It’s party season once again and while the next month is about easing off and letting your hair down, its worth being aware of the season’s potential sartorial pitfalls. Choosing the perfect outfit can be tricky and challenging, and with not all Christmas parties being created equal its best to spend some time going through your party wardrobe, so it’s ready to go at a moment’s notice. Here are my top pieces to survive the season in style.

They say rules are meant to be broken, but if an invite specifies ‘black tie’, it means it. Brush up and look sharp with a classic black dinner suit and white dress shirt and don’t skimp on the details: a folded pocket square adds that rakish touch, showing you know how to play the game.

If your party is more fake mistletoe than real champagne, how about pulling off this ‘middle-ground’ look with a velvet evening jacket, worn with a roll neck jumper, rather than wearing a traditional satin lapel tux with a dinner shirt and bow tie. You can stand out from the crowd, making your individual mark, while still adhering to the party dress code so as not to offend.

Now’s the time to showcase some sartorial prowess, gentlemen; it’s party season and the only way to go is head-turningly sharp. So whether you’re headed to a strictly black tie ball or need to whip your smartwear into shape for a work do, these are the top pieces to survive the season in style.

Shoes, Selfridges, £575; Dinner Suit, John Lewis, £475; Jacket, House of Fraser, £135

Dinner Suit

For a slim and super smooth silhouette, make yours an all-black number with a satin shawl lapel. It’s a classic and its shape is flattering enough to shave a few pounds off your midsection. Go all-out and pair yours with some patent leather shoes, a proper self-tie bow tie and white winged or turndown collar shirt.

Velvet Blazer

Not only are they a statement making alternative to a sober dinner jacket – in a sharply tailored fit, they’re also surprisingly versatile. To strike a classic tone go for one in black, navy or burgundy. Wear yours as a straight swap for your tuxedo or dress down for a non-super strict dress code by pulling it over a roll neck and teaming with black denim.

Dress Shoes

Traditionally speaking, a pair of patent leather lace-up dress shoes are the only footwear to consider for black and white tie events. Nowadays, there are fresher, more contemporary styles in patent that put a modern spin on the traditional dress shoe. Whichever style you plump for, pulling them off is all about the polish.


Roll Neck Jumper, House of Fraser, £100; Pocket Square, John Lewis, £20; Trousers, John Lewis, £139

Roll Neck

A minimal roll neck has generally been agreed as a modern evening alternative in place of collar and tie and if you’re after something along these lines; look for a lighter cotton. A simple grey or cream can work well with most colour shades of blazer and will keep you warm in the taxi home.

Pocket Square

Whether it’s a suit, separate jacket or a tie or no tie occasion, a silk pocket square can make the outfit. Although it’s the season for something festive, no one wants to see a gaudy holly print. Instead, opt for a polka dot pattern or a block-colour style in a seasonal shade of deep green or wine.

Patterned trousers

Injecting your look with little idiosyncrasies is what party season is all about, not to mention a simple way of asserting your status as the best dressed man in the room. These trouser styles can be swapped in as a lively alternative to your normal neutrals, injecting your festive season looks with some serious flair.

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