Dressing for a formal Birthday party

Jeans and Jacket

Hi there,

I read your article on Dressing For A Formal Event. I was hoping you could help me. My husband’s cousin is having a semi formal 30th bday party in the evening. I already have something fun and fresh to wear but we’re stuck on my husband. He’s 36 so he doesn’t want to dress like an old man but he doesn’t want to look like he’s trying to dress too young either. Wants to look hip, but not ridiculous. Help!!! What should he wear? Keep in mind; he’s a pretty big guy. Not fat, just thick, he’s a Pacific Islander so they tend to have big arms and legs.



I would recommend that he wear dark washed blue jeans with a sport coat and t-shirt or open neck dress shirt. A nice tweed sport coat will serve him well on many occasions throughout the year, if he is a sporty young 36, he can wear a t-shirt with a cool graphic print on the front. Patagonia has a great selection of tasteful and environmentally friendly t-shirts

Since he is of a thicker build, he will have to buy the sport coat to fit his widest part and have the rest tailored to fit. No Matter what the size or shape, almost everyone will have to have some tailoring work on suit or sport coats.

As a side note, with the broad acceptance of the California ’business casual’ look; men are wearing jeans for business as well as leisure. Topped with a sport coat, this is now considered proper for many business occasions and lunches. Three piece suits are making a resurgence this fall. Combining the vest and suitcoat with jeans is also an easy way to dress up but remain cool and hip. Don’t wear a tie with this combo. For more formal meetings and dinners, a dress shirt and jacket or the full three piece suit may be more suitable.

Ties are not mandatory with suits anymore – in fact, a silk t-shirt under a well-fitted suit is perfectly appropriate in many circles. For more formal dinners, a white shirt and a tie are best, but unless it is specified in the invitation, a black tie outfit is not required.

Good shoes are always a necessity so watch what he wears on his feet. It can make or break the entire outfit.

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