Don’t let the ladies steal the limelight. Single, or attached. Old, or young. The Christmas Party Season demands a little thought and preparation.
When your host has gone to the trouble of throwing a festive bash, it is seriously bad manners not to give your outfit some thought. Whether it’s a work do in a classy hotel, or a few drinks with the neighbours somebody, somewhere has made an effort on your behalf. Somebody, somewhere is making your Christmas merry.
Showing you’ve made an effort will not only go down well with your host, it will be appreciated by other guests. Making an effort really contributes to a sense of occasion, especially during the festive season. Taking time to consider what you wear builds anticipation, there is a huge amount of enjoyment to be had looking your best.
Getting it Right, Getting it Wrong
It’s amazing how many men claim not to make much effort because they’re worried about getting it wrong. Forget about getting it wrong – this is just putting on clothes, something you’ve been doing your whole life.
Don’t let anxiety about what to wear ruin your party season. Give your Oakham Gilet a rest for party season and allow us to carry you step by step to the promised land of looking your best.
Step One – The Jacket
Nail the jacket and you’re more than half way there. A well-cut jacket that fits, made from high quality materials can be dressed up or down. Collar and tie for up. Smart jumper and open neck shirt for down. Waistcoats for a little bit of swank – see one of our most popular posts ever How to Wear a Waistcoat.
Step Two – The Trousers
Moving on to the trouser question. From 8 – 80, you absolutely can’t go wrong with pure wool, grey flannel trousers. They are king of the hill as far as classy go-anywhere, party pants go (apologies for the US alliterative word choice). Favoured by the world’s best dressed men, from: King Edward VIII to Cary Grant and David Beckham.
Step Three – The Shirt(s)
Now this is where it gets more interesting. Let self-expression and the formality of the occasion be your guide to shirt choice. A clean white dress shirt is blissfully simple – sharp dressing – but it needs a little something to elevate it above the usual workwear looks. Try a dark charcoal, or black v-neck cardigan for a classic look that’s enjoying a revival. Colour can bring an element of festive spirit. Checks imply less formality and can be worn with or without a tie.
Step Four – The Knitwear
Roll necks are the Marmite of knitwear – you’re either partial or massively immune to their charms. They can be a bit Val Doonican but if you can’t be a bit Val at Christmas then when can you? Personally we feel they have a lot of potential. Choose your shade carefully, dark mulberry tones have festive appeal and soft greys in luxury cashmere have a bit of Dan Craig about them. Fine knit Geelong crew necks are clear winners. V-necks a bit too weekend Dad. And cardigans (see above), back in vogue – good news for nerds.
Step Five – The Footwear
Regardless of what you wear, festive feet must be polished to a high sheen. There is no place for scruffy footwear. Dress boots work exceptionally well with the flannel trouser look. They give it a contemporary update. Whilst shoes in darker tones are fitting for more dressy parties, browns and brogues are perfectly fine for after dark smart casual, country parties.
Step Six – The Accessories
And so to ties, pocket squares, cufflinks and man frippery. Yes, that’s right we said man frippery. It’s time to add a little dash and dapper. Take a few small risks. Pop a pocket square in your pocket. Flash a flashy cufflink. Wear a silk tie. These are small details that add élan without putting you out there on a style cliff edge (as opposed to a Brexit cliff edge). Even if you step out and feel perilously close to the edge you can always whip off the offending item – accessories are only small and easily stashed.
Step Seven – Spit and Polish
Lastly, but 100% not leastly, You. Step up to the mirror and take a good look. Do you need a haircut? Have you partaken of the beard trend? If so, how is that beard looking – if it’s more Bellamy than Beckham then it’s time to take it in hand. The absolute minimum requires a nail trim but if you can take your grooming seriously all the better.
If you are lucky enough to have an invitation to a formal black tie bash our How to Wear Black Tie post has all you need to know.
If you enjoyed this post and know of any men in need of a few festive style tips, please – with the very best intentions – use the social buttons to ‘like’ and ‘share’ this post.