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Style Advisor: The Rules Of Party Dressing

Style Advisor: The Rules Of Party Dressing

The first rule of party dressing? There are no rules. So think of this as a gentle guide – we’re not here to tell you what to do as the festive season approaches. The Christmas ads are on TV, the lights are going up in towns and cities across the country, and the party invitations are rolling in. Before you know it, you’ll be over-eating mince pies and whistling along to Wham! on the daily. But before you embark on the waistline-expanding, joy-filled romp that is Christmas, let us help you get your wardrobe right. That way, when the work Christmas party (colleagues and alcohol, what could go wrong?) rolls around you’ll be prepared to take it on in style, even if you do end up misplacing your dignity. When you’ve got a calendar filled with social engagements – up to three-deep a night during peak party season – the last thing a man should be worrying about is what to wear. We’ve put together three easy rules to help you navigate your party wardrobe with ease. It’s party time.

A male model wearing a black Balmain knitted slim fit jumper with a white Balmain logo on the chest


Want to elevate your outfit without going down the tux route? Fewer dress codes stipulate black tie these days, but sometimes, for a special occasion, you want to go the extra mile and look as dapper as you would in a tuxedo. When in doubt – and when the event calls for decadence – be a smooth operator in an all-black get-up. Balmain nail slick after-dark dressing with fine knits (a great alternative to a formal shirt), subtle logos, slim jeans and leather jackets.


Shoes maketh the man, and at no time is this more resoundingly true than at a party or event. Dress from the feet up, and the rest will follow naturally. This season, dress shoes range from tried-and-tested classics like Gucci’s elegant Jordan loafers, to modern versions of iconic styles, like Prada’s chunky lace-up Derbies. Going for up-market casual? Trainers are an increasingly acceptable footwear choice for evening events. Go big or go home by teaming streetwear and sport-inspired sneakers from Valentino with smart wide-leg trousers and an oversized shirt.

A still life image of a pair of black leather Gucci Jordan men's loafers with a gold horsebit embellishment
A male model wearing a light blue and white striped Gucci oversized shirt with black Gucci chinos and black Gucci Jordan loafers


In recent years, there has been a shift away from slim-fit, body-tight shirts and Tees in favour of a more relaxed silhouette. Good news if you’ve been overindulging on pigs in blankets and Irish Cream. Still smart, but offering a more deconstructed take on evening dress codes, this Gucci shirt feels modern and slightly bohemian – the pastel shade a cheerful ice-hued alternative to the jewel tones and dark colours that characterise the season. The perfect piece for drinks at a friend’s house or a weekend-long gastro pub escape.