Business. Business casual. Formal wear. Non-formal wear. How is even the most style-conscious man supposed to keep track of all the possible dress codes? And if you receive an invitation that says “Semi-Formal Wear,” what should you put on before attending the event? Here are some men’s semi-formal wear ideas to help you dress with confidence.
Defining Semi-Formal Wear
What does it mean to dress “Semi-Formal”? It doesn’t mean splitting the difference. You won’t wear a tuxedo with pajama pants on bottom. Instead, “Semi-Formal wear” refers to a step above business casual and a step below “formal.”
With formal wear, you’ll be expected to wear your absolute “wedding” best—a tuxedo, for example, if you’re part of the wedding party.
With business casual, you might wear something like a good pair of trousers, perhaps a tie—but skip one essential element of business attire like the jacket.
In this context, Semi-Formal Wear can include a jacket, a tie—or even an entire suit ensemble. The key to Semi-Formal Wear is that you don’t want to underdress for the occasion. But you don’t want to look like you’re dressed up for a spy thriller, either.
Some Quick Options
Now that you have an idea of what men’s semi-formal wear may include, it’s time to think about the specifics of what to wear. Here are a few suggestions:
- Wear a full, matched suit. It’s hard to go wrong with a suit and tie, especially if you know that some people at this event are going to be dressed in formal attire. Skipping the tie tends to be a little too casual for this situation, but feel free to use your own judgment based on your knowledge of the event.
- Include one formal item in your suit, at the very least. For example, tailored trousers like these Super 130’s Tasmanian Trousers will provide a rock-solid foundation for the rest of your Semi-Formal outfit. They won’t make you look like you’re dressing to be part of a wedding, but they’ll have you looking like you’re ready to be a part of the wedding celebration. That’s exactly what you’ll want to pull off for a great semi-formal look.
- For accessories, don’t be afraid to class it up. A pocket square can add to the formality of a suit, as can a formal tie. If you’re wearing a suit and not a tuxedo, you’ll have no problem straddling the line between formality and business casual.
Find The Right Trousers
“Semi-Formal” might sound complicated, but if you follow the rules of thumb above, you should have no problem finding exactly what you need. And if your wardrobe is in dire need of an upgrade, be sure to browse the tailored trousers at Berle for some help!