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What Is Cocktail Attire For Men? | How To Style Up Your Cocktail Dress Code Today.

The invitation came and you were happy…then the countdown began…and now, the day is here and you are super excited…But wait a minute…a small detail is threatening to bring gate crash the party … what is cocktail attire for men?

That is what your host expects you to wear…the cocktail attire for men

Problem is, you have always flunked when we come to fashion…

The good news first:

You are not alone…confused men have been all over us requesting that we write a guide on this

Anyway, isn’t time we –MEN- took fashion seriously?

Our ladies are miles ahead so why don’t we start by knowing what cocktail party attire For Men is exactly? Yes, you have to know what is cocktail attire for men.

What Does Cocktail Attire Mean?

Cocktail attire is simply a semi-formal dress style for men and women.

I suspect that our forefathers must have been smart dressers….

You see, the craze started way back – 1920’s and 1930’s- and has maintained a stranglehold as the dress code of choice on many evening social events.

Well, a few tweaks have taken place over the years and its today an exciting blend of the formal and the trendy.

It’s the dress of choices whenever you want to elicit a response from other guests and even a round of applause from the host.

If you want to walk with a swagger, then why not embrace male cocktail attire?

Why Wear Cocktail Attire Men?

Don’t waste your chance to make a statement. Here are the reasons why cocktail attire dress code is the perfect weapon;

  • This attire is the most trending dress code for more relaxed / semi-formal occasions
  • Its subtle and classic items are stitched superbly to match your natural body shape wonderfully.

Moving on:

You may feel that you being put under the cosh or like that somebody is playing games when they say strictly, the event dress code is men cocktail attire..

Naaaay…see what cocktail dress for men entails

Wear This To A Cocktail Party:

Tuck your tuxedo away. Here we want elegance and taste. The style requires that your wear;

  • A suit

You can’t run from these. But there is a caveat… here we are looking at an urbane, fitting custom-made suit. But it shouldn’t be too tight.

Then, men are not that good in colors and designers understand this- you should go for darker colors for example greys, navy bluish or such dusky colors.

Coming to your suits’ blazer, pick one that is figure-hugging. Additionally, it should be a modern and fresh looking- you end up with a super-smashing figure.what is cocktail attire for men

  • A shirt

White is your best bet for your shirt.

That said, a dress shirt or an off-white shirt should also do. Powder blues can also be great.

In the event that you are seriously in love with patterns or other colors, no problem. Just keep them toned down.

The other thing, ensure you pick a white shirt with stiff collars and that its color or pattern match your suit.

Ultimately, your shirt should be presentable and well made.

  • Neckwear

A bow tie is magical if you are lion-hearted, provided you keep subtle- otherwise stick to your good old humble tie.

Alternatively,   a textured, solid colored necktie would do the trick. Crochet or silky textures are considered more modern.

Still, you can opt for a slim patterned neck tie (for example paisley) and still look magnificent.

Otherwise, if it’s a quasi-formal occasion, you can ignore a tie and instead undo a few buttons. You will look more relaxed not forgetting that this option transits smoothly from day to night-time.

This approach seems to be more popular with fashion gurus.

  • Belts

A matching belt adds an extra layer of sophistication. However, don’t exaggerate- just go for the classics.

Suede and leather are obviously a safer choice and are long lasting.

  • Socks 

You shouldn’t underrate the socks.

If you manage to pick the right pair, your male attire for cocktail party will be more complete.  

In a formal setting, an over-the-calf pair should settle matters.

Otherwise, match your sock color to the trouser color to be on the safe side but if you have a better sense of style, match your sock color and your tie’s color.

  • Shoes

Dark colored, neatly polished shoes work excellently with male cocktail attire. 

So, generally avoid casual footwear (despite the comfort) and trust your pair of Monkstraps, dashing Oxfords or Brogues.

You may also consider loafers if it’s a semi-formal event provided you pick classic colors like brown, black or navy.

All in all, great shoes ultimately complement cocktail looks.

  • Accessories

Additions give you a more polished look

We are talking of;

  • A Pocket Square

Pocket squares add depth to your mens cocktail attire. They also help you sustain a gentleman-like look.

It’s your chance to exhibit your creative prowess and talent with colors.

If you feel stressed, go for a white square.

Otherwise, Match them well and see your star rise to prominence thanks to your brand new sleek look.

  • Boutonniere Flower.

Boutonnieres have their fans though they are a bit old school. I particularly dislike their tendency to fall apart under the slightest pressure.

Here is a word of advice:

Wearing both a pocket square and a boutonniere clutters up your blazer.

Personally, I like the pocket squares

You may also wear a smart watch or add some cufflinks.

Just remember to keep it as simple as possible- avoid anything too flashy or too casual.

  • Fragrance & Cologne

There is no harm in having your cocktail suit smelling nice. A fresh fragrance adds depth and leaves a lasting impression.

In choosing, go for minimalist scents

Cocktail Attire For Man- Summary

  • Choose a tailored suit with a dark hue like navy, muted grey, or subdued cobalt.  Never wear black suits.
  • Its best match your outfit with polished dress shoes like oxfords, loafers or brogues.mens cocktail attire
  • Complement your semi-formal attire for men with a pocket square, bold tie, or other unique accessories.
  • Select a statement piece whenever you are feeling adventurous
  • Keep a classic, clean look tempered with a contemporary blend
  • Pick either a fitted shirt with one of the classic colors for a smart look or a bold print if you want to hog the attention.
  • Don’t over-dress. Simple, beautiful and comfortable is the way to go for mens summer cocktail attire.

Varying Your Mens Dress For Cocktail Party.

Well, our discussion has to a large extent been around the formal cocktail attire for men …let’s now spice things up…

  •  Semi-Formal Cocktail Accessories

If you dream of the supreme semi-formal look, you have quite a number of interesting tweaks…

  1. Rather than a full suit, match a set of khakis or smart trousers. You will look sharp, but you won’t feel be overdressed.
  2. There are days you feel like a bull and ready to challenge the status quo. It is then that you select one of the bolder colors to see the response. burgundy or olive colors shout very loudly and everybody will take note
  3. What about experimenting with one of the most prominent patterns on your blazer or suit? Patterns add character and personality to your attire.
  4. Removing the tie and un-buttoning some of the top buttons. This ensures you don’t look/feel over-dressed and transforms your looks to suave and relaxed
  5. Ditch the dress shoes and put on some loafers. This boosts casual flavor.
  6. Swap your shirt with a simple T-shirt.
  • Summer Cocktail Attire Men

So, how do you survive the scorching summer heat while clad in your male cocktail attire?

Here are some tips…

  1. Remove your neckwear.
  2. Try lighter suit materials. I am talking of linen or cotton but taking the crown is cotton.
  • Seersucker shorts or seersucker blazer is a lifesaver in an additional life-saver.
  • Casual Cocktail Attire

When the conditions are relaxed, you can still be the star of the event if you flex your dressing.

Out with the formal, in with the casual…this is how;

  1. Try rolling up your shirts or jacket sleeves.
  2. Trouser-wise, a pair of trainers of jeans would be marvelous.

For jeans, pick dark colors, nicely fitting pair, without signs of wear or rips on your cocktail casual while you should ensure that your trainers are fairly new or sparkling clean.

Keep in mind that cocktail attire should retain some formality so don’t exceed the boundaries when striving for the perfect cocktail casual men.

Do’s And Don’ts When Shopping for the Best Cocktail Attire.

Now, since you know what to wear to a cocktail party what are the unspoken rules of the game…

  1. Body shape

If it’s too tight fitting, all the attention will be on you and you may feel uncomfortable.

Thus, ensure your suit hugs your body properly and leave a sufficient allowance to remain cozy.

  1. Price

Some Cocktail attire can be a bit expensive. Luckily, you can negotiate for lower rates…

And since pricing cuts both ways, you must choose to strike a compromise between pricing and quality

  1. Quality of material

The material used determines longevity and durability. Higher quality parts costs more but delivers an elegant bubbly look

  1. Latest fashion

Fashions come and go – so fast.

Therefore, it’s important to understand what’s trending before committing. For example, we earlier on saw that pocket squares are hotter than boutonnieres

  1. Pick the Right Colors

Men generally are not very good in colors but at least, you need to avoid color crash…you better take time but end up with the right color mix.


So, I hope you now know what is cocktail attire for men and the different types of items that make up the cocktail attire dress code.

You have also seen the various rules and guidelines whenever buying the male cocktail attire

So, I don’t think you will have any more excuses for not attending the event even though they require one to wear male cocktail attire

Having said that, do remember to share this post or leave your comment below…

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