What to Wear When Part 1 – Grooming For Guys

Fashion etiquette of today is a confusing thing. In the past it was just a given that we knew what black tie or lounge suite meant. These days things aren’t so simple. What to wear to a brunch or lunch? Is a tuxedo a must at a wedding?

In part one of this Fashion Elixir we will be helping the guys out there demystify the fashion code.

A friend has invited you to a dinner party, with guests you have not met before, at their home. These invitations roll in, and at first excitement, then that sudden wave of dread…I don’t know what to wear!!!

First let me put forward a personal opinion. I feel if an invitation is received no matter how big or small, formal or casual the occasion, it is up to you the guest to play your part. Your hosts for any gathering will be busy trying to make the affair as fabulous as possible, booking the venue or creating the menu.

We need to step up and show them we can make an effort too!

First lets start with black tie. This means exactly that!

A black suit, crisp white shirt and a black bow tie.

Gentlemen please don’t think you can just put together separates i.e. a black sports coat and black slacks.

If they are not a suit the fabric won’t match and it will be painfully obvious.

If you don’t own a black suit, I would suggest hiring one for this occasion.

Next lounge suit or smart casual.

This is a a tough one as one mans smart casual means wearing sneakers instead of thongs or jeans instead of shorts!

I think a smart sports jacket and pants are appropriate to wear to a wedding.

If it is not a wedding, well cut jeans and a blazer is acceptable. With a lovely shirt and shoes, this can be a very polished look.

Just remember all items must be clean and pressed. No rips in the jeans!

I know it’s fashionable to have rips, tears and distressing in denim, but save these for  the next gig you go to. Lounge suit is one of any colour with a complimentary shirt, and if needed, a tie to finish the look.

All these outfits should be worn with clean, well cared for shoes and usually plain black socks. It’s the little touches and good grooming that others will notice.

While we are here let me just mention, a great haircut makes the world of difference.

Also a light aftershave (don’t bathe in it) and always deodorant – they are the foundations of any look.

So, what would you wear to a brunch, lunch or dinner? Again it depends on the situation.

Clean jeans or cargo pants, casual shirt or T-shirt in a great print will usually be perfect for a brunch or lunch.

A polo is a great option too. For a casual dinner date leave the cargos at home and stick to the jeans. Add a leather jacket and maybe a scarf, if the weather is cooler. Maybe try a a lightweight lambswool or cashmere jumper with a small v neck in a flattering colour.

Guys, please experiment with different colours, as they can make you look more gorgeous than you already are (and girls love it)!

Don’t forget to add a cool belt, and a good quality leather wallet (check out Fashion Elixirs Leather luxe guide) nothing says class more than great accessories.

One last thing, which is a pet peeve of mine. If you are going to wear a band T-shirt, please please please, make sure you know the band and their music.

It would be pretty embarrassing if the hottie of your dreams strikes up a conversation about the group and you know nothing about them. That underground, esoteric band T won’t be doing you any favours now, will it!

Not cool!

So now you have the rules and the tools to go anywhere, anytime looking FAB!  If you are still confused, maybe enlist the help of a stylist on your next shopping expedition (check out FE Stylist story for more info).

Stay tuned for part two when I give the ladies a little direction!








Jo Bayley, Fashion Editor The Culture Concept Circle 2012

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