Wondering What To Wear For A Formal Social Event?

Trying to navigate the daunting task of deciding what to wear for a formal social event is a tricky feat, but there are a handful of essential tips every man should know to ease the pressure. The dreaded dress code can cause a lot of confusion which sometimes doesn’t allow you to look forward to the upcoming formal social event, but with preparation, there’s no need to worry.

Before we get into our top tips, let’s recap what types of events are considered formal social. A formal social event dress code can be referred to as “cocktail party attire”, which is formal, but not quite as fancy as a black-tie event. Think cocktail parties, engagement parties, evening events and most weddings. Simply put, men’s cocktail attire is a dress code asking you to dress up for an occasion without a strict, well-defined dress code. Essentially, this means you have freedom regarding how you want to dress. Usually, formal social consists of a suit with a shirt, dress shoes and a tie or bow tie if specified.

Now, without further ado, let’s get straight into our top tips for what to wear for a formal social event


An essential for formal social events in the summertime is wearing light colours such as tanned, light blue and soft pink if you’re brave enough. These colours are perfect for those who want to add a touch of elegance and class to their look whilst remaining cool and comfortable in the heat. Additionally, light-coloured suits are great value for money as they can be worn for formal and casual occasions.

When it comes to the material, try linen or organic cotton. When the sun is out, people’s formality expectations tend to loosen up, so potentially swap leather shoes for loafers without socks, which has become a trend in recent years.


Turning up in jeans shows you either don’t respect your host or you don’t respect yourself, but most likely both. If you’re leaning away from suit trousers, chinos are a notch up from jeans in terms of formality and are, therefore, acceptable. If you decide to sport a pair of chinos, we recommend wearing them with a blazer, maybe a pocket square and some sleek formal shoes to ensure no qualms. But to reiterate our original point, steer clear of jeans at all costs when attending formal social events.


Regardless of the dress code and the style you intend to wear, you must pay close attention to the environment, social dynamics, and expected weather the day of the event entails. Firstly, define your goals for the event. Secondly, understand what is expected of you. Thirdly, design your outfit following your personal goals for the event and the expectation for the event.

Your personal goals for the event, such as projecting an air of assurance or ensuring sustained comfortability throughout the entirety of the event, will form the backbone of your outfit for the event.


There is nothing worse than choosing the right style but with the wrong fit. An overly tight and uncomfortable or loose and sloppy fit will completely ruin your efforts in choosing the right look and feel of an outfit to ultimately be disappointed. To negate this possibility, take sufficient time to define your style and ensure the fit is perfect before confirming your outfit choice.

For the best Savile Row suits for upcoming formal social events this summer, choose Hidalgo Brothers to ensure you receive a bespoke service matching you with the perfect materials and patterns to match your unique personality and style. Get in touch with us today to have you looking your best for your next formal social event.