What is Formal Wear?
We all have our own opinions as to what is casual, smart or indeed formal wear. My definition of formal wear is this.
Formal Wear - clothing that isn’t classed as casual or “daywear” and is clothing that tries to reflect a particular event such as a wedding, dinner dance or knighthood. The definition of casual or daywear can be anything from jeans and t-shirt through to a sports jacket and slacks. The definition of formal wear can be anything from a smart suit to Top Hat & Tails.
Jeans and t-shirt as a guest to a wedding, I don’t think so. Sports jacket and slacks at a formal “black tie” ball, no sir. At the very least dressing in smart trousers, shirt and tie would be a start but isn’t really formal enough. If you don a suit with shirt and tie, now you are talking. Of course if these are items not normally found in your wardrobe, don’t worry, these can be hired easily nowadays.
Events such as weddings or dinner dances are of course a different matter. Many of these events will request a “dress code” such as Top Hat & Tails or Black Tie (dinner suit). The purpose of this being to ensure that the event is smartened up and elevates it from being an informal party to an actual event. With weddings, it is often the case that the groom dresses himself, his best man and ushers in co-ordinating outfits. This helps create a group look for the groomsmen on the day and are usually chosen to enhance or co-ordinate with the scheme or theme of the wedding. As an added bonus this “dressing up” ensures that these principal people stand out in a smart and formal way and do not simply look like just another guest.
Article by Groomswear Specialist Steve Bishop
William Hunt Image Courtesy of Hugh Harris
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