Style / December 2017

A Rakish Guide To Festive Dressing

Office Christmas parties, post-work cocktails and invites abound through the month of December, but how should one dress for such occasions? Allow The Rake to point you in the right direction…

Marlon Brando wears a black dinner suit with a slim bow tie at the Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles with Marilyn Monroe, 1955.

It’s that time of year again. Office Christmas parties, post-work cocktails and invitations to corporate events. Some will have dress codes, whilst others will be annoyingly ambiguous. The “straight from work” office party is simple. You wear your work clothes. If you feel you need to change for the office party you don’t dress well enough for work. If the event requests a dress code of Cocktail or Black Tie, you may need to change but you will certainly need to read my guidelines:

1. In its purest form, a cocktail suit is a dark lounge suit. A navy mohair blend is perfect as it has a slight sheen but can still be worn in the day.

2. Wear your cocktail suit with a plain shirt in cream, white or sky and a simple tie. A silk knit or satin in solid colour.

3. Keep your black shoes highly polished and your tie around your neck.

4. A velvet blazer is a useful bit of kit at this time of year and can be worn casually with a roll neck sweater or as an ersatz dinner jacket.

5. A traditional velvet smoking jacket is not quite as versatile but can still be “dressed-down” with the right attitude. The look should be a bit ageing rocker and not the cad in an am-dram murder mystery.

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Christopher Modoo

Christopher Modoo is 'The Urbane Outfitter', with twenty five years of experience in classic menswear. He has conducted suit fittings in both Beckingham and Buckingham Palace. He hates short socks.