What is Cocktail Attire for Men?

Cocktail Attire for Men
Written by Tomas Braun

Cocktail attire for men typically has no hard and fast definition, but this opens up an incredible range of possibilities. A suit code reserved exclusively for festive events, it’s not more formal than, say, a business casual suit, yet more fashion-conscious than a standard business suit.

Nonetheless, the following advice will help you get it just right for a cocktail party. It’s not too important what you wear to the office, what matters more is how you look when you’re out with the ladies.

One of the biggest mistakes people make when wearing cocktail attire is picking a suit which is less than suited for the occasion. For example, if you are attending a wedding or similar event in the summer, a pair of white trousers is probably better than a dark suit; if you are at an indoor venue, something a little more formal might be called for, while a suit which is a little too casual simply looks out of place be sure that your hair is also groom as your suit.

Remember that you want to look your best, and that is as important a factor as whether you feel comfortable in your own clothes. If you’re unsure about what to wear, have a chat with your date or colleague to see if any recommendations can be made.

The basic principle of cocktail attire is to wear a dark coloured shirt, usually in a dark shade and in a solid colour on top. You should choose a smart patterned shirt for this purpose, preferably one that is a bit more neutral such as linen or cotton.

If you don’t feel particularly confident wearing a shirt to a particular party, you can always opt for a long-sleeved or semi-formal blazer instead, although this is not really a must-have. One interesting alternative for men is a vest or cobbler which is almost certainly going to elevate any basic tuxedo shirt into something far more fashionable.

As far as women are concerned, there are several options open to them, including long-sleeved or semi-formal dresses in various colours and patterns, tank tops, evening gowns and even skirts.

It is sometimes difficult to get an exact idea of what type of cocktail attire you need for any particular occasion, since different events and parties will tend to bring their own cocktail dress code and style rules.

Most often than not, if you are invited to a formal party or event, it is most likely that the dress code is something like black tie or a full evening dress with tuxedo shoes. However, there are certain occasions where these style rules do not apply and you can look much more casual than you would ever do with a full length tuxedo.

The first point of reference when it comes to creating a more casual cocktail look is the colour scheme of the event, as well as the time of year and day.

If you are wearing a tuxedo, avoid sporting a bright or garish coloured tie. The colour of your tie says a lot about the type of evening event you are attending and the kind of person you are – it could be a conservative business man, or one who is flamboyant and arrogant, for example.

Instead of wearing a bright coloured tie, choose one in a subdued shade that says something more sophisticated and less obvious. A lighter shade of blue or green, for example, might be a good choice instead of a hot pink or bright red.

When it comes to the footwear of choice, it is more advisable to stick to simple footwear for everyday events and less trendy or formal attire at more formal or popular occasions. Avoid wearing sneakers or sandals with formal attire at less important occasions.

Also, do not wear the same pair of sneakers or sandals for several occasions. For example, keep your usual sneakers or slippers in your closet during wintertime and put on your plain black pumps for the summertime.

What is Cocktail Attire for Men? Wearing socks with your trouser outfit is one fashion faux pas that is often committed. Socks should only be worn under pants when the footwear is relatively warm, as this will save you from the discomfort caused by socks getting caught on things. However, you may wear socks if the footwear is rather formal, as they add an element of formality to your outfit. If you wear them to the office, however, keep your socks off your tie.

What is Cocktail Attire for Men? A well-dressed man always dresses in the latest range of cocktail attire. Therefore, if you know you are going to attend a party or other social event on a given evening, then you know what you are going to wear – and the rest is just practice.

About the author

Tomas Braun

A father of 6 and an avid tech and fashion follower. When not at home being a dad you can often find me out fell walking or testing new technology.