Suits for men

Different Types Of Formal Suits - Men's Formal Attire

Mary Smith
By Mary Smith. Updated: January 16, 2017
Different Types Of Formal Suits - Men's Formal Attire

Formal attire is the type of dress needed to attend certain events or celebrations. In ceremony and in protocol, we're talking about men's formal attire because women's attire is designed to complement men's style. There are infinite combinations.Men's formal attire refers to a type of clothing for very specific social events and very formal and dignified ceremonies. If you should wear such attire, your host will make this explicitly clear on the invitation.There are three categories when it comes to types of formal suits:

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Steps to follow:



  • When should you wear one? This is the most formal type of suit used at evening functions, indoor events....

E.g.: attending events where royalty are present, diplomatic acts, etc.

  • Detailed description of the suit:

Jacket: black or dark blue, single or double-breasted, short at the front and long tailed at the back. The rear vent or tail is long and sharply rounded.Shirt: white, starched chest, buttoned up with a high neck. The cuffs have double buttonholes which are to be closed with cufflinks.Vest: usually white, but can be black, depending on the event. This will give your body shape. It can be buttoned up or done up with a clasp.Tie: White tie.Trousers: black and smooth, worn with a bright strip of the same color.Shoes: must be black patent leather with foxing.This dress can be accompanied by white gloves and a gentleman's hat. This garment can be further embellished with decorations and medals.

Different Types Of Formal Suits - Men's Formal Attire - Step 1

Dinner suit:

  • When should you wear one? It is the most widely used attire for afternoon functions and evening parties. The invitation usually says "black tie" or "tenue de soirée exigée".

For example: Black tie is used for cocktail parties, award ceremonies and other social events of some significance.

  • Detailed description of the dress code:

Jacket: usually black, single-breasted, with large round opening in a shiny silk or satin fabric. In summer, the suit should be white.Shirt: classic white, double collar and cufflinks.Vest, cummerbund and bow tie: these articles of clothing ought to be black. If the jacket is done up, you don't need a sash or waistcoat as the waist would be covered.Trousers: always matching the color of the jacket. Classic-cut, with a silk ribbon side. Shoes: Black, shiny or patent leather. With or without laces, loafer styled shoes.The attire may be accompanied by a handkerchief, which must be white, made of linen or cotton.

Different Types Of Formal Suits - Men's Formal Attire - Step 2

Morning coat:

  • When should you wear one? It is the most ceremonial garment in your wardrobe.

Example: it is worn by the groom on his wedding day, it is also expected that if the groom wears a morning coat, the father-in-law must wear one too. It is also worn at an official reception, etc.

  • Detailed description of the attire:

Jacket: black or grey. Front is shorter and curved, finishing behind the tail, fastened with a single button usually.Shirt: white, hard, normal collar without buttons. Double cuffs with cufflinks. Waistcoat: the most common are black (for funerals) pearl grey or beige, but other colours are available. You can wear the jacket open or fastened.Tie: silver-grey tone with regular knot and can be topped with a pearl pin head.Trousers: vertical pinstripes in grey and black. Shoes: black leather, without foxing.

Different Types Of Formal Suits - Men's Formal Attire - Step 3

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  • In the three attires, long silk or thin socks with smooth and black thread can be worn. Also, for all three outfits, one must wear proper length trousers, ending about two fingers above the heel of the shoe.
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Different Types Of Formal Suits - Men's Formal Attire