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Men's festive style guide: Suiting up for the holiday season

Men's festive style guide: Suiting up for the holiday season

True, the summer might be well and truly behind us, but all is not lost. While some might lament the loss of swim shorts and sandals, we are hurtling full steam into the festive period which brings the opportunity to add a little razzle dazzle to proceedings. From lads nights out to dinner parties, pub lunches to the infamous office party, Rathbones Tailor will ensure you’re dressed to impress. Even if your office party antics land you in hot water with the boss.

The OG: A black tuxedo

If the invite says black tie then certain aspects of your outfit are non-negotiable. Namely a tuxedo and bow tie. The history of the tuxedo outfit was in itself an act of self expression from the then Prince of Wales. Having the tail of his white-tie tailcoat chopped off, he was left with a more informal shape of suit while still retaining all of the embellishments that so elevate the outfit (silk lapels etc). Therefore, although very traditional here at Rathbones Tailor, we won’t hinder anyone who wishes to make the Black Tie outfit their own. Just remember, less is more when wearing a tux.

The office party might indeed be a black tie invite. When it comes to this dress code, you can never be ‘overdressed,’ so avoid the temptation to wear your everyday office attire claiming it’s ‘still a suit.’ Level it up and don a tuxedo. Recognised by a satin fronted lapel and trouser side stripe, you won’t regret going the whole hog. A white shirt, black bow tie and black patent leather shoe are the most classic of styling choices. If you feel a break from tradition is an absolute must, rocking a light roll neck top under your tux can dress down the look while adding an edge of danger to the ensemble. Is it just us or does the combo look appropriate for a suave hitman?

We’d avoid colour matching your bow tie to your cummerbund as it risks veering into ‘highered entertainment’ territory. Shoe wise, a patent black can we swapped out for black leather. If you insist on dressing down to trainers, make sure they’re box fresh please. Anything else and you’d better be running a 5k PB that evening.

Lounge suit tailoring

Not all invites will require black tie, maybe ‘cocktail’ will be the invitation’s style suggestion. Fret not, you can still maintain an elevated and suave look without reaching for the tuxedo. You might wish to rock a lounge suit while breaking from your everyday business attire. This is very achievable with Rathbones Tailor’s new range of suits, The Wheeler. With slightly more elevated accents such as peaked lapels, The Wheeler offers lounge suit comfort with a formal look.

Again accessories will play a pivotal role in how the look is received. A more playful tie than the office suit option, along with a clashing pocket square can let people you mean business. The sort of business that begins at 6pm. If you wish to ditch the buttoned shirt altogether then, again, the roll neck is a solid option. Especially as the temperature drops into the depths of winter. If you’re looking to relax the look, and you’re brave enough to do so, then a fresh white t-shirt with a high neckline will see you right. Make sure it’s tucked in to avoid anyone asking you when the next canapes will be out.

Footwear remains much the same throughout the different looks. For a winter soiree, when being overdressed is a myth, a smart polished leather shoe will see you right ten times out of ten. Chelsea boots will relax the look a little, where trainers relax it a lot. Please please please, no running trainers. Whoever decided that Steve Carell’s 40 year old virgin was a style icon has a lot of explaining to do.

Winter weddings

Probably the most exciting event you’ll attend this winter will be a winter wedding. It evokes images of snow gently falling throughout a picturesque ceremony. All styling options are still very much in play.

Tuxedo weddings have become ever more popular here in the UK and for good reason. When it’s so clear and easy to dress well, you’re almost guaranteeing fabulous wedding pictures.

Morning suits are also a solid option, especially if there’s a hint of a church ceremony or an open field. In both scenarios, the morning suit lends itself to that old English charm.

Lounge suits are always going to be a runner in any wedding styling race. As a guest, maybe dress down the look in the evening by swapping out the shirt for a roll neck. Or don’t. Everyone is only looking at the bride and groom anyway!

The pinnacle of formal dressing, and not to be forgotten where the winter wedding is concerned: White Tie attire. Distinguishable by a black tailcoat, white waistcoat and of course, white bow tie, a White Tie wedding leaves no room for stylistic interpretations and ensures all guests are fit for Royalty. Which a bride and groom basically are for the day.


So there you have it, the Rathbones Tailor official guide to dressing well this festive period. From office parties to winter weddings, and everything in between. Remember, you can never be overdressed, but you can definitely be under. We know which end of the spectrum we’re plonking ourselves. Embrace a tuxedo, even if you’re only going to wear it once all year. That’s where we come in. Rent it, rock it, return it. Simple.

Above all, be confident in your outfit choice. Countless studies, of which none shall be referenced, have proven that confidence is sexier than looks. And if you’re in a Rathbones Tailor, that look is already pretty darn sexy. Disclaimer: we take no responsibility for any trouble causing activities you engage in as a result of feeling sexier than average in one of our suits.

Over to you chaps, go well...