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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

A gentleman’s guide to semi-formal wear

So a good friend of yours invites you to an event. She says, “It’s $5 to attend. You’ll get to meet new people. It’s semi-formal attire and there’s going to be food. Everything sounds good and you’re excited to go to the event. But then on the day of — after reading your friend’s text — you realize that you’re required to be in semi-formal attire. What exactly does that even mean?
Do I wear a tux? A suit? A tie? Or can I wear khakis with a shirt and tie? It seems as if there’s a lot of gray area when it comes to semi-formal. Let’s clarify.
First off, we’ll start with formal attire. Typically for men, formal wear is black tie or white tie, which are simple terms for a suit and black tie or a tuxedo with a white tie. Formal wear is for super classy events such as award shows like the Oscars. Feel free to pull out the cuff links and bow ties in formal wear situations unless you’re a penguin because they’re always sporting a tuxedo.
Next we’ll dive into business attire. Business attire is typically office wear, a two-piece suit. Constructive creativity is key as you don’t want to go over the top with color. Keep your suits to subtle colors like black, brown, charcoal, gray, and navy. Don’t forget you can also wear the classic pinstripe suit that never seems to fall from modern times.
Time to tackle down semi-formal attire. Semi-formal means wearing a full suit, with vest optional. A tie is also optional and the shirt should be a simple button down. The biggest difference here for semi-formal attire is that a tie is not necessary. Also keep in mind that if this is a day event outside, wear a lighter colored suit like light gray and khaki. Last but not least we have the business casual. For this try pairing a suit jacket or a blazer with a sweater or wear a pair of neatly pressed khakis with a tucked in polo shirt.
If you’re going to be outside, wear suit trousers with a dress shirt or polo shirt, and accessorize with a leather belt and shoes to make you look and feel at the top of your game. With these combinations, color and creativity can used to the fullest, just don’t go crazy wearing a purple suit and a fedora. People will probably mistake you for a pimp named, Slickback.
Hopefully this will cease the confusion of what to wear at which event. With these guidelines, it will be easy to make a great impression at that special occasion.