How To

Our guide to dressing for the Christmas party season without looking like Graham Norton.

We live in a society ruled by ‘smart casual’ when it comes to dress codes. It’s an attitude towards clothes that allows you to take the best elements of street culture (without the risk of looking like a 13 year-old) and merging that casual comfortable approach with the formal details of adulthood. When you think about it, it’s an excellent way of life: jeans with shirts, bow ties with leather jackets, brogues with shorts. But let’s not kid ourselves. There are occasions when we just have to dress up, moments in life that requires a smart outfit, elegant details and ironed shirts. The annual Christmas party is such an event. Whether it’s an office affair, or perhaps your family set up require polished shoes, there are a few things that you need to remember.

First things first, get yourself a suit that fits you. Some of you need a boxy fit; others require a slim-fitted version. Both are fine, as long as it sits well on your body. Why spend that amount of money on something that doesn’t really fit you - there is no way you’d take that approach to anything else in life. A good suit is in itself enough. Put on a crisp white shirt and a pair of Plectrum brogues or derby shoes, and you’re good to go. That’s the basic outfit, anything you add to that is a bonus, but keep in mind; less is more. Feel free to add a waistcoat, tie (knitted, silk or chambray) or a bow tie (check, knitted or satin silk) but make sure just one garment is the focus of attention.

So, for example, only choose the check bow tie in a loud colour if your suit and shirt come in subtle colour combinations. Maybe you want an attention-grabbing shirt, but then it’s best to go for moderate neckwear - let the shirt do the talking. There is no right or wrong for shirts, but if you wear a suit and a cutaway colour shirt for work, maybe you want to go for another style, perhaps skip the tie full stop and go for a Plectrum Kensington shirt with an engineered stripe placket instead.

The possibilities are endless. There’s really just one rule: wear something you feel comfortable in, that way you’re guaranteed to look cool.