What is the best transitional jacket this Spring?

Wool Varsity-Style Blazer

Image courtesy of Zara

With Winter almost done, and Spring right on its heels, it’s already time to start thinking of how to update one’s wardrobe for the warmer temperatures and brighter spirits of the upcoming season. As tacky as it may sound to associate Spring with rebirth and all that happy jazz, it certainly is the most apt description of the spirit of rejuvenation that always accompanies Spring. With that said, if you feel reborn, why shouldn’t your closet too?

In this first post in a mini-series on getting one’s closet ready for Spring, the main item on the menu is the transitional jacket. As a center piece to anyone’s wardrobe, the transitional jacket is that one versatile piece that get you through the awkward weeks between Winter and Spring, when it’s no quite cold enough for a full-on winter coat, but still not warm enough for Spring’s typical light jackets.

From first-hand experience, I have come to the conclusion that one of the best materials for a transitional jacket is classic wool. Though this natural fabric is usually associated with the coldest days of Winter, over here in Canada where bone-chillingly cold weather is an everyday curse during the hibernal months, wool is only effective in protecting one from the frigid cold when it is dressed over many a layer of clothes. However, wool jackets show their true strength when they are used as transitional pieces seeing as the natural fiber is just thick enough to shield out the cold, yet still light enough to allow you to breathe while the temperatures slowly rise throughout the day.

What is most likely the single best quality of wool again refers to its “in-between” nature of not being warm enough for everything winter can cruelly throw at you, yet still being too thick for the mildness of Spring days. Consequently, the fact that wool jackets are perfect for both Spring and Fall ensures that they are some of the most versatile jackets money can buy!

Accordingly, one of the best things about wool jackets is that they can be found in a plethora of different shapes and sizes. Furthermore, they run the gamut from lined to unlined, depending on your tolerance to the signature itchiness of wool. In case the standard wool topcoat doesn’t fully appeal to you sartorial needs, one of my favorite styles of wool jackets is the classic varsity-style jacket. With its quintessential styling inspired by the same letterman jackets awarded to varsity athletes, the varsity-style jacket is one that never goes out of style, and never fails at keeping you warm those awkward climate moments between spring and winter. As discussed in GQ, varsity-style jackets feature a “baseball-style silhouette [that] is rendered in [a light] wool that gives the sporty style some heft without making it feel bulky.” In addition, varsity-style jackets can be found in many different variations, from the classic model to more modern versions that feature its signature details like “graphic striped ribbing on the collar, hem and cuffs, plus contrast hints at the pocket.”

All in all, because of their “in-between” nature of being too light for winter and too thick for spring, wool jackets are the ideal transitional pieces for this upcoming Spring. There’s undoubtedly one for everyone eagerly waiting to be worn and brought to life this Spring. Nothing awkward about that!

What should I wear for Valentine’s Day?

Valentine's Day

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, this post should come as to no surprise. Despite how tacky Valentine’s Day may seem, it still remains an excellent opportunity to impress that special someone, and show them just how much you care for them. With that said, the key to dressing up for Valentine’s Day is all about being able to add fun elements into your outfit without going overboard, naturally. As stated in this blog post, “red is a very passionate and vibrant color, capable of making your [special someone] fall in love with you all over again, but also capable of being an eyesore when handled improperly.”

Unsurprisingly enough, one of the easiest ways of incorporating Valentine’s Day into your look is by wearing something within the warm hues of red. So, be it red, pink, burgundy, crimson or any other colour in said family, Valentine’s Day is the perfect day to bring out that one piece you know will charm your special someone. In a more formal business setting, I would definitely recommend either going all out and wearing something like a light pink dress-shirt, or if that’s too bold for your subdued tastes, then I would certainly suggest accessorizing with a red tie or a blush pink pocket square or even rose cufflinks. When accessorizing with such items on Valentine’s Day, ideally you should be wearing a plain white shirt so as to create an amorous contrast that’ll really enable the warm colours to “pop” against the neutral backdrop of your suit.

For a less formal but nonetheless crucially serious setting like a romantic date, this is your opportunity to truly “wow” your special someone by showing them just how dedicated you are to the art of dressing up for Valentine’s Day. Accordingly, I would again suggest wearing something as basic as a white dress-shirt, but this time, instead of simply accessorizing for the sake of subtlety, you should pair it with something as bold as a red cardigan or even V-neck sweater, with or without a blazer and/or tie. Similar to the business setting, the key to this look is the contrast you should be aiming to create. Therefore, an easy way of achieving said task is by completing your outfit with a pair of slim, dark dress pants and black dress shoes. This simple play on colours ensures that your decision to wear red won’t go unnoticed.

If you plan on staying in on Valentine’s Day for a more casual setting, then I nevertheless urge you to make an effort to dress up for your special someone. Naturally, it doesn’t have to be as intricate as in the examples above, however you still need to put some effort into what you’re wearing even if your date is in your dining room. As mentioned in Dappered, “just because you’re spending a quiet night in on Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean you can open up that bottle of wine in your pajamas.  Show her that you can look decent, even if you don’t have to.” Hence, for the sake of comfort, ditch the suit and instead opt for something as casual as an unbuttoned checkered shirt that features warm hues of red and/or pink. Then, top off the the look with a pair of classic straight-cut khaki pants, that despite the casual nature, still work to your rapturous advantage.

On a final note, as tacky as it may sound, just remember that, not matter what you wear, Valentine’s Day is all about showing just how much you care for and love that special someone. After all, it is a day all about love!

How can I wear a puffer vest?

Puffer vest

Image courtesy of Christian Ross

Though Winter has yet to officially end, the beginning of February nonetheless spells the imminent arrival of Spring. Accordingly, with the weather becoming more and more pleasant with each passing day, this is definitely the perfect opportunity to experiment with different manners of layering warm pieces so as to reduce some of the sometimes excessive winter bulk.

With that said, one of the best ways of accomplishing this task of layering is no doubt with the modern puffer vest. The main benefit of using the puffer vest as a layering piece is quite simply its compact size. Inspired by the original down- or feather-filled puffer jacket, the puffer vest is naturally no more than a sleeveless version that, despite that specific detail, certainly keeps as warm any other puffer jacket. Because puffer vests are rapidly becoming a staple in any man’s wardrobe as a garment ideal for the transitional periods between seasons, many designers and stores have been designing it in a more modern, trimmed and tailored fit. Consequently, this makes it much easier to wear the puffer vest above or even under other outwear pieces such as coats and suit jackets. As mentioned in Esquire, because “the new breed of this wintertime staple has arrived with a trimmer, tailored fit, [you can just] toss it on over your suit or a sweater (or a denim jacket, like Marty McFly did back in ’85) and hit the street.”

During this short period leading up to Spring, the puffer vest is an excellent replacement to an actual winter jacket because it acts as an extra layer protection over your chest, while still enabling you to pile on the layers without being to bulky. When it comes to pairing this item with a suit, I would definitely recommend wearing the puffer vest under the suit jacket. However, it is important to remember that this look can only be achieved if the puffer vest is thin enough, if not the torso would simply be far to constricted and awkward. As discussed in Men’s Style Pro, “pairing a puffy vest under a blazer would call for a shorter vest, while at the same time being thin enough to fit not to add excess bulge.” Though this kind of outfit certainly isn’t for everyone, it definitely still remains something to possibly consider trying seeing as it represents a modernization of the three-piece suit. Only this time, the vest is actually practical!

Last but not least, wearing a puffer vest as a layering piece is key when you want to keep warm, without having your movements limited by the bulkiness of your garments. Again, Men’s Style Pro definitely said it best: “Vests add mobility to your arms that you can do things freely and stay warm.” That versatility can also be noted in the fact that a puffer vest can also be worn casually over a weekend outfit without a hitch. For work wear it under a suit, for play wear it over a sweater. Quite an awesome two-in-one, if you ask me!

Clearly, when layered over a suit jacket, the puffer vest is a great alternative to a bulky winter coat, especially during the warmer days leading up to Spring. It’s modern, stylish, and down-filled. Life truly is good.

Are there any other types of winter jackets I can wear?

Chesterfield (double-breasted overcoat)

Image courtesy of Esquire

As the third and final installment in the mini-series on winter jackets, this post follows the theme of ideal winter coats discussed in last week’s post and that of the week before. Though menswear usually tends to be less varied as womenswear, that statement couldn’t be any more false when it comes to outerwear. Even during the extremely cold season that regrettably is winter, there are still many different options for men to look good while keeping warm, naturally.

One of the most classic styles of winter jackets currently on the menswear market is the timeless overcoat. Because this coat is more used as a generic categorization of many different, yet still similar, styles of winter jackets, the overcoat is exceptionally versatile in the sense that it can truly be used for a wide range of different events that could range from casual weekend excursions in the city, to more serious business meetings to formal black-tie events. What ever the occasion, the overcoat will always be an ideal choice. A great style of overcoat that has recently gained a lot of exposure in the menswear scene is the more traditional double-breasted overcoat, otherwise known as the Chesterfield. As described in GQ, the Chesterfield is “the most traditional and enduring of all overcoats [and] the basic design itself is fairly straightforward – two pockets at the waist, one chest pocket up top, and a button front closure leading up to a fairly high collar.” As mentioned in Esquire, an important detail to remember when choosing which style of overcoat is best for you is that “single-breasted [overcoat] is about ease, [and its] streamlined silhouette is built for facility and speed.”

The final winter jacket that I would strongly recommend as an investment this winter season is the shearling jacket. This classic, yet incontestably fashion-forward, outerwear piece is probably one of your best bets for keeping warm while looking undeniably bad-ass. As tacky as that expression may be, it’s the best way of describing the look this winter jacket will afford the wearer. Though it may not be the most formal of winter coats, the bomber jacket is ideal choice for casual winter occasions, and even for a more laid-back business setting. As thoroughly described in Esquire, shearling jackets “have remained some of the warmest things you can wear, mostly because they’re made from some of the warmest stuff around: shearling, a woolly–on–the–inside, supple–on–the–outside sheepskin that envelops the body in warmth.” The unique quality of the classic shearling jacket is that it is essentially the winter equivalent of the timeless biker-style leather jacket. Again as mentioned in Esquire, “throw it over a T-shirt or sweater and, like that, what began as a lazy Saturday afternoon uniform becomes something altogether more imposing. All because of one powerful (and, yes, simple) article of clothing.” Can’t get any better than that, eh?

All in all, I sincerely hope this three-part mini-series on winter jackets while help you find the ideal winter jacket for this winter season, and those to come. Thankfully for us all, it’s still possible to get the upper hand on Mother Nature by surviving winter in style!

What other styles of winter jackets can I wear?

Camel Duffle Coat

Image courtesy of GQ

Though the two styles of winter jackets described in last week’s post are certainly two of the most stylish designs currently on the market, they thankfully aren’t the only ones available for purchase this winter season. The great thing about winter jackets is, though they can sometimes be seen as rather pricey purchases, they truly are timeless investments that will end up being well worth the money seeing as they’ll keep you warm while still enabling you to effortlessly look good.

The first style of winter jackets that would be a excellent investment during this cold winter season is the fashion-forward camel coat. As a style of winter coats that has recently witnessed a resurgence on the runway during the past few years, the camel coat has proven itself to be a menswear staple appropriate for both formal and even casual occasions. As its name naturally implies, the main distinguishable characteristic of the camel coat is its sublime camel colour. Though some may view beige as a rather trite tone, the unique hue of beige, that is camel, is anything but that. Accordingly, one of the best qualities of camel is that, because it is a neutral colour, it can be matched with a wide array of different colours. With that said, the camel coat can be used expertly as a layering piece over any possible winter outfit. As mentioned in GQ, “against camel, everything else you wear—blue argyle, red socks—pops like crazy.” What differentiates camel from other neutral colours is that it thankfully isn’t as common as black, navy, or grey, so, if need be, it can still be used as a standout piece that will definitely grab everyone’s attention! As mentioned in Esquire, “it’s tailored and dressy enough for the three-piece suit, and yet with its rich coloring and thin, sporty notch lapels, you can just as easily wear it with the sport coat and trousers.”

Another great style of winter jacket that would be a great investment this season is the truly exquisite duffle coat. Though the name might not immediately ring a bell, you most certainly have already seen some guy on the street looking dapper in a duffle coat. It’s a timeless style of jacket that, like the pea coat, originally had its beginnings in the military, yet for some bizarre reason didn’t catch on as rapidly as the aforementioned pea coat. I say bizarre because the duffle coat has so many great qualities that most definitely make it worthy of its new-found popularity as an ideal winter jacket. One of the main benefits of the duffle coat is it’s incomparable versatility that enables it to be dressed both down and up for different occasions of differing levels of formality. Additionally, the duffle coat is also versatile in the sense that it is one of the only styles of winter jackets that actually features a hood, a practical and sartorial element that keeps one stylishly protected from whatever Mother Nature has to offer. As described in Esquire, “with its head-warming hood and toggle closures (created so you can button up while wearing thick gloves and called “walrus teeth” by old-timey sailors),” the duffle coat is the ideal outerwear piece for any occasion during the truly frigid winter season.

Coincidentally enough, I find it quite interesting that GQ pointed out that “the original duffle coat was actually not made in navy, which has become the dominant colorway these days, but in a lighter camel hue.” Clearly, the duffle coat and camel are a match made in heaven! With that said, until next week’s post, keep warm and stay stylin’!

Which winter coat should I wear this winter?

Winter Parka

Image courtesy of GQ

Though we’re already a couple of months into winter, thankfully, only now have we begun to really feel the cold effects of the season. Accordingly, with the many different styles of winter jackets that are currently being offered, there truly is no better time than now to take advantage of the wide selection and also the drastic sale-season markdowns on winter coats.

The first option that should naturally come to mind when picking a winter coat is the classic pea coat. Though the pea coat owes its origins to the practical military jackets that become inadvertent style statements following both wars, it has now taken a sartorial life of its own as a jacket that is appropriate for both casual and formal occasions. That much-appreciated versatility is notably what has made it one of the most popular winter coat offerings, and consequently the one that fits the widest array of shapes and sizes. From short and stout to tall and slender, the great thing about the pea coat is that it fits in a manner that can complement anyone. However, like any jacket, the key is making sure the sleeves are just the right length (i.e. not longer than your actual arms), and that the torso doesn’t fit too snugly in a manner that accentuates your natural waist. From there, be it cropped, normal or even oversized, it’s up to you to decide the length you prefer. Nevertheless, when it comes to choosing the right length for your pea coat depending on your body shape, as mentioned in Esquire, just remember that “short coats are made for men of action, with the length warming the torso but never encumbering the legs.”

Another great style of winter coats that has recently gained in popularity during the last couple of years is the weather-proof winter parka. Following the emergence of the now-ubiquitous Canada Goose jacket as a winter staple, the parka has been seen on runways and streets alike as the ideal piece to top off any winter outfit. Though, because of its undeniably practicality, some would traditionally view this style of jacket as being more casual than anything, nowadays that statement couldn’t be any more false. As stated in Esquire, there’s nothing more fashionable than a man wearing a winter parka over a suit because “the high-low juxtaposition catches everyone off guard.” It’s definitely unexpected, but still oh so suave. On the other hand, because of its casual nature, the winter parka is always the best piece to help you go from 9-5 to 5-7. It can both be casual and formal, while always being fashionable. It’s an investment piece that will no doubt keep you going even in the coldest of days. Hence, the number one quality of the winter parka is, naturally, that it keeps incredibly warm. You certainly can’t beat the 100% down filling and the fur-trimmed hood when it comes to surviving the harshest of temperatures. Beat that, Mother Nature.

On top of these two styles of winter coats, there are naturally many other styles that would do a stellar job in both keeping you warm and stylish during this long season. With that said, more on them in next week’s post! In the meantime, brace yourselves for the cold, in style of course!

How to wear a turtleneck sweater?

Turtleneck sweaters

Image courtesy of Trashness

Though, in past years, turtleneck sweaters have regrettably been dismissed as archaic garments only fit for uptight, old people, it’s recent rise in popularity in menswear is certainly a testament to how that statement couldn’t be any more false. Owing to its formal roots, the turtleneck sweater has revealed itself to be both adequate for formal, casual and even business occasions. Accordingly, that unique versatility is what makes it an ideal piece for business-wear during the cold, cold winter months.

As clearly stated in AskMen, “a turtleneck shirt or sweater is a great alternative to a dress-shirt-and-tie combination as it looks just as classy but is generally more comfortable to wear.” Despite its simplicity, a turtleneck sweater is still able to maintain the level of formality necessary for it to be worn in a business context because of its classic timelessness. Surprisingly, it’s that same relaxed simplicity that enables it to harmonize so well with the structured nature of the blazer in a contrasting synchronicity.

When worn in a business setting, it is most advisable to wear a turtleneck in darker, more winter-appropriate solid colours like black, navy, maroon and brown because, naturally, it concords with the traditional colour palette of the season, and also because those more sombre solid colours are coincidentally the most flattering for all body types. Expanding on that idea, though turtlenecks are characterized by a really relaxed and unstructured fit, it’s snug, body-fitting nature makes it is best to wear them in colours and manners that don’t draw attention to the possible slight imperfections of one’s body. As mentioned in TSB Men, “turtlenecks, in general, work better on the slim (and best on the tall and long-necked). On heavier guys they can draw a little too much attention to the neckline.

On another note, when you do actually wear a turtleneck sweater in a business setting, it is important to remember that the thickness of the sweater is what determines how appropriate it is for the occasion. Accordingly, if the turtleneck sweater is thin and made out of a light material like cashmere, then it will look swell when paired with a blazer and matching pants, a look that, as again described in TSB Men, “is an underrated Italian-inspired look.” Following that same idea, in GQ’s own words, “you can wear a turtleneck under a blazer, a sports jacket, or even another sweater, if it’s not too thick. The thick sort should go solo.”

When it comes to wearing a turtleneck sweater as a replacement to a dress-shirt in a business environment, I definitely recommend first starting with a black turtleneck. As an veritable essential in any man’s wardrobe, a black turtleneck sweater enables you to experiment with different colours, fabrics and styles of tailoring for suits seeing as it acts as a blank canvas that can be paired with just about anything in a manner that conserves the intended formality while adding a dose of timeless elegance.

Another important tip when wearing turtleneck sweaters regards the neck of the sweater itself. Because of the serious nature of business attire, it is imperative that the neck of the sweater be rolled down in a clean and even manner. To achieve such a feat, all you have to do is roll the neck up as high as it goes all the way above your nose, then fold it in half while ensuring that the fold is flat and even all around. If you want, you could also fold it down once more if ever the height and stiffness of the neck aren’t exactly your cup of tea.

So, with all this said, it is rather evident that the turtleneck sweater should be embraced far more than it should be feared and dismissed. Trust me, it makes looking good during the cold winter months an easy and attainable reality.

How to wear a flannel shirt this winter?

Flannel Shirt

Image courtesy of Topman

Though flannel shirts are usually associated with lumberjacks and uber-outdoorsy men of the sort, there certainly is more to flannel shirts than people might let on. When one is able to look beyond the plaid print that they are typically featured in, it’s possible to realize that unpatterned, solid-coloured flannel shirts truly do provide a whole world of style possibilities. Now that we are in the dead of winter in this new 2013 year, this is the perfect opportunity to try something new, and let yourself be both warm and classy in a flannel shirt.

As someone who only has praises for flannel shirts, I can honestly say that they are a fall/winter staple in any man’s wardrobe. Seeing as flannel is a wool-based material known for its abilityi to retain heat and help keep warm, it truly is the perfect fabric for a dress-shirt in the winter. However, before I go any further, I must specify that only the solid-coloured, unpatterned flannel shirts are appropriate for wearing with suits. As much as plaid has become ubiquitous in our day and age, it thankfully can’t and shouldn’t be worn for all occasions. With that said, flannel shirts that are void of any and such prints are great options for formal business-wear because they retain the minimalistic formality of classic dress-shirts, while injecting a much-needed dose of practicality by helping the wearer keep warm and battle the damn cold.

In addition to that important quality, there currently a number of different styles of flannel shirts that would be completely adequate for business-wear. To really capture the essence of a traditional dress-shirt, I would definitely recommend purchasing a flannel shirt that features a button-down collar. Furthermore, I would also suggest buying a flannel shirt that doesn’t feature any pockets on the chest seeing as that could compromise the garment’s intended formality.

On another note, another great benefit of flannel shirts that make them a great option for dress-shirts during the coldest months of the year is definitely the fact that flannel shirts are usually made in colours that are more appropriate for the fall/winter season. From burgundy to mustard by way of aubergine and navy, there are currently so many different hues of flannel shirts on the market that it is impossible to not find the perfect one for you.

Another important quality that differentiates flannel shirts from other dress-shirts is the fact that the fabric is undoubtedly one of the softest on the market. Because of the brushed nature of the material, it is both a pleasure to wear and touch. Speaking from firsthand experience, it certainly takes quite a bit of time to get over how soft flannel can be!

Moreover, an unpatterned, solid-coloured flannel shirt has the added benefit of being both casual and formal. Accordingly, on top of being appropriate to wear under a suit during the usual 9-5 grind, a sans-blazer flannel shirt can also be worn during the more exciting evening and weekend events that may arise during the winter season. Whichever it is, the flannel shirt is always appropriate!

On a final, completely unrelated yet totally topical note, HAPPY NEW YEAR GUYS!

Should I wear monk-strap shoes?

Monk-straps

Image courtesy of GQ

As a style of dress shoes that have only recently been thrust into the limelight of menswear, monk-strap shoes have truly become the go-to shoes for the most stylish men around. Though this style of shoes is still something that is generally more seen in print than in real life, monk-strap shoes are set to become ubiquitious in everyday menswear.With this 2013 year right around the corner, there has never been a better time to ditch uniform-like lace-up dress-shoes, and instead embrace the modern formality of monk-strap shoes. A new year, a new pair of shoes!

One of the main reasons monk-strap shoes have become so popular in fashionable capitals like Milan and Paris is because of the forward-thinking simplicity they afford the wearer especially when compared to the classic lace-up dress-shoe they are set to replace. Seeing as they conserve the same traditional shape of any classic lace-up, the sole difference between monk-strap shoes and the aforementioned lace-up is that, instead of being fastened by laces, they feature straps (usually two) that can be buckled tightly to ensure comfort and style. Consequently, according to GQ,  “it’s an option for work and play, with a bit more panache than your standard lace-up,” due to that important similarity.

 

Furthermore, the monk-strap shoe comes in a number of variations in regards to the number of straps the shoe features. Though, as aforementioned, there are usually two straps, it isn’t uncommon to see models with one strap, and sometimes even three (a very rare sight, I might add). Despite the fact that it is completely superficial, this characteristic gives the wearer the opportunity to really choose the exact shoe that matches his exact preferences without compromising  functionality.

Again because of that same resemblance with the classic lace-up oxford, monk-strap shoes can easily be used to replace the traditional lace-up, and can therefore be smoothly implemented into one’s daily wardrobe as the shoe of choice for both work and casual affairs. As mentioned in Esquire, “monk-strap shoes go great with suits, or with trousers and a sport coat, or even jeans.” How you wear your monk-strap shoes is truly all up to you. Because of their versatility and their fashion-forward nature, these shoes will truly make a statement wherever and whenever you may wear them.

However, I strongly recommend that when choosing monk-strap shoes that you choose a pair that is sleek and slim rather than bulky and awkward. Like the suit that this shoe is supposed to complement, monk-strap shoes are much more appealing when they are properly tailored in a typically European manner. Because there are already so many pairs to choose from, I therefore suggest taking one’s time in picking the pair that best reflects the person you want to be in this coming new year.

Also, make sure to check out this great slideshow from GQ highlighting different ways of wearing monk-strap shoes, from casual to business to formal!

How to dress for an Office Christmas Party?

Christmas party dresing

Image courtesy of Esquire

With Christmas right around the corner, the many Christmas parties that accompany this time of year are also fast approaching. One of the most important of such occasions is naturally the Chirstmas office party where senior management and entry-level employees alike get to mingle and jingle to the sounds of Christmas tunes and good food. Though it may not be everyone’s ideal definition of “fun”, the Christmas office party remains a great way of ringing in the season in style.

With that said, when it comes to the appropriate attire for an office Christmas party, the important thing to remember is that it remains a business environment that requires the appropriate level of dressing. As mentioned in AskMen, “after all, this is a work function and your colleagues, as well as clients, are likely from very different backgrounds or age group.” Accordingly, such an event requires attire that follows the simple alliterated rule of thumb for Christmas office attire: be festively formal.

Surprisingly, achieving that crucial balance isn’t as difficult as one may expect. In my opinion, the key to creating an outfit for an office Christmas party that is both festive and formal is integrating subtle Christmas-themed accessories and details into what you’re wearing. Naturally, I would recommend starting with a normal suit as a blank canvas. From there, one way to achieve the required balance is through the use of a festive colour scheme that, instead of compromising, simply complements the formal nature of your suit.

Therefore, a straightforward colour scheme that clearly reflects the festive spirit of Christmas is one centered on reddish hues like burgundy, maroon and even aubergine. Because these colours are darker tones completely appropriate for the winter season, they are ideal in adding much-needed life to a formal business suit. To complement these hues, you could also play with a bit of forest green so as to recreate the classic Christmas palette of green and red, in a modern, business-friendly manner of course.

The best way to incorporate such colours into an outfit appropriate for an office Christmas party is through classic accessories like cufflinks, socks, and, last but not least, a tie (or even a bow tie). Such accessories withhold much more sartorial power than most men realize. It truly always is those small details that make the difference, especially when it comes to pairing them with something as formalas a suit. As mentioned in Esquire, you could also use a pocket square to add a hint of festive flair to your attire. It will be better to “fold it neatly, but not too crisply, and place it in your breast pocket. It will seem celebratory because you don’t normally wear one.” Also, a pocket square is the perfect time to experiment with festive-coloured tartan (i.e. plaid) in a business environment. Evidently, using a festive colour scheme for your accessories is a great way of being festive without being over the top. And we all know no one wants to be that one person that went too far!

Another great way you can dress up your usual suit for an office Christmas party is by wearing a solid-coloured or simple-patterned sweater over your dress shirt. However, it is important to remember that an office Christmas party certainly isn’t the appropriate place to wear you over-the-top, ugly Christmas sweater. As stated in Every Guyed, “just stay away from the bright Christmas themed sweaters, or anything featuring reindeer, jolly old men, or red-and-green color motifs.” Keep it classy instead of kitsch by wearing something like an Argyle print, burgundy V-neck sweater in a luxurious fabric like cashmere. It’s the season to splurge after all!

On the subject of luxe fabrics, another effective way of incorporating festive charm into a formal business suit is through the use of materials that possess a certain festive flair. Because it is such a difficult fabric to wear on a daily basis, velvet is the perfect fabric to add that final element of Christmas spirit into any outfit. When worn in the right manner, velvet can certainly testify to someone’s sartorial know-how because it’s natural sheen has the unique and highly-appreciated ability of attracting the right kind of attention from those who matter most.

All in all, have fun this holiday season, and make this year’s office Christmas party one to remember!