Party season is a couple of months during Winter where the majority of us have our staff Christmas parties and a fair proportion of these parties normally operate a 'black tie' dress code. Hence why brands bring out entire ranges suitable for 'Party Season' so you know how to look your best at your works staff party. I've already discussed what suits you should where for party season by styling a black tuxedo and navy tuxedo, which you can re-read here.
This post is all about how to accessorise your dinner jacket or tuxedo from socks, shoes, pocket squares, shirts, ties and scarfs. These are the small differences, that will make you transform from looking like every other person in the room into youself, your own personality and your own style.
Starting from the top down so therefore lets discuss the shirt first. The only two colours you can use when wearing a dinner jacket is either white or black and personally I would always opt for a brand new crisp white shirt, straight out of it's packaging. Choosing a collar type is a little more tricky as there are more choices. When I was 18 or early 20's I thought that you had to wear 'wing-tip' collar shirts with a dinner jacket and how wrong was I. For me the wing tip collar is my least favourite, it doesn't particularly look great and just reminds my of poorly designed shirts from hire shops.
Instead opt for a more refined elegance in your shirt collar. A simple classic spread collar or even a collar with a narrower opening will look great underneath a bow-tie. Check your dress-code but if you are after something different and from a 1920's era of exceptional dress sense then try the pin collar or the tab collar shirts which although are not designed for bow-ties, work incredible with a black silk tie and offer a different option for those who do not like wearing bow-ties.
There is only one place I would recommend getting your party season shirts from and that is of course Hawkins & Shepherd, the London shirt makers who are famed for bringing back the pin collar shirt styles. You can shop their extensive party season collection online here and below are some of my top picks.
Naturally choosing a tie should come next, you have two options which is simply to wear a bow-tie or a tie. That decision totally depends on 1. The dress code .2. Your own personal style taste and .3. Which shirt you have chosen to wear.
The next choice is colour and if you choose a bow-tie, what style do you choose such as a standard bow-tie or butterfly bow-tie for example. When choosing a colour of the bow-tie I would go for dark deep colours, nothing too colourful and certainly no colourful patterns unless they are subtle (such as polka-dot), you don't want to look like a clown and always think 'what would Tom Ford wear'! Here are my top picks:
The Pocket Square
Who would have thought that a square piece of silk, cotton or linen would be such a sartorial success. Personally I wouldn't match the exact colour of your tie with your pocket square, as that is just lazy and shows no creativity at all, plus it reminds me of weddings. Party season style is not wedding style, it's more refined, classic, classy and elegant. Here are my top picks:
The scarf I'm wearing is from new luxury brand Fisher & Woordes who are one of my menswear finds of the year. They currently have a collection of 3 scarfs which are warm, classic and beautiful and perfect to style with your dinner jacket suit. The brand also crafts belts as in the ones below.
Socks are often the most underrated statement of fashion similar to underpants for men as most of the time, they are not seen...so why bother right? Well that may be true depending on the length of the cut of your trousers. If you are looking to suave up your sock game then here are some good choices.
My personal preference for choosing the right shoes when wearing a tuxedo is to opt for a pair of patent shoes. Patent leather is a type of coated leather that has a very glossy shine to the finish. Although there are always other options and here are my top picks in the footwear department.