Dressing To Impress - How To Be Prepared For A Smart Even

A lot of people don’t attend fancy events, balls, galas or parties all that often which can make a black-tie invitation a little daunting. What do you wear? Dressing to impress isn’t as hard as you think if you do the following.

  1. Keep a dinner suit in your closet
    The dinner suit is the classic attire for any black-tie event. Consisting of a deep V lapelled jacket, tailored trousers, a waistcoat or cummerbund and a dress shirt. A dinner suit can be quite the investment but it is one that will never go out of fashion and can be worn time and time again when a black-tie event arises. For maximum wearability stick to a classic colour such as midnight black for your jacket and choose a wearable material such as velvet or wool barathea. For the shirt keep it white and ensure it has space for cufflinks. Ensure your suit stays laundered and ready to go, so that when that invitation arrives you’re already halfway there.

  2. Learn how to tie a bowtie
    For many people tieing their bowtie is the most difficult part of getting ready for a smart event and elastic ties simply won’t cut it - a black-tie bowtie must be hand-tied. Learning to tie a bowtie, or ensuring that another member of your family knows how to tie a bowtie on someone else, can get you out of many sticky situations. Ideally, you will want to know how to tie one yourself in case you need to fix it at the event so check out some online tutorials and videos and practice.

  3. Keep a pair of smart shoes handy
    Keep a pair of smart, well maintained, patent shoes ready for fancy occasions or if you prefer a pair of velvet slippers. If they’re a new pair then be sure to wear them in at home by walking around in them to avoid uncomfortable blisters and a painful evening. An easy way to wear in a pair of new dress shoes is to wear a pair of thicker than usual socks and pop them on whilst you’re doing some housework, take them off when they feel uncomfortable and repeat for a few days until they stretch and soften. On the night, wear your usual socks for maximum comfort and ensure your socks are black and extend far enough up the leg to show no skin when you sit down.   

4. Have some fancy accessories
Accessorising for a black-tie event is as easy as a pair of cufflinks, a pocket square and a nice watch. Because these are the only three items you really need you can afford to splash out a little more than usual to make sure they really stand out. For watches traditionally you would wear a dress watch which is slim, gold and on a black alligator style strap, you can find these at most major watch brands but for a top-end style check out brands such as Cartier, Patek Philippe or Jaeger-LeCoultre. For cufflinks, keep them simple but good quality and as for the pocket square keep it traditional and not over the top.