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MEN'S STYLE

The Complete Guide To Men's Dress Codes

Avoid the awkwardness with our breakdown to what's appropriate, when (Continued)

White Tie/Cravate Blanche
This shindig couldn’t get fancier if Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip were co-hosting. White tie is a level up from even black tie in formality – and no, it does not just mean ‘a white tie’. What it does mean is a black tailcoat (not to be confused with a morning coat – see Morning Dress) and matching black trousers, a white waistcoat, a wing collar shirt, a white bow tie, and a pair of patent shoes. If you don’t have these in your rotation, get thee hence to the hire shop. This is not a dress code to be trifled with.

The good news is that invitations which stipulate this are extremely rare unless you are a Ferrero Rocher-munching diplomat or extremely rich and/or posh, in which case you’ve probably got all of the above in your rotation anyway. Also, a top hat is not considered strictly necessary nowadays, so you can let that one slide.

A word (well, two) of warning: ‘formal attire’ can technically refer to the above for evening events, or morning dress (see in our next installment) for daytime. Chances are, your hosts just mean ‘smart’. But check yourself before you deck yourself out.

...more to come

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