Formal dress code guide for men

Is your best friend getting married? The feeling of excitement flows through your body until you read ”black tie” on the invitation. Not because you don’t want to dress up for a black tie occasion, but because the description is simply not detailed enough. What does it even mean?

On one hand, you don’t want to show up completely wrong dressed and feel embarrassed. On the other hand, you don’t want to outshine the surroundings with a misinterpreted outfit. In this article, we will explain what each and every dress code mean and if there are any specific rules to be aware of. Because believe us, there are rules that need to be followed. But don’t worry, there will be room for interpretations.

Let’s dig into these and be prepared for upcoming events. 

Tuxedo & Black Tie dress code

First of all, Black Tie means Tuxedo – the most elegant piece a man can wear. With the black tie dress code, you should follow the rules, and the only way you should stand out is with a perfect fit (maybe with water-combed hair as well). Traditionally the tuxedo, also known as a dinner jacket, is black, and there are reasons to honor that. But if you feel more comfortable with a midnight blue tuxedo, that’s a good decision as well. The ivory dinner jacket is for the brave and bold but the same rules apply.

It might be hard for some people to motivate to invest in a tuxedo. The occasions are simply too few, we get that. And obviously, the navy suit (among some other pieces) should be prioritized, no need to discuss it, but the fact is that the tuxedo will be needed. It is a timeless piece that you can wear for ages without needing to update. Apart from that, you will be the most handsome man every New Years’ eve to come.

PS. Styling the tuxedo jacket with a pair of denim and knitwear on a Friday night out is quite cool- just don’t tell anyone we said it.

Black tuxedo

Do’s and don’ts when it comes to the Tuxedo dress code


  • The shirt should always be white
  • Trousers should be worn clean without a belt
  • Choose a straight finish on the trousers – it’s the most formal approach
  • A matching bowtie – and tie it yourself


  • Either black, navy or ivory tuxedo
  • Choose between single- or double-breasted jacket
  • Numbers of pleats
  • Either black velvet or patent leather shoes

Dark suit dress code - what to wear

A dark suit should be in any man’s wardrobe. And just to be clear, when talking about dress codes, a suit means a matching jacket and trousers.

We will always recommend the navy suit since the usage possibilities are limitless. Dark grey or dark brown are as well great colors to style and match. All three suits work very well with the dark suit dress code. This dress code is very simple and the rules are fewer but the attitude is the same- if you want to stand out, stand out with a perfect fit. What is up to you is how you style it. 

A dark suit comes in handy for many occasions. It is a very versatile piece that can be styled both formally with a shirt and tie or casually with knitwear. This means that you can wear a dark suit on daily basis and it will still be useful for weddings, it’s all about how you style it.

Dark suit – do’s and don’ts


  • It’s a formal event- go for a brushed wool suit
  • Wear a matching tie
  • Avoid patterns that make you stand out


  • Color of the suit- as long as it is dark and preferably not black (since it’s associated with funerals)
  • Wear the suit as you want it, there are no specific design options that need to be followed
  • Shoes- but no sneakers
  • Choose the color of the shirt after the level of formality that you want to achieve. White is the most formal, and tone on tone is less formal.

Jacket - The dress code

Perhaps the most reasonable would be that this dress code means a jacket and odd trousers. But in fact, it’s not. The jacket dress code requires a suit as well but for an event with this dress code, the hosts want to achieve a less formal approach, leaving the color choice of the suit up to you. The jacket dress code is typical for a summer wedding and a sand linen suit is a perfect choice for warmer climates. This dress code leaves more room for your own interpretations as long as you wear the right garments. 

Linen suit in sand color

As mentioned before, this dress code is mostly used for summer weddings, when seasonal fabrics come better in hand. A linen suit might be one of the best suits to invest in for these kinds of occasions. The linen trousers in sand for example, are easily worn almost every day during the summer. That’s why it is always a good idea to go for a pair of extra trousers when buying a linen suit. The linen jacket can easily be worn with a pair of denim jeans and a t-shirt or basically whatever you prefer. And of course, the linen suit will not only come in handy for weddings but many summer events.

Jacket dress code – do’s and don’ts


  • Go for a fabric that suits the season, weather and the formality you want to achieve
  • Wear a shirt
  • Not sure if a tie is required? Bring it just in case.
  • Formal shoe


  • Color of the suit
  • Fabric of the suit
  • Color of the shirt
  • Fabric of the shirt


The blazer dress code is the most casual and least formal dress code and it is important to balance the outfit not to be overdressed. As earlier mentioned, you don’t want to outshine the surroundings. This dress code requires a non-matching jacket and an odd pair of trousers, preferably in different fabrics to create a more interesting look. This dress code leaves a lot of room for your own interpretations.

The blazer is a wonderful piece to use when you want to dress down the normal suit or dress up the daily shirt and denim look. Preferably the blazer should have some extra texture and pattern to give the right approach. The blazer is an all-year-around piece, the only thing that defines the use limit is the fabric and the weight. 

During summer, a houndstooth jacket in a wool/linen/silk blend can be worn to dinner with friends or to a bigger summer event. The equivalent for the colder months is of course a tweed blazer.

Brown flannel glencheck jacket

The Blazer dress code rules


  • A jacket and a pair of non-matching trousers are the only requirement
  • Do not wear a suit
  • Please skip the bowtie, this is for tuxedos only


  • You choose fabric and color for every garment, just try to adapt to the season.
  • You can wear a shirt or a knitwear
  • We would recommend a formal shoe but if you want to wear sneakers go for a subtle suede sneaker
  • Go for a tie if you really want but it might be a little too much