Need to be Formal this party Season? A Beginner’s guide.

Walking through your local mall this winter season, have you noticed the amount of young men’s dinner suits, or tuxedo’s – on show? Have the young gone back to Dinner suits? Yes – so why not you? If you have always been intimidated about all of the buttons, frills, ties and rules to think of when buying and wearing a Dinner Suit, there’s no need to be. Today's evening suits are a lot more 'fun' than you may think.

Taking a closer look at those young men’s suits in Chain store windows, you will see that we no longer need dinner suits featuring classic satin peak lapels, slanted pockets, flared cuffs and a satin stripe along the pant out-seam. You can use your usual ‘little black suit’, just make sure that it’s been dry cleaned!

In the present day party atmosphere, you won’t have to worry about dress code, or printed invitations. Nowadays, you will be out-dressing most other guys at the party, so if you decide to ‘dress to kill’, don’t be shy and go the whole hog.

Pair your black suit with a lighter, pastel shirt and a tie of a darker, but same, colour. Don’t be scared of the bow tie. You can get plenty of varieties that are pre-tied and do up with a clip under the shirt collar at the rear. There are also many You Tube tutorials of how to tie a ‘real’ bow tie. It’s the kind of useful sartorial tip that has always been a favourite of the well-dressed man!

Consider wearing a suit that can be dressed up or dressed down, so a simple single breasted jacket will be ample. If overdressed in a suit and tie, the ensemble is easily converted to semi-formal with the removal of the tie and opening of the shirt. You can jazz up a regular black and white outfit with a metallic looking tie, perhaps in Silver or Red.

There ARE some classic ‘do’s and don’ts’, however to pay attention to: If you are going all out and wearing a ‘wing collar’ shirt, wear the wings in front of the band of your bow tie, not behind it.

French Cuffs: Never leave them open and, conversely, don’t wear cufflinks with regular sleeves. If you are going ‘all out’ ensure that the studs you are wearing in your front-facing buttons match your cufflinks.

Finally, shoes: You don’t need traditional Patent leather shoes, but the shoes t=you do choose must be clean, and bright.

The whole purpose of the traditional black-tie format is to give an almost militaristic, rank-and-file tone to the important occasion, but these days, singularity is the key. An investment in a few shirts and ties will give your wardrobe a fresh, clean boost and make sure that you can be the man of the hour well after dark.

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