New Year’s Eve Formal Wear Guide

music-577061_640Congratulations! You’ve been invited to a New Year’s Eve event that specifies black tie. It’s your gold-plated opportunity to look simply amazing, and the beautiful part is, you don’t need to be a fashion expert to do it. Here’s the one and only rule: Get a tux. The rules for men’s formal wear haven’t changed much in decades, and there’s a good reason for that. With more casual attire, you may need to know a bit about mixing and matching, but with a tuxedo, it’s very simple. You just put it on. A well-fitting, classic tux makes virtually every man look awesome.

There are some simple guidelines to follow: mainly, don’t mess yourself up by trying to go fancy or weird. You want a classic black tuxedo, or, if the invitation specifies, a white tuxedo. For the love of the late Joan Rivers, don’t let anyone persuade you to try the baby blue, yellow or orange tux from the age of disco. No brightly colored cummerbund, no argyle socks. You want to avoid color altogether, even in your tuxedo accessories such as cufflinks or pocket squares. Black and white on a formal night! You should go conservative with the style of the tux, as well. Your tux jacket should have a peak or (if you want to be trendier) a shawl lapel. Wear a hand-tied bow tie, not a clip-on. You should also be wearing suspenders, rather than a belt. Opinions vary as to whether you should cover up the suspenders, with some fashion mavens suggesting that suspenders look gauche, and others saying they are a must-do. You might want to get advice from a friend, or from the tuxedo salesperson, as to which looks best on you. Go with black dress socks and shined black leather dress shoes, rather than glossy patent leather shoes. And perhaps most important of all, your tux should be a perfect fit. If you’re buying a tux, it should be flawlessly tailored. If you have an unusual body type, and have had trouble finding the right tux, be aware that there are also big and tall tuxedos available that will make you look awesome. But what if you aren’t sure about the dress code for the event, or you really want to make a fashion statement? Here again, the more conservative you are, the better. If the invitation leaves room for doubt, send the host or hostess a quick email or call and ask. Better to spend five minutes now, than to be embarrassed on New Year’s Eve! And if you must express your individuality, do so discreetly out of consideration for the host’s preferences. Maybe you can get away with a spot of discreet color in your pocket square, or a pair of Batman cufflinks. Generally speaking, the more outlandish it is, the less obvious your statement should be. Luckily, it’s easy to look great on New Year’s. Just go with the tried and true, and you’ll be rocking your New Year’s Eve look!

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