How To Make Formal Wear Interesting

We’ve done a few posts on how to decipher dress codes like black tie and cocktail but what about formal? Formal is so broad a term it could mean anything from a dinner with your business partners to a wedding reception. Although a formal dress code does give one the liberty to choose how they would like to interpret the instruction, it often forces people to stay safe and stick with tried and tested favourites. Though there is nothing wrong with keeping it classic, there are times where you want some freedom of expression. So next time you’re faced with a formal, or black-tie optional dress code, take our tips to have some fun while still showing off your personality.

You may be tempted to veer off the beaten path with a midnight blue tuxedo or charcoal grey suit and feel like you’re being quite wild. Creative black tie is for those pieces you have reserved for extra special occasions where you are happy to bend the rules, especially when you look this good. We’re talking about that burgundy velvet jacket, jewel toned shirts and elaborate accessorizing. By showing off your creative side, you will not only appreciate the compliments so much more but you’ll probably have more fun.


Experiment with fabrics. Velvet has been a huge trend for the past few seasons and has taken over the menswear scene in a big way. You don’t have to go all out and wear a velvet suit but you can choose a velvet waistcoat or pair of velvet smoking slippers to add a dash of sophistication and creativity to your look.


Prints are an easy and subtle way to stand out without doing too much work. We love printed paisleys and floral designs, especially under an otherwise plain suit. The print just pops out and transforms the whole look. You can also try incorporating prints into accessories like ties and socks for added playfulness.


Accessories were made to have fun with. Whether you want to be really eccentric and wear a top hat or limit yourself to a flashy lapel pin, accessories always make a style statement and show off your personality. You don’t have to veer very farm from the box, but far enough that you’ll grab the right kind of attention.

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