How to Dress for the Occasion

February 18, 2014
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Top Image by Gordana Sermek /

Overdressing for a casual occasion can sometimes leave you looking just as silly as if you’d been underdressed. You don’t want to be that guy in the satin backed waistcoat, strangled by a tie, when everyone else is comfy-ing it up in jeans. Here are a couple of clothing guidelines to stick by when attending a laid back wedding or other event stipulating the ambiguous requirement of “smart casual”.

Firstly, read the invite, don’t just assume and if it doesn’t make reference always check with the hosts or other attendees. The person who wrote the invite is keenly aware of how they want their guests to look.

dress for the occasion
Image by Gordana Sermek /

I know texting your pal to see what he’s wearing is ultra effeminate and could land you with a suitably girlish nickname like Barbara or Shirley, but seeking the advice of others could save you from looking like a tool. Most girls love helping guys with their clothes, it’s like we have our own gigantic, hairy, Barbie with a ton of accessories.

Suits of yesteryear were too fancy for just about every occasion, not to mention that you had to buy the whole 4-piece kit and caboodle together. Nowadays you can buy the pieces separately, which give great options for dressing down.

A good white shirt is always acceptable but consider dusting off the iron and taking it for what could be its maiden voyage. Having your sleeves rolled up is totally fine, as is a neck free of all ties. With a nice blazer and the right trousers you could even pull off a t-shirt. Shoes should always be closed and if opting for jeans, go dark with a nice tailored fit and without those horrid fake rips.

The bow-tie has been choking men for a few years now and although it did make for a bit of a fun vibe, enough is enough and that thing has gotta go. The fad’s over boys, what was ironic is now passé` for anyone other than Doctor Who himself.

Casual clothing was in its heyday in the 1950s so look there for inspiration. The decades following that were all faulted for their own reasons – the 70s were too nipple-baring, the 80s too mullet-y and the 90s too boxy and Wall Street.

Churchgoers are always asking – with their WWJD acronym – What Would Jesus Do? Unless you are keen to rock up in a towel, better to ask yourself while pondering the contents of your closet, What would James (Dean) Do? And go from there.

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