Navigate the dress codes

a small guidance for you to master all your
parties and invites effortless stylish

dress code: smart casual

This is the most informal dress code and that can cause sometime confusion. However it is still a dress code but the rules are less strict.

The biggest difference to business attire or business casual is the only clear rule to be followed:

you do not wear a suit anymore

the rules to keep in mind

jacket & trouser

key of this dress code is that you wear a jacket in a different material than the trousers. Do not use a business suit jacket with a chino – unless you have more structured and thicker wool jacket. An elegant version is a navy jacket combined with grey trousers. Do not wear jeans to this dress code

shirt

here you can basically choose whatever you like – of course it should match – white always works. You can also choose a knitted polo in cashmere or merino – looks always great

accessoires

depending on formality a clean sneaker works, if you are unsure go with a brown oxford, a chukka- or even a Chelsea boot. Wear matching belt and as always get a proper pocket square the add the extra

smart casual outfits

dress code: business attire

First impression counts

Confidence, competence and authority is what you want to reflect in your job and clothes – whether you like it or not – convey that message.

So make it perfect and whatever your budget is – focus on fit and quality.

Sometimes business off-sites or company event invites are mentioning the code business casual, which basically means the same as business attire without a tie.

the rules to keep in mind

suit

make sure to choose a high quality fabric and a colour you like – just for you to know, grey or dark blue is a must have. Then make sure the shoulders fit and you can comfortably close the jacker over your stomach if you buy a ready-to-wear suit – and then make it yours with the help of a tailor. Trouser fit and length is basically the way you feel comfortable. However, not too tight and not too long – max. one fold of the trouser above you business shoe.

shirt

the colour selection is now up to you, but if you are uncertain start with white and light blue business shirts – they are easiest to combine. Next level would be striped shirts – again start with light blue and if you are getting more comfortable maybe you can add a pink striped shirt.

tie & pocket square

ties have become somewhat out of date, however there are fantastic tie producer that make creation that just make you look more sophisticated. this is a must have – independent if you wear a tie or not. A cool pocket squares gives you the special extra – check out our blog-post about it.

shoe game

a black Oxford works obviously well but we suggest to get yourself a brown pair or even marron coloured. Wear a matching belt – or not, according to the latest trends in menswear

business attire outfits

dress code: black tie – smoking

“the clothes make the party”

this saying has never been more true than when it comes to the black tie dress code.

It is impossible to imagine that we men are the most stylish when we are dressed in this black classic.

Cocktail events and more upscale men’s dinners are good excuses for wearing tuxedos, and although this is traditionally an evening gown, it’s popularity is also increasing on day events, such as weddings. If you’ve never worn one then you have missed out.

But luckily it is not too late!

the rules to keep in mind

jacket

black single- or double-buttoned tuxedo jacket in wool or velvet (more informal) with side strokes and associated silk tear-covered trousers. Midnight blue is an option for those who want to stick out a little bit. Green, red or other colors are other possibilities – however never wear it on more formal occasions

trousers

You can recognise the tuxedo trousers by the galloon which covers the outer longitudinal seams of the trouser legs. It is made of black silk, which normally matches the lapel fabric of the tuxedo jacket

shirt & bow tie

white tuxedo shirt – it does not have a pleated breasts or a concealed button panel closed. The shirt is one of the ways to put your personal touch on this rather patterned dress code.

choose a black bow tie in silk or velvet. A tie is not uncommon in the USA but nothing we europeans should use with a tuxedo. and, of course real-man knit their bow-ties self.

accessoires

use a cummerbund or a waistcoat to cover the transition between pants and shirt and wear never a belt – if the trousers do not fit properly go with suspenders – either in white or black.
 pleated breasts or a concealed button panel closed. The shirt is one of the ways to put your personal touch on this rather patterned dress code

black tie outfits

dress code: black tie optional

This dress codes is clear and there is only a limited variation possibly, but compared to the white- & black tie, you are getting to choose more.

So black tie optional means actually that it is up to you whether you appear in a tuxedo or in a suit with tie.

As elegant alternatives, you may choose the classic black suit with waistcoat and bow tie, but also the fine, dark suit with narrow black tie works

the rules to keep in mind

suit

choose jacket and trouser, the same fabric – preferably wool – in dark blue, dark gray or black. The first two colors are preferred at festive occasions such as weddings. Be careful with with patterns, the more the less formal.

shirt

white or, for less formal occasions, light blue shirts without button down collar

tie

tie or bow tie in any color except white or black which reserved for funerals

accessoires

there is no negotiation about wearing a black shoe and black belt. Wear a pocket square, but no fancy folding technic – keep it straight.

black tie optional outfits

dress code: white tie

If you have never seen this dress code before, you should not be surprised. The most formal of all dress codes is only required on rare occasions.

Very special evening events, such as the Vienna Opera Ball or the Nobel Prize ceremony, require this “full formal dress”.

There is no room for individual nuances. It is mandatory to wear a tailcoat and matching trousers, plus a freshly starched white dress shirt.

The suit is worn with a waistcoat with lapel and a white bow tie.

the rules to keep in mind

jacket

The jacket must be an evening tailcoat, which differs to a morning tailcoat in its shape, creating a more harsh line that cuts back towards the body. It must be worn unbuttoned and must always have peaked lapels.

trouser

The trousers must be high waisted with two lines of braid down the outside. They must not be too baggy, since this detracts from the overall elegance the suit is attempting to conjure.

shirt

The shirt must be a stiff white evening shirt (pleated or plain) with single folded cuffs and a wing collar. Cufflinks are of course a necessity and instead of buttons, studs should be worn in mother-of-pearl or something light.

shoes

A surefire way to stay within the rules is to wear a black patent leather shoe with black laces (if possible black ribbon). They should then be complemented by black evening socks (plain black socks are forgivable).

waistcoat

You will need a low-cut, white evening waistcoat (so the shirt is visible) and the bottom of the waistcoat shouldn’t stick out under the jacket. This is a subtle point, but it is worth trying to adhere to since it helps keep the balance of the suit.

accessoires

The accessories are where you can really become the late 19th-century aristocrat that lurks within your superego. A top hat is optional, which really means definitely get a top hat, because when else are you going to wear one? Just one tip, make sure it fits well. White gloves are also optional, just resist the temptation to glove slap someone into duelling you. Finally, and most bizarrely in the modern age, there is the option of a dress cane. Keep it simple though, you ain’t Huggy Bear.

Occasions to wear such a fantastic outfit are extremely rare so we recommend to rent such an outfit – if you have been repetitively invited to the Nobel dinner – then get yourself a made-to-measure outfit.

no dresscode? no problem!

Looking something special for your first date, wedding anniversary or your upcoming interview – no problem. Get in touch with us and we help you!