Tips for Men's Formal Attire

Tips for Men's Formal Attire

There are certain occasions that call for formal attire, and wearing your everyday jeans and a t-shirt sends the wrong message by poorly presenting yourself. Some of the occasions during which formal attire is required includes ballroom dances, award ceremonies, graduations, corporate meetings, and business interviews. If you've been invited to one or more of these events, you should begin planning your outfit now. Doing so allows you to plan the perfect formal attire, while still allowing some extra time in case of mishaps (which are bound to happen). To make the process a little easier, though, we're going to explore 10 simple tips for men's formal attire.

The Suit

There's no other way around it: if you want to achieve a formal appearance, you need to wear a suit. A suit typically consists of a few separate pieces, including trousers and a matching jacket or coat. This is the very basics of a suit, but there are other components that should be included. You'll obviously need a dress shirt, for instance; otherwise, it's next-to-impossible to create a formal appearance with a suit alone.

The Fabric

Of course, not all suits are of equal quality, nor are they all acceptable for formal occasions and events. When choosing a suit, consider the fabric from which it was made. We've talked about this before on our blog, but it's worth mentioning again that suits are made in a variety of different fabrics, some of which include wool, cotton, linen and corduroy (among many others). So, which type of fabric should you choose? When striving for a formal look, it's best to choose a clean, smooth-looking fabric, such as cotton. You really can't go wrong with cotton suits, as they offer both style and comfort.

The Color

Something to consider when choosing a formal suit is the color. The color of your suit WILL impact its formality. Neutral colors are typically associated with casual wear, while darker colors are associated with formal wear. Black is an excellent choice for a formal suit, as it embodies all of the characteristics of formality. Keep in mind that there are other dark colors from which to choose, including navy and charcoal gray. Feel free to experiment with different suit colors to see what works and what doesn't. tux-584439_960_720122

Bow Ties or Necktie

You can't expect to create a formal appearance without pairing your suit with a bow tie or necktie. Either of these garments are great for completing the look of a men's suit. They bring all of the elements together in a cohesive manner, blending the colors and styles to achieve a uniform appearance. However, there are some stark differences between bow ties and neckties. Bow ties typically have a smaller, more subtle impact, while neckties are larger and more visible. In terms of formality, bow ties typically offer a more formal appearance than their necktie counterpart. This doesn't necessarily mean that you should avoid wearing neckties. Rather, stick with a bow tie if you want to achieve the most formal appearance possible.

Press it

Don't make the mistake of wearing a wrinkled suit -- or other wrinkled garments -- to a formal event. No matter how hard you try, you simply won't be able to achieve a formal appearance when wearing a wrinkled suit. Thankfully, this problem is easily avoided by having your suit professionally dry-cleaned beforehand. Assuming the care label allows for dry-cleaning, this is an easy way to remove wrinkles while promoting a more formal-looking suit. But if you're crunched for time and/or don't have access to professional dry-cleaning, you'll have to come up with an alternative solution. Hanging your suit in the bathroom with the shower on the hottest water setting possible is one alternative that may work. The hot steam works to remove wrinkles and smooth out the fabric. Another idea is to slowly run a hair dryer over your suit, allowing the heat to smooth it out. Ultimately, though, only professional dry-cleaning will effectively press your suit and eliminate the wrinkles.

Choose the Right Fit

One of the biggest mistakes men make when wearing a suit is choosing a suit that's either too big or too small. If it's too big, the suit will look baggy with excess fabric. If it's too small, it will look equally as awkward, restricting your normal range of movement while preventing you from achieving a formal appearance in the process. But finding the right fit is easier said than done, especially when shopping at retail brick-and-mortar stores. This is because most suit retailers sell "off-the-rack" suits, which as the name suggests are not customized in any way. If you order your suit here at StudioSuits, though, you can specify your own measurements. This eliminates the otherwise time-consuming and tedious process of trying to find the right fit. As long you specify your correct measurements when ordering, you'll have the perfect-fitting suit.

Accessorize It

Accessories can make or break the appearance of a men's suit. Many guys overlook the importance of accessories, assuming they have little-to-no impact on their appearance. But the fact is that your choice of accessories can and will affect your appearance, especially when wearing a suit. So, which accessories should you wear with a suit? One must-have accessory is a wristwatch. A stainless steel wristwatch adds a unique element to your appearance, bringing your suit and all of its colors together. A pocket square -- the square-shaped pieces of fabric placed in the suit jacket or coat pocket -- is another great accessory to wear with a suit.

What About the Shoes?

Your shoes will also play an important role in the formality of your suit. You can wear a high-end, custom-tailored suit, but unless it's paired with the right shoes it's not going to help you achieve a formal appearance. Tennis shoes and other forms of casual footwear should be avoided (for obvious reasons). A better choice is to wear a classic, formal footwear like leather Oxfords with your suit.