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Cocktail Attire for Men

Has it ever happened that you have received an invitation which requires cocktail attire and you are at a loss as to what is the dress code? The usual occasions which come in this category are parties, weddings and professional events.You may experience panic or confusion at this juncture and wish for guidance.


An invitation is a privilege and it is imperative that the invitee should be appropriately dressed as a mark of respect for the host and the gathering. Moreover, as the focus in cocktail parties is on good conversation along with cocktails, of course, it is an excellent opportunity to network and build up contacts. This is one more good reason to be well dressed.

If one were to compare the formality of a cocktail party, it would rank midway between casual, meaning shorts and T-shirt, and a black suit which is reserved for formal events.
So the question is, what is the correct attire?
A simple rule is that cocktail attire is considered at par with business dress ethics so an outfit which is worn to office would be a good choice. The difference is that it may be of a different style, such as a slim fit custom made bespoke suit which is trendy and fit for night life. A slight lustre or sheen to the material adds to the dashing and debonair image of man about town.
In the winter months, the choice of colors may be on the darker side as compared to the warmer months of the year. Similarly, the time of the day can also affect the color choice such that lighter colors may be suitable for daytime gatherings as compared to night time events.


The accepted ensemble is a navy blue or charcoal greyshade to mid-grey suit with a crisp white dress shirt. The shirt may be in a muted color also, according to preference. A plain or slightly patterned necktie is a must. Again, the color of the tie should be in keeping with the formality of the suit. Occasionally, one can even experiment with a bow tie if one is feeling adventurous. A simple pocket square completes the picture. Cuff links are a matter of personal choice.
Black leather shoes, perfectly polished, are the correct footwear. The style recommended is Oxford. The socks need to be over the calf, either of the same color as the suit, or a matching color to an accessory such as the necktie or pocket square.


The individual must pay attention to personal features such as a shave or if he sports a beard, make sure that it is trimmed and neat in appearance. The hair should be recently styled and look presentable. A whiff of cologne and the individual is all set for an awesome evening.
Along with a list of do’s is also a list of don’ts.
A tuxedo or white tie is not cocktail attire. Similarly a back suit is to be worn for a funeral, not for such an event. The ensemble should be in good taste, flashy or bright colored ties and accessories are a strict no-no. Again, casual clothes such as khakis, chinos, T-shirts, even sports jacket are inappropriate. Casual footwear, shoes without laces or absence of socks is again not desired.
Such restrictions may appear stifling, but the individual has to keep in mind the importance of the invitation, the strictures of society as well as respectfor the host.
With these recommendations in mind, the individual is suitably clad for a cocktail party. The next apprehension is the social etiquette to be observed at the event.


Keep in mind that this is an occasion for developing new business and personal contacts, so make the first move and go out of your way to socialise with the others present at the party. Make eye contact, keep a pleasant expression and have an armoury of topics as ice breakers to facilitate initial conversation. Try to interact with as many people as possible. Be sensitive and empathetic in the conversation. Above all, be professional and your conduct should be in good taste.


So the next time you receive an invitation to a cocktail party, do not despair, as excellent advice and assistance is readily available. Click here, our excellent staff will be happy to be of service to you.

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Roman Clarke
Posted: Thu 12/05/2019 12:59 AM
Very perfect and informative blog. Seriously cocktail parties are important for business and looking presentable is most important. I always wear The Milan Tailors collections of suits whenever i go for cocktail parties and my impression put so right and presentable. I'm fond of it.