With the annual party season approaching, now is your chance to stand out from the crowd with individualist outfits that still toe the dress code.
By now the off duty-look of ´no tie´should be a regular feature in your tailoring trend. With a little bit of care, you can cross this over into your formal wear also, especially if your tuxedo is as sharp as a Trussardi. Thanks to style savvy celebrities such as Jude Law and Mark Ronson, ditching the dickie bow now exudes rock ‘n’ roll loucheness, so the darker and slimmer fitting your tux, the better.
This look can also take you down a more casual direction, so make sure that you pay heed to this by toning down your overall look in respect to this. A discreet shawl collar will win over peaked lapels and richer dark velvets will trump shiny wool; just don´t as a final touch, throw in anything with studs. For the ultimate in classic style, go all black from head to toe.
Switching Up Suits
It’s irritating wasting money that’s set aside for gifts on an ensemble that you will only be able to wear for a couple of annual events. Instead make good use of any ´luxe´ type accessories that you have accumulated in your wardrobe. They will help you to make every day looks more glamorous without more expense.
Take inspiration by pairing your darkest suit with a complimentary dark shirt. Then on top of this, layer a silk scarf beneath the jacket. Remember that muted tones not only stand out, but also compliment against deeper inky tailoring and when combined with contrasting fabrics, this can easily upgrade your work wear for cocktail hours or after work parties for the ultimate in low maintenance style.
Subtle patterns such as pinpoint designs or geometrics will allow you to develop your style further – just make sure that you stick to jewel tones to avoid clashing with the Christmas tree.
The Tuxedo That Sticks Out
Unless you’re going down the Downtown Abbey / quintessential English gentleman look, you can forget the bow tie this season. A more contemporary angle to achieving this look is the roll neck pullover which will allow you to take more laid back liberties.
“Try a blazer and trouser combination in navy, grey or black – or consider that Prince of Wales blazer you have on your Santa wish list. See cocktail attire as the perfect opportunity to mix in classic prints, such as checks.” – Charles Daniel McDonald
Pay homage to the 1970´s ski lodge aesthetic (think Sean Connery in James Bond) and inject a seasonal splash of colour for added interest. If your roll neck is black and slim fitting then correspondingly a midnight blue or burgundy dinner jacket will have enough scope to make its own mark (especially if it´s made from velvet, which will help to give your look a real rich depth.) If you’re feeling more chipper, complete this look with velvet slippers and (a discreet) embroidered touch which will offer a contemporary spin on a traditional look.
Licence To Chill
Again, the undisputed master of cool who even looks bang on trend 50 years on – James Bond and the white tuxedo are as complimentary as brandy and cigars. Keep on the bright side of the sartorial spy by paying a wink, not a wardrobe to the look by losing the bow tie and boutonniere and instead pairing it with a slim fit mock roll neck ( for this, black is the only colour) and an off-white, double breasted jacket. Pair these with straight, black trousers and classic black lace up shoes to give you that timeless elegance and international insouciance.
Split And Salvage
By not treating your Christmas drinks party like a red carpet event, you can get much more mileage from your tux. Start by switching your matching top and bottom elements which will give you the power to inject some serious casual smart into a look without it being overly formal or over powering (think Browns in Birmingham, not the Bellagio in Bel Air).
The best companion for tuxedo trousers is a crisp white Oxford button down shirt; it always has been and it always will be. Plus, you can adjust the level of formality by simply undoing your top button. Balmain´s Olivier Rousteing has mastered this look by sporting dinner jackets worn open and over white t-shirts and jeans. You can take further inspiration from his look and add interest to your ensemble by using subtly coloured velvets and metal buttons which will give you that perfect casual / dress-up balance.
The sartorial dishonour of a snowman embellished jumper is surpassed only by the shame of being labelled a Scrooge on Christmas jumper day. However, there are ways that you can still hop aboard the fun bus without falling foul of festive colleagues.
By looking for more curious patterns that act as festive ´Rorschach´ blots (which are abstract to most, but become a snowflake once paired up with a Christmas hat). A white shirt will help to draw eyes to the neckline (and away from the overall design) which will allow you to complete the look with a coach or denim jacket that’s lightweight enough to be worn indoors and warm enough to be buttoned up should you care to venture outdoors.
Article: Charles Daniel McDonald
Photography: Each Respective Design House