men’s watch, dress handkerchief.

Avoid conspicuous colors and patterns.

#7 – “Casual” Dress Code

Dress Codes for Men - Casual

Anything! – So long as it fits you and looks good on you. Aim for being always neat with a hint of elegance. For a casual event, you could wear jeans and a plain-colored t-shirt, or dress trousers and a polo shirt. For jeans and a t-shirt, add a jacket or a waistcoat to appear more elegant. Use your socks, shoes or accessories to add flair. Casual does not mean sloppy.

Accessories: anything you like, but don’t overdo it.

Avoid presenting in a sloppy or unkempt way.

#8 – “Come As You Are”

Not technically a dress code, but it is a clothing suggestion you may come across. This might be used for a casual event straight after work, such as drinks or an informal presentation, and you are not required to get changed.

Check your outfit before arrival – make sure your shirt is tucked in, your tie is straight, and any accessories are in place.

So there you have it… The Seven Most Important Dress Codes For Men!

This will be your most stylish year yet.

Download this in PDF Format: DRESS CODES FOR MEN

See also:
Ten Classic Mistakes Men Make With Suits
Wearing Hats: 11 Hat Styles And When To Wear Them
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