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6 Key Rules for Looking Great in A Dinner Suit

Added 6 years ago

6 Key Rules For Looking Great In A Dinner Suit

Truth be told, every man wants to look like James Bond in a dinner suit, but how many of us can pull it off? Luckily, it’s far simpler than you think. Here are our tips on how to be the sharpest dressed man in the room!

Model stands by a fireplace wearing a tuxedo and fixing the cuff on his suit jacket.

Unchanged for almost a century, black tie remains the standard for formal attire, which makes it so important to get it right. A classic, well-fitting dinner suit is one of the best essentials in a man’s wardrobe and will last for years to come. Thanks to their sophisticated appeal, dinner suits are no longer reserved for black tie events and are becoming increasingly popular for weddings. Whatever the occasion, our simple guide will advise you on what to look for in a dinner suit and how to wear it well!

Prioritise Quality

If you’re renting a dinner suit, it’s essential to go to a retailer who provides high-quality suits in a variety of different cuts. At Whitfield & Ward, we pride ourselves on giving everyone a fantastic fit so you won’t feel like you’re in a rented suit. Our Dorchester dinner suit is available to hire and comes in a range of cuts, from super slim to regular fit, so you can rest assured we have something for everyone. We also offer a bespoke design service. If you do decide to have one tailored, a dinner suit is a great investment piece and will save you money in the long run. Choose a classic design in a quality fabric and it will be something you can pull out your wardrobe time and time again.

A happy couple sit laughing together at a restaurant table.

Get The Cut & Style Right

The most important thing is getting the right fit for your shape – the finer details can come later. Your jacket should be close fitting with a low opening, which will broaden the shoulders and draw the eye downwards, creating a waistline even if you don’t have one! Jacket length is also key; too short and it will make you look square, too long and it will make your legs appear shorter and disproportionate to your body. In terms of style, we recommend keeping it classic with satin-jetted pockets, satin buttons and a satin lapel – shawl or peak depending on your preference. In our view, a traditional dinner suit should only have a one-button fastening.

Model wears a tuxedo in a garden, stood by a gate.

Consider Colours & Fabrics

You can never go wrong with a classic black-tie look but don’t be afraid to experiment, especially if you want to make a statement at a special event. For black-tie weddings, colour and texture is a great way for the groom to individualise his look and stand out from his groomsmen; think midnight blue, bottle green and burgundy in velvets and jacquard prints. However, don’t forget what season you’re in – a velvet jacket is a sure way to have all eyes on you, but strictly speaking, should only be worn between September and March.

Close up shot of a textured detail on a tuxedo jacket.

Wear the Right Shirt

The shirt is so important – winged collars are strictly for white tie, so always opt for a full collar with double cuffs that should be visible below the sleeve hem. At Whitfield & Ward we recommend a studded “Marcella” shirt, but try to avoid any flamboyant detailing such as pleats or frills – keep it simple! If you plan on taking off your jacket, make sure your shirt is a slim fit or go the extra mile to have it tailored.

Cover the Waist

Traditionally, a cummerbund was always worn with a dinner suit to cover the waist and prevent any shirt showing between the button of your jacket and the top of your trousers. In our view, a waistcoat is a much better option and will give you a cleaner finish that is both classic and contemporary. A waistcoat will also allow you keep your look formal, even when you take off your jacket. At Whitfield & Ward, we recommend that you go for a lower cut style that is scooped or V-shaped to show off your shirt and create a great silhouette.

Finish It Well

For a classic look, a dinner suit should always be teamed with a black bow tie and white pocket square – we prefer a straight fold for a crisp finish. If you can’t tie your own bow tie, a pre-tied version is perfectly acceptable or better still, we’ll tie it for you! Braces can be worn underneath the waistcoat for a later reveal after dinner, but make sure you’re wearing a fitted shirt. Finally, complete your look with some well-shined, patent leather shoes – no brogues – and a pocket watch which will add a touch of elegance!

Model fixes the cuff on his white shirt, whilst wearing braces and a bow tie.

Whether you need a dinner suit for your wedding or your next big event, Whitfield & Ward will ensure you look the part with a look from our hire or bespoke suit range! For more information on our dinner suit hire and bespoke design service, call us on 01625 536 545.