Unofficially: The potentially scariest – singlets, thongs/slides, gym shorts… oh my! – of menswear dress codes, ‘casual’ is all about relaxed comfort. Maintain a semblance of elegance with chinos or tailored shorts, a basic well-cut t-shirt or knit polo or linen shirt and, for cooler mornings/evenings, an unbuttoned corduroy or chore jacket. Pair with sneakers or a neat casual shoe. It’s all about minimalism with purpose.
Officially: Jacket, no tie
Unofficially: Neither too casual or too formal, ‘smart casual’ is a relatively open-ended dress code, and thus tricky to navigate. You can’t go wrong with elevated basics. Think a basic t-shirt worn with a tonal/textured overshirt or a blazer. Wear tailored trousers, preferably with side tab adjustors, that sit a little higher on the waist. For events, break out the double-breasted jacket, going big with texture and colour.
Officially: Dialed up suit
Unofficially: Usually reserved for special occasions (events, weddings, milestone birthdays etc.) cocktail attire means grand style – at the very least a tailored jacket and trouser – put together with oodles of personality. To break the navy/grey suit mould, try elevated sports jackets, maybe even a double-breasted jacket with a slight pattern, bold stripe shirts and dapper dark trousers with a pleat. The tan/sand-coloured suit is also perfect for spring. Tie optional.
There’s something perennially romantic about this dress code, which has been in play since the late 1800s. Black tie, traditionally speaking, means a classic black tuxedo jacket and trousers, the former with a black satin shawl lapel or peak lapel and the latter adorned with a black satin stripe, worn with a white tuxedo or dress shirt, a black bow tie and polished black dress shoes. That is the basic standard, anyway. Want a level up? Wear a white dinner jacket with a white dress shirt, black bowtie and black tailored trousers. The most lustful option for spring – at least in my humble opinion – is a black or midnight navy velvet dinner jacket paired with sharply-tailored black suit trousers.