When the sun fades over the Mediterranean, out strut summer’s finest fashions. Red carpet events are brought alive by the night, and this season bedazzled ladies and slickly dressed gentlemen are showing that formalwear is alive and well. It’s been the latest trends – some old and resurgent, some up and coming – that have caught our eye.
Writer Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that “Being perfectly well-dressed gives one a tranquility that no religion can bestow,” and if men’s fashion were a religion, the quintessential suit would be its holiest garment. A good suit announces your entrance before your silver tongue or firm handshake can catch up to introduce you.
Based on what we saw out and about, more and more men are going back to ol’ reliable. With a regular suit combining a dark jacket and pants with a crisp, light shirt and an unassuming tie, most settled for the safety of the tried and true.
Since the establishment of the suit as the formalwear standard in the early 1800’s, man’s best friend has not seen much of an evolution in terms of design. The trendiest style, however, has to be the two-buttoned look with a side-vented jacket. All this matters naught unless one addresses the suit’s most critical quality: fit.
You don’t need to go off the deep end and get it bespoke, but it might be worth surrendering a few more dollars for that perfect fit, because remember: you don’t get to walk in twice.
Yes, the color white. Summer is perhaps the best season to bring out the lighter fabrics in a compromise between comfort and class. Many men bungle the balance and end up too far on one side of the spectrum; think of the head-to-toe white linen suit begging someone to pour their brightly-colored cocktail over.
One can go about integrating white into their formal wardrobe through less extreme measures. Most of the males we set sights on combined white with pastel colors in shirts, ties, and pocket squares for a perfect touch, though a good place to start is with the classic white dress shirt. Make sure it fits you right and isn’t too long on the cuffs.
A prevailing habit towards the end of every formal gala is the loosening of the tie and removal of the dinner jacket. Take this as an opportunity to show off the crisp, white shirt that accentuates the figure you’ve put so many hours into achieving. Roll up your sleeves and prepare to pull off the after-party look.
Bowties conjure images of wacky professors or black-and-white renditions of formal soirees, but contemporary fashion is upgrading them from geek to chic. With much ground to cover against the tenured necktie, bowties are carving a niche amongst more daring men looking for a unique touch.
Refreshingly, most of the selected neckpieces on display this season are rife with quirkiness and color. Perched atop a neutral dress shirt (usually white) and a dark or light suit, one can make a statement as loud as the polka dots peppering his tie. An even more daring migration from the cliché would be integrating suspenders into your outfit, giving up the regular leather belt for a slightly hipster-ish look.
That is exactly the reputation the bowtie seems to be garnering amongst the less fashionably inclined. They’re quick to judge the item as a hipster crowning statement, but fret not. If you can wear it well and have it complement your overall look, then go for it. The road might not be worn, but those men who come out with a little slip of class on their neck seem to have the swagger to match it.