There are few excuses for men to really get dressed up like a New Year’s party. And this year, a guy with a sartorial bent has more interesting options than ever, thanks to shifting standards in what constitutes cocktail party attire.
“Never be afraid of a tuxedo. I’d also over dress to any event – so if the invitation has a slight level of formality, get one,” advises Sam Lobban, buying manager for MR PORTER.
But if going formal means being painfully overdressed, there are plenty of alternatives.
“The idea of the traditional tuxedo may not be the best idea for the modern New Year’s Eve cocktail party. Trends have started to change,” says Roopal Patel, Senior Vice President and Fashion Director for Saks Fifth Avenue.
And this year, velvet is the name of the game.
Patel suggests pairing a jewel-tone blazer with a pair of jeans and sneakers.
“It’s all about rich surface treatment,” Shannon Schafer, Nordstrom’s Senior Fashion Director says. “Even velvet takes over the classic blazer for an opulent look.”
Schafer also insists “pattern mixing is a must.”
“Printed shirts are worn with patterned ties for the perfect pairing,” she says.
Here are few ideas to make sure you’re not left by yourself when the ball drops on 2018:
The Classic (With a Twist)
Thom Sweeney takes the traditional three-piece black tuxedo and gives it a half turn. The result is a navy tux (the British designer calls it “midnight blue”) that’s “particularly chic,” says MR PORTER’s Lobban.
The Velvet Crush
Patel, of Saks, recommends pairing a velvet blazer with jeans and a pair of velvet sneakers for a more casual, yet luxurious look. “There’s more flexibility as well if it’s not going to be tradition tux,” she says. “Beautiful, rich jewel tones” are in this year, so don’t hesitate to try something a bit off the beaten path—like teal.
Keep things interesting at even the dullest New Year’s party by mixing textures and patterns. “Suits get a refresh in new textured yarns, woven patterns, and subtle plaids,” says Nordstrom’s Schafer.
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