Do's and Don'ts of Purchasing Men's Formal Wear

October 03, 2013

Shoes and clothes may not make a man, but when they're done the right way, they improve his appearance. We have always admired gents who epitomise Thailand's cream of the crop tailoring, clapping a little inside while checking their cutaway collars, their cavalry twills, and their perfectly fitted suits.

Men's formal wear remains the standard attire for formal occasions such as weddings, operas, balls, awarding ceremonies and receptions.

It usually is a conservative wear representing the fashion taste of the wearer. It has remained fundamentally unchanged for years, just evolving subtly over time. When every suit looks the same, it is its small details that make it stand out.

Every man who wants it perfectly fitted needs a customised formal wear. There is always a way to tell which suits are done properly and which ones are not. The following tips will make shopping for a men's formal wear an easier and more satisfying experience:

Over coats

When it starts to get cold, the acceptable outerwear to wear with a suit is an overcoat, which comes in various cuts and designs.

For a white tie event, a midnight blue or black dress coat is an appropriate choice. Silk facings with horizontal cutaways at the front will look elegant. The cut should fit the body. Waist and back seams should be rich in details. A shawl collar or a pointed lapel will give the overcoat an edge.

For a black tie event, most men prefer to wear a tuxedo or a single-breasted jacket. It may or may not come with vents.


Dress shirts and waistcoats are usually associated with dignified and older gentlemen of means, but they can look great on younger stylish urbanites too. When shopping for a waistcoat, look for one in linen or cashmere wool.

The length on front should stop above the dress coat cutaway to cover the waistline. The back and sides may be cut a bit higher, so some part of the shirt might show. Wear it with a well-fitting shirt to prevent fabric ballooning which could emphasise your tummy bulge.

Some life events call for a man to wear an outfit that is classier than the basic pairing of jeans and t-shirt. Dressing to impress can be a costly endeavour, but knowing what to purchase can help one make smart shopping decisions.

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