Formal attire: A Modern Man’s Guide to formalwear dress codes

Formal attire: A Modern Man’s Guide to formalwear dress codes

It’s December and you have received an invitation for a formal new year party or you’re best friend is getting married. Regardless of these formal occasions, there is a time for a formalwear dress code. That means you have to wear your suit, white tie or navy tie. Each outfit needs details to enhance the formal look with a unique set of formal rules which has rarely been spoken about. 


White ties on tuxedos are still some of the smartest formal wear outfits you can wear. However, these types of outfits are not used as much and for that reason, we will just skim over this in the blog. 


However, black ties are an accessory almost all men own and know about. This is because at some point in your life there must have been an occasion that demanded a formalwear dress code.  Morning dresses … you guessed it is usually worn during the day. These events could be weddings but also other occasions taking place at this time. 


As time has passed these formal rules have slowly altered due to the pressure of human evolution meaning nowadays a little more creativity is enabled, however still limited within the formalwear dress code.  


Men’s formalwear has never been in a better place, as creativity and a range of vibrant colours are not more than ever accepted. Many tailors and brands slowly redefining this segment in clothing. 

Evening dress:

Black tie:

Fun fact: the classic black tie as we all know and love is not black but rather midnight blue wool that looks black under artificial lights. Furthermore, if you choose to wear the midnight blue tie to your formal event you will be one of the few people who choose to do so and that is all the more reason to wear midnight blue if you ask us. 

Source: Google


The dinner jacket gives off a grandeur vibe due to its appearance in the western media as well as its features. Its shape and beautiful sharp lines will flatter your torso. The trousers include single lines of silk down each leg providing an excellent feel and look. You should pair the dinner jacket with a white dress shirt with a bib and cuffs. 


You can also wear shirt studs and we recommend that you contrast your shirt and studs. For example, if you choose to wear a white dress shirt use black studs and vice versa. A midnight blue or black bow tie is essential with the dinner jacket. 


And for your footwear, you should wear black dress socks with black leather shoes or if it looks right you can also opt for brown leather shoes. 

Source: Google


Nowadays waistcoats are not worn especially with black ties. But adding colour to your outfit can never hurt. So we suggest adding something white, black or red to your formalwear dress code.


Another important accessory which is usually forgotten about is the pocket square. A good design and colour are a must when placing a pocket square in your breast pocket. And so the best colour to choose would be white and if you’re feeling adventurous you could go for one with polka dots. Do not choose a design too wild as it would be very sad if your entire outfit looks great except for the over-the-top extravagant pocket square. 

Source: Google

Dinner jacket but with a twist:

Nowadays the formalwear dress code has loosened up a bit as we mentioned before. The classic black dinner jacket has now been redone. Now we see many high-profile men choosing to wear velvet dinner jackets in a range of colours. Which we love as this enables men to express their sense of fashion more than ever before. 


Furthermore, velvet looks awesome it brings about a sense of texture, and tactility and works amazing under good lighting making it great for social media posts. As we said there are many great colours such as light pink, navy, burgundy and olive green that all fall under the formalwear dress code in 2022.

Source: Google

Morning dress:

If you see this title and are confused or stressed there isn’t anything to be worried about anymore as we’re gonna break down the morning formalwear dress code too. We believe the fashion rules are straightforward once you understand them. Your subjectivity also comes into the picture when choosing what waistcoat, tie and pocket square to wear. Nonetheless do not take it too lightly as your outfit still needs to look good when it all comes together. The morning coat is a long single-breasted jacked with curved front edges which end at the back of the coat. It is usually worn with formal trousers, a waistcoat and a formal (white) shirt. 



The colours most widely used over the last few years are black, white, navy & charcoal with the last two only recently becoming trendy. Unlike the black and white coat which is usually worn with contrasting colours. Navy and charcoal are worn with matching trousers. 

Source: Google

Shirt & Trousers:

Pair charcoal cashmere stripe trousers with a black morning coat. Moreover, you can also light grey herringbone trousers too and that will also match well. 


If you’re not sure about the shirt we suggest going with the classic white dress shirt but if you’re feeling adventurous you can also go with different pastel colours. 



In terms of the morning dress, your characteristics will be exposed through your accessories more than the dress itself. As we said a waistcoat, pocket square and tie are must-have accessories for the formalwear dress code. We strongly recommend contrasting these accessories with your morning dress to add vibrance and personality to your outfit. 


If you wear a patterned waistcoat keep your pocket square and tie relatively plain and subtle (same for vice versa.)


Ensure that no amount of your shirt can be seen below the waistcoat as this is a fashion rule in the formalwear dress code world. Linen is perfect for summer and during winter opt for wool/silk blends. 

Source: Google

That was the unspoken formalwear dress code rules. We hope you gained insight into how to dress for your formal event. If you’re looking for formalwear head to branded10 for the best formalwear in the game right now!


Q: What is a formal dress code for a man?

A: Formal wear will always include a morning or evening dress depending on the time. Semi-formal is where blazers come in and the formal can be a little more relaxed. 


Q: What do you wear to a formal dress code?

A: A formal dress code typically consists of a tuxedo, bow or normal tie and pocket squares as well as a waistcoat. Footwear is usually black leather boots. However certain customizations can be made to the outfit and accessories as long as they are still within the formalwear dress code. 


Q: Can I wear jeans for formal attire?

A: In short no. Wearing jeans at a full-fledged formal event will make you look out of place. Jeans are better suited to semi-formal events. 

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