Be The Best-Dressed Man in Next-Level Formalwear

The key pieces that will make you the envy of every party

Words: Daniël Geldenhuys | Photographs: Getty

Being the best-dressed man at your next formal event is almost laughably simple. Chances are everyone else has rented some run-of-the-mill suit with a tie that almost matches his date's dress. Competition is scarce, and you owe it to yourself and your date to do better. After all, you're going to be staring at that outfit for the rest of your life. (One day when you're 50 and Facebook pops up a visual memory of that event, you don't want to wince.) Whether you're looking to keep things classic or make a style statement, we've got the essential hacks to take your suit somewhere suitably special. Do scroll.

The Black Shirt

The Black Shirt

When it comes to timeless classics, the sky isn't the limit. Black is. A black shirt will make you stand out simply because just about everyone else will be wearing a white one. Paired with a black or navy suit, a black shirt has enough formality to justify not wearing a tie. An open collar is dapper, exudes confidence and majorly improves ventilation without sacrificing style when you're dancing the night away.

The Suit You Already Own

The Day Suit at Night

Yes, you can wear that suit you already own. (Here's 5 more ways to wear that wedding outfit). The trick is to make it look like you purchased it specifically for the occasion, which can be achieved in two simple steps. First, visit a tailor and make sure it fits exactly the way it should. A few quick alterations can make a regular suit look bespoke. Then accessorise. Splurge on a fantastic pair of brogues and find a bold tie or bowtie that pulls it all together. Clothes don't make the man – details do.

The Statement Piece

The Statement Blazer

By all means, go bold. But beware: balance is key. Keep every other element of your look smart and classic, so as not to go over the top. A statement blazer will look great, but it doesn't need to compete with anything. Think about it this way: your black trousers, shoes, belt, tie and white shirt are all there to support your blazer and let it shine. Other statement smarts can include something as simple as a waistcoat, or accessories like a dapper bow-tie, lapel pin or a dressy watch are those extras that will help you to crack any dress code. And since you're wearing a conversation piece, it may as well be something functional, like the suspenders that keep your trousers from sagging or the pocket square you whip out to wipe away the spilled champagne from your date's dress – that's style and substance.

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