Events that call for semi-formal attire are more common than many people think. Unfortunately, trouble arrives because the phrase semi-formal is little known and poorly defined, especially when it comes to men’s wear. If you’re a man feeling a great deal of uncertainty about what to don before showing up to a semi-formal event, keep these suggestions in mind.
What is Semi-Formal Attire?
When you first read the word, the vague suggestion of a style between casual and formal emerges. Still, what does it actually mean to dress in a semi-formal way? The good news is that men’s semi-formal attire keeps the professionalism of high formality, but allows you to be a bit more open and creative than strictly formal wear requires.
Fortunately, chances are good that you have at least some of the clothing you need to generate a semi-formal look on hand already. Suits, tops like blazers and sports coats, and formal jackets are a good bet. Trousers are the mainstay of semi-formal bottoms for men, but not any variations of them.
Neckties are good enough as accessories. Make sure they are solid and match the colors of your shirts and jackets. It’s usually best to stay away from neckties with patterns.
Although semi-formal attire is more flexible than other modes of dressing, be sure to avoid overdressing for the occasion. Full tuxedos are generally inappropriate. You should stay away from flaunting expensive jewelry or bowties too, as these are also signs of extreme formality that isn’t appropriate.
Semi-Formal Dress Suggestions
Targeting the most appropriate semi-formal men’s wear is a good way to prepare for events. Like formal and casual clothing, semi-formal attire is influenced by season and atmosphere. Feel free to bend your style according to your preferences based on the time of day or year when the semi-formal event is being held.
For instance, wearing a dark blue or charcoal colored suit is an excellent choice for nighttime events, and those that occur in the cooler months. Trousers, shoes, and accessories should always blend with the darker hues. Daytime events and warmer weather offers you the chance of donning lighter shades more effectively. Light grey and medium blue are well received colors for suits, jackets, and pants. However, less typical colors such as bright red and white should be avoided under any circumstances.
Suits are more appropriate for events put on by employers, professional associations, or receptions. Still, it won’t look out of place if you show up in one to a function hosted by family or friends. With people you know well, though, a jacket or blazer makes you appear more receptive and relaxed. They are also easier to remove and store away, if the occasion calls for it. Always consider the past preferences of longtime friends and family when you’re judging how relaxed your semi-formal attire can be for their events.
By showing up in clothing that fits the semi-formal bill, you’re likely to impress hosts and guests alike. Once you’ve got the right clothes on hand, heading out to any semi-formal gathering is easy and worry free.