Men's Clothing Forums banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have three holiday parties to attend in the next two weeks and could really use a bit of advice regarding business casual. Usually I can put some clothes together and look decent, but it has a been a while since I have had to really dress for much of anything so I have been struggling to get it right.

The first event is actually black tie, so I just bought an Austin Reed three button black suit (from Dillard's). It is an athletic cut that actually fits pretty well. White shirt, black shoes and a grayish tie and I'm set. I'll get more use out of the suit than a tux.

The next two are business casual. The first is my primary concern. This is an off-campus office party for a division at the hospital where my wife works. It was scheduled at one of the Doctors homes (he is a cut up, down to earth guy), but has been moved to a restaurant/hall location. Personnel attending range from doctors to nurses to the admin support staff. I just bought a dark brown Ralph Lauren microfiber jacket (that looks like a fine corduroy) that I would like to wear. Not expensive at all, but I like it. Can I get away with a jacket like this without a tie? I expect I could go with a nicer sportshirt (checked or striped), nice khakis and brown shoes (loafers ok or lace ups?). If I go with nicer slacks in the brown family of color I might be stuck with a tie and I am not sure if I will be over dressed. Similar thinking with the shoes?

The second business casual should be easy. It is my office mates who will probably struggle to match their khakis to their socks. I was going to go more casual here with an oxford, quarter zip sweater, khakis and some nicer driving mocs.

What say ye?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
Everything sounds fine, except for the black tie. I think it's a bit incongruous that you are overly worried about being properly dressed at a business casual house party, yet you are willing to wear a suit where a tux is more appropriate.
 

·
Site Creator
Joined
·
11,752 Posts
There are two articles linked from the Home Page that might be of help. (yes, there really is a Home Page on this site!!! :icon_smile: )

Check on the Black Tie event. Often a business suit will work, but just be sure. As to the other parties, after you read What to Wear to Holiday Parties you might want to incorporate some Holiday colors!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,538 Posts
Fit to be untied!

Just one thing: If you start out with a tie, a holiday/festive one if you like, and you feel overdressed when you get to the event, you can always take the tie off and either have your wife stow it in her purse or put it in a pocket. You should probably put it in an inside pocket rather than an outside, to reduce the possibility of having something spilled on it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,865 Posts
Everything sounds fine, except for the black tie. I think it's a bit incongruous that you are overly worried about being properly dressed at a business casual house party, yet you are willing to wear a suit where a tux is more appropriate.
My last company Christmas party was black-tie optional. I compromised with a black suit, Christmas red vest, and a festive bow tie. Only two gentlemen, husbands of co-workers, wore anything resembling a traditional tuxedo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,331 Posts
I got the impression the black suit was a cost effective substitute to a DJ and matching trousers. Although he will get more use of out it, especially at funerals and on trips abroad, a tuxedo is also a viable cost effective option if you shop around and recognize that a DJ can actually save you some embarrassment.

I attended my cousins wedding in a plaid sportscoat and hiking boots. I figured it would be a casual family affair. I was presented to the bridal party, met the husband (who I didn't realize was a CBC producer and quite well off) and noted most of the guests wore black suits or tuxedoes, even White Tie. Only my irrepressible Uncle Brian wore a golf shirt, redeeming my slovenly appearance and I went home and purchased two dark suits and an Ebay tux, ensuring I was always prepared.

Lesson learned, when it is possible to wear a tux, please do so. Better to be correctly dressed than underdressed.

As I mentioned, my tux is off ebay, cost 30 dollars and I've worn it a dozen times. I dare you to get a 3 dollar/use ratio out of a standard MW dark suit.

Thomas
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,240 Posts
Everything sounds fine, except for the black tie. I think it's a bit incongruous that you are overly worried about being properly dressed at a business casual house party, yet you are willing to wear a suit where a tux is more appropriate.
That does seem odd. I must confess I have no idea what I would wear for office casual as that sartorial perversion did not exist when I was working. I suppose I would wear a sport coat and tie as that is what I usually wear when going out for dinner unless I wear a suit. It is a funny thing but I think it is easier to wear a suit than a sport coat because there are fewer different colors and textures to coordinate so according to my theory, it takes more effort to be more casual.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Good advice all around. I neglected to mention that the black tie is "optional." I did browse ebay for a tux, but found nothing I wanted. Should have given myself more time. The suit option will be fine if past years information is accurate (I had the wife ask around - more suits than tuxes being worn).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
147 Posts
As you may have read in many of the posts on this forum, many people eschew black suits, particularly in lieu of a black tie outfit. I fall into this category. I opt for black tie to any such "black tie optional" event. Time was an issue here, though. Finding any suit on short notice that fits well is a benefit. The less alterations needed the better. If you are the type of person to get a lot of use out of a black suit then it is a wise purchase. I'd also take Canadian's advice and start looking for a deal on a tuxedo so as to be prepared. (After Christmas sales might be good for this.) Use the time when you don't have a need for it to shop around, purchase what you like, and have it properly altered. Don't worry, you'll find or make plenty of opportunities to wear it.

Regarding the business casual, I'd go with some kind of sport coat and, as Blueboy suggested, wear a tie and remove it if needed. I second Xhine23 and go with loafers over driving moccasins. A few questions to your wife or her coworkers about last year's party may clear a few things up as well.

pbc
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
FLUP

Just to follow up on the recent Black Tie Optional event. No more than 10% of the men wore a Tux. Probably 88% wore a black suit, but -get this- nearly all had on holiday or brightly colored ties. I wore a grey tie. The other 2% accounts for a few grey suits and a couple of sportcoats (one leather) with khakis.

That's enough to confuse a guy....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,813 Posts
Just curious--by bright colored tie, do you mean those electric orange things??

I remember electric orange cream being the rage last year at this time. Seemed odd, but there it was. I remember a few other members here mentioning those ties, which might work well in summer with seersucker or light suits, but so odd with tuxedos.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top