How to Dress Semi‐Formal As a Guy

Опубликовал Admin
29-03-2021, 02:50
If you've been told that the event you're attending has a semi-formal dress code, it's okay to be confused. While semi-formal isn’t as formal as black tie, it’s definitely not casual either. You'll want to wear a suit jacket with matching dress pants. With a dashing fitted suit and the right accessories, you can feel confident you’ve dressed appropriately for your semi-formal event.

Getting Your Suit Together

  1. Wear a fitted suit. A suit jacket and dress pants are perfect (and expected) for semi-formal events. Anything less than a suit and you’ll be underdressed. You want to get your suit tailored so it fits you perfectly.
  2. Go with a lighter-toned suit for daytime events. Semi-formal dress attire is different for daytime and nighttime events. It’s traditional for guys to wear light-colored suits for daytime events. Go for something that’s cream, beige, or tan.
  3. Attend evening/nighttime events in a darker suit. A good rule of thumb is the later the event, the darker your suit should be. Wear a navy, dark gray, or black suit if you’re going to a later event.
  4. Wear a crisp button-up shirt under your suit jacket. Make sure it’s clean and ironed. Don’t forget to tuck it in. Your button-up shirt is an opportunity to show off some of your personal flair, so don’t be afraid to wear patterns or a color other than white. Be careful though; don’t wear anything too bold or flashy that will detract from your polished look.
    • For example, you could jazz up your suit by wearing a lavender button-up with a subtle pinstripe pattern. But you definitely wouldn't want to wear a shirt with a watermelon print all over it.
  5. Leave your tuxedo at home. Tuxedos aren’t appropriate for semi-formal events. They’re too dressy. You want to be having fun at your event, not feeling uncomfortable because you’re overdressed. Save your tuxedo for a formal black-tie event.

Accessorizing Your Outfit

  1. Wear a tie to dress-up your outfit. Ties are completely optional at most semi-formal events. If you’re attending an event and you want to look a little fancier, wear a tie. Sometimes ties are more appropriate for nighttime events. Opt for a thin, simple tie, and avoid ties with loud, crazy patterns.
    • Don’t feel like you have to wear a tie if you don’t want to. Go tie-less for a refined, slightly more casual look.
    • If you do wear a tie to an event and you feel overdressed, don’t be embarrassed to take it off to dress down some.
  2. Wear a belt that matches your suit. If you’re wearing a light-colored suit, like a beige or cream suit, go with a brown belt. If your suit is a dark color, like navy or black, wear a black belt. Try to find a belt made out of leather with a simple design.
  3. Finish your outfit with a pair of nice dress shoes. Suede, leather, or velvet dress shoes would all work for a semi-formal event. Make sure your shoes match your suit. Stick with brown shoes for light suits and black shoes for dark suits.
    • Don’t forget to wear plain dress socks. White gym socks peeking out at your ankles will ruin all the hard work you put into the rest of your outfit.
  4. Be cautious when wearing other accessories. If you really want to make a personal statement with an accessory, stick with a simple watch or a pocket square. Avoid wearing flashy jewelry that will make your outfit look unrefined and inappropriate.

Avoiding Fashion Faux Pas

  1. Overdress instead of underdressing. This doesn’t mean you should wear a tuxedo to a semi-formal event. But if you are worried that some things are too formal for the event, like your tie or your cufflinks, it’s better to wear them and be overdressed. If you get to the event and you feel too dressed up, you can always remove these items.
  2. Don’t wear jeans or khakis to a semi-formal event. They’re never appropriate. Always wear a nice, fitted pair of dress pants that match your suit jacket.
  3. Don’t show up to your event in a polo. You want to wear a basic button-up shirt under your suit jacket. Anything else will make you look underdressed.
  4. Don’t substitute a suit jacket with a sports jacket or blazer. Sports jackets and blazers have their place, but not at semi-formal events. Suit jackets are thicker and more structured than sports jackets and blazers. Stick with a suit jacket so you don't feel out of place.


Things You’ll Need

  • Suit jacket
  • Button-up shirt
  • Dress pants
  • Tie (optional)
  • Belt
  • Dress shoes
  • Dress socks
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