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A 12 Q&A Guide to Formal Menswear: All about Suits, Tuxedos, Morning Coats and Tailcoats

A 12 Q&A Guide to Formal Menswear: All about Suits, Tuxedos, Morning Coats and Tailcoats


Never underestimate an occasion's expected etiquette. In this Q&A article, we'll tackle some of the most relevant questions about what to wear for different types of events. Rule of thumb says that you should always follow the dress code required, but...easier said than done.


How to Dress for Any Occasion?


There are formal events and then, there are extremely formal events. Are you going to a Black Tie event? Or a morning wedding? Are you just going to a business meeting? For example, let's say you got an invite to a White Tie ball. Just so you know, White Tie galas require the most formal of dress codes. You shouldn't try to innovate or make too much of a statement --at all! More on that below. So, the first clues to getting your outfit right are reading the invite, understanding the profile of the host or venue and paying attention to the time of the day. The dress code for formal events is not altered much by the season, so you can use this Q&A Guide throughout the whole year.


When should I wear a suit?


You already know that a great suit should be a staple in any men's wardrobe. The versatility of the suit allows you to create different outfits based on the type of venue. It's great for weddings, business meetings, formal dinners, a day at the races. Depending on the design and styling it can range from casual to highly formal.


How to wear a suit?


Suits can have two or three pieces. You would always wear a jacket and trousers but you can also add a waistcoat. There are different classic cuts and designs that will give you a range of styling options. Jackets can have different kinds of pockets --convertible flaps or breast pockets--, centre or double vents and can also be single-breasted or double-breasted. Find the one with the ideal fit and feel for your body as jackets can be constructed differently and come in diverse styles of silhouettes: sack, structured, fitted. In any case, shoulders should always be lying flat and the top seam has to meet the sleeve right where your arm meets your shoulder. Trousers also come on a variety of shapes--such as skinny or slim fit-- and can have a flat front or be double or singled pleated. For a formal suit, you would usually get mid-rise pants and play around with a narrow or a straight opening hem.


When should I wear a Tuxedo, a Black Tie or a Dinner Suit?


We should clarify that these three terms refer to the same, meaning that for a Black Tie dress code, you would wear a Tuxedo. This would be your absolute go to if you are invited to a gala that doesn't require White Tie attire.


How to wear a Tuxedo?


Why not asking what is the main component of a tux? It's primarily the type of lapels. These are always made in satin and come only in three styles. The Peak Lapels type point upwards and is the most formal and traditional. On the other hand, the Shawl Lapel is arguably the most elegant but still gives a relaxed look with its rounded shape. The Notch Lapels always point upwards and as are usually seen in suits, are not considered extremely formal. Since Black Tie doesn't give a lot of room for creativity, always follow these guidelines:

  • Tuxedos come either in black or midnight blue
  • Choose a silk or satin bow tie --never ever combine a tux with a tie.
  • Your shirt should always have the most formal type of collar and preferably French cuffs. The front placket would be covered or allow studs that match your cufflinks.
  • Dinner suits are always for after-dark celebrations
  • Don't you dare to use a belt! Wear braces or a cummerbund.


What is the difference between a tuxedo, a smoking and a suit?


Tuxedo and smoking are synonyms. But these are different to a suit. The main variation is that a tux would have satin in the lapels, buttons and pocket trims when suits don't incorporate this fabric.


When should I wear a Morning Dress?


Have you seen any movie from the Victorian era? With these big morning weddings where men are wearing their morning coats, pocket watches and hats looking all so sharp and elegant? Well then, it's important to say that this is the most formal day gown that men wear for occasions such as --obviously-- weddings, formal memorial services and some official functions.


How to wear a Morning Coat?


The morning coat is the specific name for this remarkably elegant jacket with a cutaway skirt from waist to hem. It will always be single breasted with link closure, one button --it may sometimes have two-- and pointed lapels that can have additional silk piping on the edges. Just like Prince Charles wears it! To put together the entire outfit you would need also a waistcoat, trousers, a grey or black top hat --if you are feeling like an old times dandy-- and some extra accessories. A white or light-coloured shirt with a white turned-down collar, double-cuffs and cufflinks. Why not a smart woven silk tie with a tie pin? A buff, grey or blue waistcoat that can be double or single breasted. For a final touch, add a handkerchief in your left breast pocket. Don't forget about the shoes! Choose highly polished black lace-up smart slip-on shoes.


When should I wear a Tail Coat?


Are you going to be hanging out with the Queen after 6 pm anytime soon? If so, then White Tie is the dress code you will have to carefully observe. As you can imagine, this type of attire is for presidential dinners, royal affairs and formal balls. So please, do not get this wrong.


What is required for a White Tie event?


We've compiled the full list for your attire plus some optional accessories. You'll need a black tailcoat, black pleated pants, a white waistcoat, a wing-collared dress shirt, a white bow tie, a mother of pearls studs and cufflinks; and patent leather pumps. Pair the tailcoat with high-waisted trousers with double braiding at sides, On top of this, you can finish your garment with a black top hat, a gold pocket watch, white leather gloves, a white lapel flower and a walking stick.


How's the Tailcoat Made?


It should be made of the same material as the trousers. The waistline has to follow the wearer's natural waistline but both jacket and waistcoat would end shortly after the waist and it's important to notice that despite the buttons, it cannot be closed.


What's the difference between the evening white tie tailcoat and the morning coat?


Even though both are black and have tails, the evening tailcoat is double-breasted and cut small so that the fronts don’t fasten even though there are three buttons on either front. On the other hand, the morning coat is invariably single-breasted and has one button --though as we said before, sometimes it can have two. Finally, a tailcoat has a peak lapel faced in satin --the morning coat doesn't.


Let’s finish with a quick summary

  • The most important difference between a suit, a tux, a morning coat and a tailcoat is how formal the venue is and at what time of the day it’s done.
  • You can wear a suit for day or night events but not when it’s black or white tie dress code required.
  • Get expert advice to choose the perfect accessories.
  • Don’t mix and match ties, bows or belts as each type of formal dress code has its own rules.
  • What to wear to a job interview

    What to wear to a job interview: A Guide to Success

    If you are reading this maybe it’s because you are a go-getter and you are not keen to just sit
    and wait for the right opportunity to land on your lap. If that’s true, you will finally have the
    chance to show why you are the best candidate for the job. Follow these simple guidelines that
    will help you understand what to wear to a job interview.


    Beyond What to Wear: Ask Yourself the Right Questions

    When assessing how to put together the outfit for your job interview, there are some key
    things you want to ask yourself.

    It’s not just the dress code. What’s the company’s vision?

    You should not only research what the required etiquette is for the company. Take it a step
    further and interpret their business vision as a whole. Translate that to what you’ll be wearing.

    Some classic suits will never fail though, you may want to get a Beaumont Classic
    together with a Tailored Fit Formal shirt and a Navy Silk Tie

    What are the company’s core values?


    If let’s say, you are going to be interviewed for at a corporation that’s very conservative, your
    attire will have to reflect that. This is not about giving up on your personal style, but being
    flexible to adapt. This said, adding details that will help you present yourself with confidence is
    very important as well.

    What image do you want to project?

    This may seem obvious, but you should dig a bit deeper and actually answer this question.
    Maybe confidence is the first thing that comes to your mind, but what about seeming –and
    being—assertive, professional and willing to actually make a difference at the workplace?

    Take in consideration you should always be true to your own core values. Keep in mind your
    outfit will be a reflection of that.

    6 mistakes to avoid when deciding what to wear

    Once you have all the answers to your questions and a solid idea of what to wear to your job
    interview, focus on making smart choices.


    Avoiding some pretty basic but quite harmful mistakes is paramount as the overall impression
    you’ll cause will be a consequence of your whole look: a great hairstyle with a baggy suit won’t
    do the trick.

    Too trendy means it will be outdated quite soon

    Go for the classics. If you want to stand out and make a statement do so by choosing a
    staggering set of cufflinks or an elegant handkerchief

    Quality that’s not up to standards

    It’s better to have one good suit rather than many of average quality, more so if that’s part of
    the company’s office attire. It’s important not to underestimate how important this can be.
    You don’t want to come across as unprepared or unpreoccupied.

    Your outfit looks too tight, too loose, has lumps or pleats

    If you’ve lost or put on any weight, or if you’ve had the same suit for many years, it will
    probably look sloppy.

    Your suit should accompany your movements; it needs to look great when you walk into your
    interviewer’s office, when you leave it and when you are sitting. This also applies to your jacket
    and your shirt.

    Not trying your entire outfit beforehand

    When being interviewed, you need to exude confidence and look neat. If you just bought a
    brand new suit, shirt, tie and all sorts of accessories, you must make sure you feel great when
    wearing them. Try the whole outfit and target if there’s anything else that will make it stand
    out even more.

    Not getting advice when purchasing

    This is an important opportunity in your life. Get a second opinion when making big wardrobe
    decisions, have your garments tailored by an expert, and make sure you make the most of
    your purchasing experience.

    Choosing the wrong shoes

    Finally, crown your ensemble with an elegant pair of shoes. Many gentlemen don’t have this in
    consideration, which is plainly said: a mistake.

    The Black Windsor shoes are ideal for a formal occasion. Cheney Brown with Rubber sole will work perfectly if you go for a more casual look.

    In the end, staying mindful of what to wear for your job interview and being ready for success is a combination made of many small details. Getting a haircut that suits your face shape, having your nails looking neat, finding the right fragrance can be game changers. All these together with your outfit and your attitude will make a big difference when it’s time to decide if you are the perfect fit for the company.

  • What to Wear with a Grey Blazer: Tips for winning combinations

    What to Wear with a Grey Blazer: Tips for winning combinations

    No wonder why a Grey Blazer is a staple in every gentleman’s wardrobe. This is an ideal piece for an informal venue with friends, a day at the countryside, and --needless to say-- an essential item when going on holidays in style.

    But the winning ticket for a great outfit can be a bit elusive as versatility equals a wide variety of options. We’ve put together some tips that will guide you to figure out what to wear with a Grey Blazer. If followed, these will let you looking stylish and sleek.

    Get the tones right: timeless outfits for every season

    Lighter tones of blazer are more suited for spring and summer afternoons. Darker options should be your go-to for autumn winter. However, the colours of your shirt and trousers will also “set the tone”.

    For a timeless top look pair the Otley Blazer with a long sleeved Oxford Tailored Shirt and you’ll end up with a streamlined winter look. Pair this combo with a matching lighter tone of grey or blue chinos.

    Grey Blazer combinations with a dash of colour

    In most occasions, the tone of your trousers will match your blazer. A stylish gent though appreciates colour combinations to stand out with a price winning ensemble. If that’s you, wear a piece of knitwear on a more vibrant colour. A cherry Barnham Neck Knitwear or a damson Shirvan Slipover are the keys for a lively –and elegant—outfit.

    Accessories for attaining the style of your choice

    If, for example, you are preparing for a distinguished venue in the countryside with some of your peers or work colleagues, you may want to choose a blazer with casual and rustic vibes. The Cosia Diamond Quilted Blazer is a classic fit jacket that when paired with a grey Harris Tweed cap and a Lambwood Scarf will give you a solid, confident and laid-back look.

    Summer holidays: Grey blazers, light textures and breezy fabrics

    Summers call for evenings by the Riviera in St Tropez, Italian holidays exploring the Amalfi Coast in a sports car or –why not?—a cruise sailing the Greek Islands. The greatest season for enjoying all the best life has to offer. Your attire should be top notch as the memories from holidays last a lifetime.

    Guaranteed: a Rekord Knitted Blazer, a Pique Polo Shirt, a pair of sand tone Viva Trousers and Bolton Navy Mocassins will leave your travel acquaintances in awe. Contrasting but complementary When feeling playful, get a hang of great combinations that may not seem that obvious at a first glance. You can change chinos for jeans, choose different tones of grey, get a stone coloured pair of chinos contrasting with a darker tone of Grey Blazer. Your accessories, shirts or t-shirts will give the final touches. Among the foremost fans of Grey Blazers lies a great sense of style and timeless fashion. With such a wide range of possible combinations; outfits should be, in the end, put together following the simple guidelines of colours, textures, season, and occasion and, most importantly, your personal style.

  • How to Wear a Waistcoat with Jeans: Mastering your Outfit

    How to Wear a Waistcoat with Jeans:

    Mastering your Outfit

    Many times in life, a gentleman would come across situations that demand a dash of boldness when putting together a great outfit. Waistcoat and jeans, if done well, is an ensemble that will definitely give you a stylish edge, without jeopardizing elegance.

    Choose the Occasion and Dress Accordingly to Each Season

    Being conscious of the dress code required for certain occasions is paramount when deciding how to pair your waistcoat with jeans. Dressing accordingly to each season is also important to consider as each will demand different textures, fabrics and colours as well. If in the end, it all comes together -from shoulder to toes- you will be in the spotlight.

    How to choose the perfect combination?

    It all starts with immaculate fitting. Both your waistcoat and jeans need to highlight your figure. Make sure your waistcoat lies flat on your shoulders, has high armholes to give you freedom of movement and doesn’t have an excess of fabric. To ensure a great look, you will want to wear straight leg jeans, rather than going for a classic fit.

    Waistcoat and jeans are a statement: choosing your style

    As this is your key to upgrading your style, think of your waistcoat as the main piece in your outfit. The jeans you choose will give the “casual twist” you are aiming for, so by being playful and intrepid, you will make the most of the refined versatility this blend offers.

    Classic and Edgy

    When spending a day at the races or going to a Polo match, a classy yet trendy outfit made up of clear lines should be your go-to.

    What about a Navy Blue Wool Waistcoat or a Yare Waistcoat together it with its Yare Tailored matching Jacket? Add a Stone New Orleans pair of straight leg jeans and you’ll stand out from the crowds.

    If you are attending a more formal gathering, add a Spot Knitted Silk Tie.
    Its texture will give a price winning touch to your ensemble. Autumn charm Autumn days call for earthy colours and soft textures.

    A Teme Corn Waistcoat paired with a Fiora Pure Jacket and a Port New Orleans stretch jeans is a sophisticated combination, ideal for stepping into the new season with your best foot forward.

    Laid back casual Any outfit that includes a Tweed Waistcoat is bound to turn heads.

    To achieve the perfect relaxed, laid-back look, you should get a gorgeous pair of Denim jeans. Embrace the contrast between formal and casual.

    Choose a Tweed Jacket on a palette that matches or complements the whole outfit. The final touches Be mindful of wearing the right shoes and accessories as in the end, that’s how you’ll attain the perfect look.

    Either Porstwood Chelsea boots or Aoughtn Suede Chukka boots will do the trick of giving a classy - but casual - twist to this combination that’s becoming trendier every year.

    Waistcoat and jeans may seem a variant only suited for experts, but every gentleman should include in his wardrobe this blend that provides a sophisticated versatility for many occasions. Guaranteed, it will become one of your favourite outfits once you learn the ins and outs of it!

  • The Gentleman’s Packing List for a Business Trip

    For any business trip, dressing smart is the best way to close a deal and impress those you work with. However, it can be hard to pack the right men’s clothing, especially if you’re visiting an unfamiliar locale. Don’t be afraid to ask for advice on the style of the client you’ll be visiting and the level of formality required. This will help you make the right decisions when packing.

    What else do you need to know? Here are some tips on packing the right items in the right bag for your trip.