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Party season is well on its way, and with it comes a flurry of dress codes to consider. Take the stress out of occasion dressing with our guide to building the perfect outfit for every kind of festive gathering - from the office get-together to those pub trips over the Christmas break.
If an invitation to a black-tie Christmas party has landed on your doorstep, get ready for a sophisticated festive gathering - the ‘black-tie’ dress code indicates you’ll be needing a tuxedo, dress shirt and, crucially, a black bow tie.
Depending on the nature or theme of the specific event, you might be free to embrace a festive take on formal wear with a velvet blazer. Play it safe with black velvet, or embrace jewel tones and make an impression in seasonal red or navy blue.
Whether you’re going for the traditional tux or opting for velvet, your choice of trousers for a black-tie remains as standard: black, slim, straight leg with a slight taper - and make sure the break is high enough as not to spill over your shoes.
While the traditional dress code might not have much room for manoeuvre, black-tie suiting still allows for touches of personality in your choice of pocket square and cufflinks. Choose cheerful colours and luxe fabrics like silk or velvet for the perfect balance of elegance and festivity.
A pre-Christmas dinner party with friends or family is an occasion to relax into. Much less formal than your office Christmas party or black-tie event, but still with a sense of festive occasion, choose smart-casual classics that combine comfort with style.
An elegant merino wool jumper fits the bill perfectly; soft and insulating while being thin enough to layer over a shirt or t-shirt - pair a crew neck knit with a patterned shirt for cheerful dinner party dressing
Stick to the ‘smart’ side of smart-casual by incorporating a blazer into your dinner party ensemble, if the occasion calls for it. Crucially, choose something with a softer construction and rustic fabric to avoid looking over-dressed. A tweed suit jacket ticks all the boxes; heritage-inspired styling with a best-of-British appeal and rich colour palette.
When it comes to smart-casual trousers, the chino is undefeated - versatile, comfortable, practical and in an array of colours, pair some chinos with any of the smart-casual combos above, and you’ve nailed it. Smart jeans are an option here too, just make sure to choose dark denim.