Formal Wear for the Modern Man: Flair Added, Formality Subtracted

Injecting a little individuality into the classic suit ‘n’ shirt combination has always been a struggle for those without a personal tailor on hand (and, come on, who are these people?) but, this season, men’s party wear options have seriously opened up… Whether you go for the crop, vamp it up in velvet or unleash your inner (party) animal, getting a red carpet look on a high street budget has never been easier…

Party Wear Men Formal_Ed
Clockwise from Top Left: Skinny Fit Tuxedo Suit in Navy, ASOS, £130; Dress Shirt, H&M, £19.99; Skinny Cropped Suit with Leather Trim, ASOS, £115; Roll Neck Lambswool Sweater, Hardie Amies, £150; Noose & Monkey Skinny Fit 3-Piece Suit in Velvet, ASOS, £185.50; Cashmere Jumper, Reiss, £175; Collar Tips, ASOS, £7; Leopard Overcoat, Nick Grimshaw x Topman, £150; Velvet Bow Tie, Zara, £15.99; Collarless Granddad Shirt, Marks & Spencer, £22; Velvet Tassel Loafers, Zara, £49.99

Bit outside your usual comfort zone? For that “effortlessly” modish vibe, just one element of your look should be slightly “off”… So slip a cashmere sweater or collarless shirt (one button undone = serious sex appeal) under your tux in place of the typical dress shirt – no tie required. If you’re not ready to ditch the collar quite yet, try switching up your dickie bow for a geek-chic coloured velvet version – or a pair of rockstar collar tips.

As for the suit itself, don’t confine yourself to black – or worsted – options. Grey, navy and velvet variants pack the same pedigree, but can convey a bit more personality and bestow greater forgiveness on the average complexion. Add “edge” to more classic fabrics with eccentric edging – leather on tweed, anyone? And if you’re a die-hard ankle flasher? Rejoice – you no longer need to put them away for dinner…

And if a little black-tie rule-bending really isn’t an option? You can at least make an entrance in a little leopard print number. Kurt would.

Samantha Simmonds