The wedding. The honeymoon. The presentation. The acceptance speech. The family reunion. The special dinner.
You’ll have a lot of reasons to get dressed up this summer. We’ll walk you through what you’ll need from head to toe.
If you have nothing else — have one good suit. Even if you don’t wear the pieces together, you can wear them separately in more casual circumstances. Wear the slacks with a polo, or the blazer over a tee. Your best bet is to get something basic. We suggest black, navy or charcoal. We also suggest making friends with a good dry cleaner.
You likely already have a number of these in your closet. Again, plain colors like white and blue are best to start with. We recommend cotton shirts. Fabric made from synthetic material doesn’t always breathe as well, especially in the summer heat. You should also always make sure it’s ironed. Unless you’re wearing a Lands’ End dress shirt, that is. Then it’s wrinkle-free for 30 washes. (At least.)
Okay, we’ll be honest: there’s not much personality you can exhibit in a men’s suit. (Not without raising a few eyebrows anyway.) The tie is one of those places where you can ease up. Find something that matches the shirt, yes, but don’t be afraid to mix patterns and fabrics. The trick to matching patterns: contrast. If your shirt has a small checkered pattern, wear a tie with wide stripes. If your shirt has wide stripes, it’s probably a 1930s prison uniform. You don’t have to wear a tie then.
Socks, shoes and belts
Let’s dispel one common misconception here and now — your shoes and belt do not have to match. It’s great if they do, and they should complement one another, but your outfit isn’t ruined if they’re not the same exact color and material. And speaking of places to show off personality — socks are the place for it. Get weird. Almost no one sees them, but it’s nice to feel like a rebel in places that require formal attire.