Cocktail Attire for Men: Cheat Sheet

It's Fall, and this means that we officially start gearing up for the holidays. And it's never too early to start thinking about what you are going to wear for all those holiday cocktail parties.

The Trunk Club's Michael Barkin says, "[t]raditionally, cocktail attire means a suit. That’s it. But these days at most cocktail events you’ll see guys dressed in slacks and button-downs, with only a few of them wearing sport coats. But rarely will the crowd adhere to the original meaning of 'cocktail attire.'"

So the good news is that not every cocktail party requires you a suit. You have more options to explore and be creative. The challenge is: Now you actually have to think of your own "cocktail attire."

But don't worry, here are some tips for you... 

1. Accessorize. It's a smart way to diversify your styles. 

It is much cost-effective to invest in some stylish, versatile accessories rather than clothing: Usually unit costs for accessories are lower (we are not talking about Rolex watches here), so you can have some variety in your wardrobe. You can also take risks and try interesting patterns and styles: You can be playful with the designs of your neckties, bow ties, and tie bars. Enjoy styling as well: Explore different knots and learn different folding options for pocket squares. 

Image from GQ.

Image from GQ.

2. Wear a unique pattern. It's a great conversation-starter.

It is much easier to encourage someone talk to you first than than to initiate the conversation yourself. Women especially appreciate an opening like being able to complement the unique patterns on your necktie or shirt. Let your outfit make making new friends easier.

Kwakwa. © Maki & Mpho

Kwakwa. © Maki & Mpho

3. Add some colors. They can always create delightful scenes.

Remember, it's a time for celebration. Leave your charcoal and black suits at the office. Bright colors make people smile. Bonus: Colors and photos go well together. You will enjoy modeling for photographers or photobombing at the photo booth.

Sweet Grass. © Maki & Mpho

Sweet Grass. © Maki & Mpho

Now you've got some tips. Looking for some cool cocktail events to attend? Join us for our Boston Fashion Week Dapper & Débonnaire Cocktail Hour on Saturday, October 11, 3-6pm. Click here to activate the special promo code for our blog readers! Come dressed in your favorite style to win the Dapper Style Award!