Cocktail Hour: What To Wear For Cocktail Dress Code
Whether it’s a wedding, an engagement party or a work event, the cocktail dress code is one of the most common (and confusing) invitation descriptors. Generally speaking, a cocktail code combines the formality of the event with a sense of fun and personality. This could be a classic wool suit or something with more texture or colour, but it avoids the strict formality of a black tie event and the laid back textures and details of a casual event, where denim and un-tucked shirts may reign. Here are three simple tips on getting it right.
Colour: don’t be afraid to have some fun with colour. Whether that’s some pops of vibrancy in your tie or pocket-square, a pastel or patterned shirt, or a suit fabric with a check or some detail, a cocktail event is supposed to be fun, so you shouldn’t be afraid to let your outfit reflect that. Many will see the cocktail dress code and reach for their ordinary work suit, in navy, grey or black - that’s totally fine, but bring it to life with some colour!
Accessorise: a cocktail dress code is a great opportunity to play with accessories you can’t get away with at work. Whether that’s a knitted tie, a silk pocket-chief, a lapel flower or even suspenders, don’t be afraid to have some tasteful fun. The key with accessorising well is, as always, not overdoing the look - let one key feature shine, and try to ensure the colours and patterns work together in cohesion, lest you look like a magic eye or a novelty act!
Mix & Match: a little trick to adapting your work wardrobe to a cocktail event can be combining the trousers of one suit with the jacket of another. This ‘suiting separates’ look is a timeless European style that utilises existing garments in a fresh, interesting way from your Monday to Friday wear. Grey and navy work wonderfully together, and they are often the two suits men have in their closet. Be wary of matching two suits in the same colour code, as it can look accidental, or of mixing two bold patterns (like two conflicting checks), but rather pick two contrasting but conservative shades.
Or, if you want to go the whole hog and get a cocktail suit of your own designed and fitted, chat to the expert crew at InStitchu. Book an appointment here.