Navigating Men's Formal Wear: A Comprehensive Style Guide

Figure Out Men’s Formal Wear

 Feel overwhelmed by formal style? You’re not alone. We get plenty of gentleman who feel a little bit clueless about their formal wear and what to wear when at SUAVE OWL. We strive to assist every man find the right style for him, the one that makes him feel and look his best. If you want some help finding the perfect men’s formalwear, refining your formal outfits, or simply want to know if you’re looking the best you possibly can, read on…

Dion suit on mannequin with lilac accessories and shirt.

Dion Jacket - Dion Waistcoat - Lilac Shirt - Lilac Van Buck Tie


Men’s Style Guide – Men’s Formal Fashion


When it comes to men’s formalwear, your first step is ensuring you have the best possible size fit. The wrong fit can make the most perfectly styled and put together formal outfit look scraggly. The best fit will not restrict you or hang off you either, it will hug your figure whilst keeping you in comfort. There are several ways to achieve the best possible size fit for your men’s formal attire, this is how SUAVE OWL recommends you find yours.


Man wears pale blue suit for men.

Wells Jacket - Wells Waistcoat - Wells Trousers - SUAVE OWL White Shirt - Plain Twill Tie & Pocket Square Set


Firstly, you can utilise one of our size guides and a tape measure to find the right size for you. Taking your measurements and finding the closest match on our size guide will ensure you know the recommended size for you. However, there is room for error with this method. You may take your sizes slightly wrong, or the suit you choose may be a slim fit, meaning you may have to adjust size. This is your best option if you are shopping online and don’t have time to visit a shop, but remembering there is room for error is important – make sure you order your suit in plenty of time before you need it, just in case.


Secondly, you can try on suits in store. In a SUAVE OWL shop you can try on different styles and sizes until you find the perfect fit and outfit for you, all with the assistance of our team. SUAVE OWL also offers 3-piece suits in individual sizing. This means that if your suit piece sizes are different, you can buy the best fit for you in each piece of your suit. This way, there’s no need to compromise your comfort and style. You can walk out of SUAVE OWL with a suit style you picked that fits you in every piece after receiving excellent help from our team.


Caridi navy suit jacket and ted brown waistcoat on mannequin

Caridi Jacket - Ted Waistcoat - SUAVE OWL Pink Shirt - Paisley Tie & Pocket Square Set


When you know what fits you, you’re left with the suit, styling, and when to wear it it. Here is our advice for navigating the right formalwear for the right occasion, alongside how to include your personality in your men’s formalwear outfits…


What To Wear For Dress Codes – Formal Events Style Guide For Men


After you have the perfect fit, you need to make sure you’re wearing the perfect outfit. Here’s a quick recap of what to wear to some of the more common event dress codes. There’s usually plenty you can do to personalise an outfit, but being inside the dress code is important.


Black Tie

For a black-tie event, you’ll want to wear a black suit, a white shirt, with black shoes and simple accessories. Black tie events will usually let you know this is the desired dress code and is often reserved for the classiest events.


Black tie suit with white waistcoat.

Marco Jacket - Ecru White Marco Waistcoat - Marco TrousersSUAVE OWL White Shirt - Van Buck Bow Tie


You can opt between a bow tie or a tie and add your favourite accessories – as long as they’re either black or white. This dress code is clear cut, you know what’s expected of you, all you need to do is plan the best way to achieve that for you. Think of your preferences when you have that little extra styling freedom, and then apply them where possible to your black-tie look. Just a few personal favourite men’s formal accessories will make you feel much more at home.




Cody suit worn with orange accessories for men.

 Cody Jacket - Cody Waistcoat - SUAVE OWL White Shirt - Plain Twill Tie & Pocket Square Set


The cocktail dress code is the perfect balance of formality and fun. You’ll want to wear a suit that makes you look your best, but the styling is all up to you. Stick to a formal outfit, no trainers or chinos. Otherwise, the styling is all up to you. The cocktail dress code can be used for a variety of events – galas, parties, and weddings. Generally, it can be a good idea to wear lighter colours if the event is in the daytime and darker if it’s at night.


Miami blue suit for men worn with a white shirt.

Miami Sky Blue Jacket - Miami Sky Blue TrousersSUAVE OWL White Shirt


Our advice would be to embrace colour. You can rock a bright shade of your favourite colour, either in the suit or formal accessorising, and not look out of place. You could go for a bright statement patterned shirt. However, a plainer suit, white-shirt, and tie would still not be out of place. If you’re a gentleman who likes to have fun with his outfits, you should be excited about the cocktail dress code – there’s so much freedom of choice.


Business Formal

Business formal is a place for looking your best but not too overdressed. Usually worn at professional events, business formal gives that distinguished and smart first impression you want. This dress code is often used for networking events, work meetings, work conferences, and interviews.


Ted brown suit for men.

 Ted Jacket - Ted Waistcoat Ted TrousersSUAVE OWL White Shirt - Navy Van Buck Tie - London Brogues


You can play with how you’d like to look. You could opt for a 2-piece or 3-piece suit for a classic option that won’t look out of place. However, you can also play it more relaxed, introducing some casualwear items like chinos or short-sleeve button ups to introduce a little character into your attire. Maintaining balance is a key step when it comes to assembling business formal, or even smart casual, outfits. You want to have an equal amount of formal and casual pieces, perhaps with slightly more formal for business formal events. Keeping everything ironed and clean is another key step for looking your best for this dress code.


What Are The Best Finishing Touches For A Suit?


A good men’s formal shirt is a necessity for the perfect suit look, no matter the dress code. It’s the clean, formal base for any suit look to be ensembled upon. SUAVE OWL’s formal shirts come in a size range between S and 5XL, as well as a wide range of colours. Proudly feature our SUAVE OWL logo in your men’s formal wear and feel your best in a shirt built to fit you.


SUAVE OWL formal shirt on display.

SUAVE OWL White Shirt


SUAVE OWL also has a wide range of men’s formal accessories. If you’re looking for a new tie, bow tie, or pocketsquare, we have a wide range of colours and designs for you. You’re sure to find the design of your dreams. Additionally, we have braces, pocketwatches, cufflinks, tie clips, lapel pins, belts, and even socks. Whatever last touch for your outfit you need, SUAVE OWL has the formal accessory for you.


In Conclusion



For more information about the best suit for you, including a go through of each suit by piece and how to select the best style and fit for you, read our Ultimate Guide To Men’s Suits blog.


Esquire’s How To Buy A Suit: The Complete Guide For Men is another useful resource for the man with suits on mind.


Our InstagramFacebookTwitterPinterest and TikTok are well worth a follow. We provide outfit inspiration, news about SUAVE OWL, as well as new-in products. Never miss an amazing deal again by following our socials and keep it simple yet significant with SUAVE OWL.

1 comment

  • When you have a dress that fits you perfectly and complements your style, you’ll feel more confident and comfortable on prom night, allowing you to fully enjoy the experience.

    dream prom dress maker Dunedin

Leave a comment