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A Guide To Dress Codes: For Men

June 22, 2018 3 Minutes 5 Comments

What the hell is smart casual cocktail black tie?
Let’s get down to brass tacks gentlemen, as we all know why we’re here and we don’t need some long-winded intro. Below is a straight to the point and practical explanation of all the different dress codes that could arise... according to Beckham for reference purposes.

If one comes up that is not on the list, email us at and we’ll explain it then add it to the list.


Or informal. Literally means where whatever you like, but as there is a dress code, you probably shouldn’t come in track pants. 
Suggestion: if it’s cold, jeans and a tee shirt, if it’s warm, shorts, flip flops or sandals, and a tee. 

Smart Casual

Casual without being too casual. What you would wear to a second or third date to the movies and you’re still trying to impress. 

Suggestion:Chinos or nice jeans, with a button up shirt or a polo. A nice watch and new sneakers or your favourite pair of boots.

Business Casual

This can vary depending on the workplace and demographic, but typically it means your usual business attire, minus the tie. 

Suggestion: Dress shoes, business pants, dress belt, business shirt, no tie, jacket dependant on weather.

Business Formal

A standard for business lunches, meetings, on locations conferences. Your best that you would wear to the office.

Suggestion: Dress shoes, tailored suit, dress belt, tie and tie bar, cufflinks, dress watch. 

Beach Formal

Can also be referred to as Garden Formal or Garden Attire. The environment will be taken into consideration when selecting an outfit, whether it be the beach or garden. 

Suggestion: Leather sandals, linen pants, light coloured button up shirt, matching light fedora.


The most common. Means almost formal, but with a few key changes, such as a little space for you to be able to add in something unique for flair. You can get away with a tie or without, usually a darker option is best, and the jacket shouldn’t be too formal, so a good idea is to take the top half of one suit and the bottom half of another, and interchange. The Cocktail dress code will need to be suitable for both day time and night time events, so not too shabby, not too fancy.

Suggestion:  Brown dress shoes. white socks, cream chinos, brown belt, white button up, tie optional, navy coat with pocket square, funky cufflinks. 

Semi - Formal

Almost formal. Similar to cocktail, but remove part of the flair, so matching tops and bottoms, possibly a vest, just don’t go full tuxedo. 

Suggestion:Chequered light pants, brown dress shoes, brown belt, light button up, chequered vest and/or suit jacket. No tie.

Black Tie

Straightforward, a tuxedo. 

Suggestion: A full black tuxedo, black shoes and socks, suit pants, black belt, white dress shirt with cuffs, cufflinks, dinner jacket, bow tie. If you’re adventurous, a blue suit with black lapels and a cummerbund. 

White Tie

The most formal. Basically, more formal tuxedo with white bow tie, or white jacket and black bow tie. 

Suggestion: White bow tie (not pre-tied), black coat with peak lapel faced in satin, and tails, white pique cotton vest, formal white dress shirt with buttons covered or bib buttons. Black formal pants with high waist,  shiny black dress shoes and white pocket square. If you want to go all the way, white scarf and a top hat.

What to do when you’re unsure?
Dress slightly up, you’d rather turn up to a cocktail event in semi-formal rather than jeans and a dress shirt. Alternatively, just ask the host what they’re wearing, a don’t go over that level. 

Bonus Tips

  • keep your shoes polished. Clean and polished dress shoes can make all the difference in an outfit. It’s a quick and simple task, just get your hands on a good polish kit and polish the night before.
  • Ditch the bulky wallet. Have a specific slim wallet for formal outings to keep everything trim and proper. 
  • Don’t stink: grab yourself some solid cologne to refresh yourself as the day and night goes on.
Applicable Items:

5 Responses


October 28, 2020



October 28, 2020



October 16, 2020



October 16, 2020



July 10, 2018

Very informative. Pictures helped with the explanations. Thank you.

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