Cocktail Suits – A Style Guide to Dressing for the Party Season
There is a real sartorial pleasure to be gained through dressing the part on formal occasions. Stylish parties and drinks do’s provide an opportunity to experiment with your tailoring and dress a little more individualistically than the more regimented, formal Black Tie. Ever passionate about those dapper men who take the opportunity to dress the part, we at Men Style Fashion have put together a guide for how to embrace the cocktail suit this autumn.
The Cut of a Cocktail Suit
Cocktail suits can afford to be more flamboyant than business suits; the peaked and shawl lapel, the waistcoat and turn-back cuffs have their origins in decadent party wear, and make a real sartorial statement. Party dress provides an opportunity to don suits with modern one-button closure and even to add some sharp waistcoats to your tailored ensembles (note that either double or single breasted options are acceptable these days) which really can elevate an otherwise staid suit to new levels of sartorial sharpness.
Colour and Cloth
At parties, you can choose to project whatever image you feel like and dress expressively, rather than having to stick to the understated navy and grey of business attire. Suits can present very rich, luxurious colours; royal blues or warm chocolates (even deep plum or maroon hues) or alternatively can be cut in some engaging checked or striped cloths that ordinarily might be a little too bold for the office. Cloths with sophisticated glossy finishes in clean pure wools or mohair blends offer the height of luxury for cocktail dress.
Tailored separates also make a lovely statement in the same vein, and are a good option for smart casual dress codes that keep to the right side of formal. Experiment with snazzy wool jackets and complimentary trousers. For example, one of my go-to smart casual outfits mixes a pair of charcoal wool cavalry twill trousers with a deep purple velvet jacket. Another similar combination might be to pair a bright blue blazer with soft grey Prince of Wales checked trousers, using a blue overcheck in the trousers to bring out the blue in the blazer. Donning separates loses some of the formality of a suit with its matching jackets and trousers, whilst still offering an appropriate level of dapper style.
The Allure of Velvet
As hinted at above, velvet jackets are made for cocktail dress and make for a chic option when paired with crisp tailored trousers. Velvet is a wonderfully luxurious material and with its sophisticated connotations, it’s perfect for cutting a dash at parties. Velvet tailoring is also right on trend at the moment, and there is no shortage of excellent velvet jackets available from the usual designer menswear brands. It also of course comes with the added benefit of feeling extremely alluring. If you need any more incentive to experiment with wearing velvet blazers, my girlfriend tells me it’s a sure-fire way to attract female attention.
Embrace the Trend
Moreover there has been a recent shift in the luxury tailoring movement towards the provision of dedicated cocktail suiting in menswear collections, and top designers and Savile Row tailors alike have over the past few seasons not only produced tailoring collections which offer an inspired selection of decadent evening dress, but which have also produced a number of cocktail suits which evoke the glamorous lifestyle, bravado and sophistication that many dapper men aspire to emulate. Such a trend should be whole-heartedly embraced, and I for one would highly recommend investing in some luxurious feel-good party tailoring this autumn. A cocktail suit presents the perfect image of masculine tailored glamour and at a sophisticated affair, who doesn’t want to be the most glamorous guy in the room?