Semi Formal Outfits For Guys. Every time we get invited for some semi-formal event, choosing the dress code becomes a daunting and confusing task. This is because it lies somewhere between formal and informal codes and not everyone can reach that fine line. But by making the right choices, the semi-formal outfit ideas can be made versatile and fun rather than being reserved and official.
Formal Vs Semi-formal Dress Code for Men: It is very important to understand the Difference Between Formal And Semi-Formal before we move on. In simple words, semi-formal is a more toned down version of formal outfits as it is less dressy while still not being casual. Semi-formal is still elegant but without the dressy looks, for example, you won’t wear a bow-tie to a semi-formal event. That being said, fashion truly does not have any rules and you can always make your own rules if you’re confident that they work with you. For example, many people believe that tuxedos shouldn’t be worn to a semi-formal dress code but we believe that when styled the right way, even a tuxedo can fit in the semi-formal category.
How to Dress for a Semi-Formal Event
When to Wear Semi-Formal Attire? Semi-formal outfits are usually chosen for weddings and evening events.
What you need to remember is that semi-formal is still “formal” so you must stay clear of casual outfits like jeans, khakis or shorts. The same goes for sneakers and polo shirts. Have a look at our favorite semi-formal looks of the year:
↓ Semi-Formal Accessories
Since semi-formal is all about dressing smart, there’s a huge range of accessories that you can go for. Ties and cufflinks are the most preferred ones. Other options include a wristwatch and if it’s a daytime outfit, you could go for classy sunglasses like the brown Ray Bans or blue aviators. The key for semi-formal dressing is to keep your accessories subtle. Here are 30 Best Charcoal Grey Suits with Black Shoes For Men.
And if you’re bold enough, the latest accessory that has made its way into the gentlemen’s semi-formal club is the “printed socks“. Yes, printed and colorful socks are now acceptable semi-formal accessories but you need to wear and match them the right way, see this look for some major inspiration:
↓ 18 – Dark Suit & Black Tie
Black tie French name cravate noir is a semi-formal dress code for evening events. The later the event is, the more you can go for a darker suit. It is highly accepted for semi-formal events in the evening. If you’ve been asked to go semi-formal, however dark suit, matching vest, black tie with leather dress shoes are your best bet for an evening event that hits the note.
↓ 17 – Colored Blazers with Patterned Shirts
Semi-formal looks can be enhanced by pops of colored blazers such as a slightly darker blue with a colored checkered shirt. You can also go in the opposite direction and match a pair of dark blue trousers with a light-colored blazer. Here are the 40 Best Tailored Checkered Suits for Men.
↓ 16 – Lavender Tuxedo
Tuxedos also go synonymous with semi-formal occasions. If you’re up to trial with colored suits, then this is how you can try a lavender suit. Keep it simple, with a crusty white shirt, for a sensible and classic feel.
Or if this seems like too much lavender to you, just wear a lavender shirt with a black suit and you’ll be surprised at how well the two colors blend together, see for yourself:
↓ 15 – Tuxedo-jacket or Satin Seam
Wear a tuxedo jacket, black trousers with two satin seams on the outside of the leg.
↓ 14 – Fully Vested Boys
A vest that matches your suit can also go nicely with your semi-formal attire. It will keep your look on point. Here are some tips to help you choose the best vest:
- Choose the kind of vest that you can wear with your jeans as well as your suit.
- You can always use the vest to add color to your outfit. For instance, as seen in the image below, if you’re wearing a neutral shirt, you can add a touch of pastel color through your vest. So never be afraid to experiment with different vest colors.
- For the perfect fit, try different styles and lengths of vests to find out what works best for you.
- If you plan on wearing the vest with a suit then its color must blend with the suit’s color. The wrong color choice could ruin the whole look so think this through.
↓ 13 – Dark Slacks with Dress Shirt
If you are attending a semi-formal event then printed dress shirt in self-format with a dark pair of slacks will be the best and attractive combination. Slacks are the perfect bottoms for semi-formal wear as they’re more formal than your jeans or denims and less formal than your pants. You must go for a good fit though.
↓ 12 – Textured Ties, The Tie Guy
Ties can enrich looks but do this with care. Textured ties like crochet styles are fanciful for a modern try without looking too formalistic. Make sure they are young-looking with subtle fusions of patterns and colors.
↓ 11 – Pocket Squares
Add flair to your semi-formal attire with pocket squares and they can be worn with nearly any jacket or blazer. White pocket square goes with anything, and with semi-formal wear should be worn exclusively. When wearing pocket squares, its best to go for a secondary color from your shirt and tie. This will allow your pocket square to stand out on its own and bring the whole outfit together. If you’re wearing a patterned suit or shirt then its best to go for a non-printed pocket square and vice versa as you never want to overdo prints. Last but not the least, avoid matching the color of your tie and pocket square as it never looks pleasing to the eye.
↓ 10 – Bold Patterned Shirts
Going bolder on the suit, switch to a block colored shirt or go for bold-colored tailoring, as well as more noticeable patterns. For semi-formal occasions, choose a shirt with a modest pattern. Wearing a patterned shirt can directly improve your entire outfit. Have a look at these Cocktail Outfits for Men With 30 Tips Learnt from Celebrities.
↓ 9 – Semi-Formal Attire Blazers
Wear clothes that fit well and display off the best effects. A perfectly tailored suit is easy going while semi-formal blazers and trousers will complement your cocktail looks. Brown shoes are perfect to wear with semi-formal attires these days. You can check out this amazing guide on 20 Outfit Ideas to Wear Black Pants with Brown Shoes for Men.
And this look could be your go-to outfit for any semi-formal occasion throughout the Summer season. The color combinations that are seen here make this outfit a treat for the eyes on hot and humid days. You see a pistachio green blazer, paired with royal blue pants and a simple denim shirt. And the black shoes simply bind the whole outfit together so this is one look that you must try this Summer. If you’re interested in getting these shoes then check them out here for just $ 98.
↓ 8 – Semi-Formal Wear for Night Time
Single- or Double-breasted Stroller usually black or grey, waistcoat and a pair of striped or grey checked trousers is a good idea for night-time affair. A conservative dark colored suits always work best at the night occasions. You can also choose to wear a vest if you want, however, if you plan on dancing the night out then you would want to stay away from the tie and vest though you could also take them off later. You can also find some great inspiration from these 25 Ideas on How to Wear Double-Breasted Suits for Men.
↓ 7 – Semi-Formal For Teens
To be honest, the semi-formal dress code for teens isn’t much different than that for men. Teens, however, are at an advantage that they can carry trends that adult men can often not. For instance, is there a checked slack? This one is tricky. Generally, if there is a check, the easier you can dress it down with Stoller jackets. Perfect wear for Teenage guys. Complete the look with dark colored oxford, loafers or some lace-up shoes.
Here’s another simple look that can work really well for teen guys.
Semi-formal outfits are usually only chosen by teens for special occasions like proms or graduation parties. So here’s another look to inspire you.
↓ 6 – White Sophistication
Go for all white sophistication and add a little more fun to your semi-formal event.
↓ 5 – Semi-Formal Attire for Weddings
A dark suit with a dark shirt will show off your outline and compliment you, regardless of what shape you’re in. Don’t wear anything that covers you in excess material. This look would work best for a night time wedding party.
And here’s our chosen look for the daytime wedding events.
Semi-formal outfits are often the best choice for guys on their best friend’s wedding day. Instead of formal wear, you would want to wear something that shows your true personality and makes a lasting impression. We love these blogger’s choice of bold colors with minimalistic vibes. For more ideas, here’s a complete collection of Semi Formal Wedding Attire For Men.
↓ 4 – Tweed Waistcoat A Great Ensemble
Tweed waistcoats can be that extra layer in a semi-formal outfit. Choose your tweed sensibly, and you can wear it nearly every day.
↓ 3 – Grey and Black Charcoal
Charcoal gray suits can be worn at any level of occasion that is not “black tie.” Gray is the little black dress of decor. Dress it up.
What Shoes to Wear with Semi-Formal Outfits?
Here’s another look that combines grey and black but this suit is in a lighter shade of Grey which makes it a great choice for daytime wear. The shoes chosen here are monk strap shoes from Dune and they go really well with all kinds of semi-formal outfits. They can be bought here for $ 117.
Other great shoe options for semi-formal wear this year include the brown leather monk strap dress shoes and black leather oxford dress shoes.
↓ 2 – Day Time Semi-Formal
An age-old combination, when it comes from pairing a white shirt with your grey suit. However grey on grey can be Classic and smart for daytime wear. You might even choose to not wear the tie and jacket, and instead, opt for a sports coat.
↓ 1 – Semi-Formal Business Outfit for Travelling
Pinstriped jackets having matching plain suit pants can get some attention when you go with it smartly. If you’re traveling in the outfit, its best to go for a little-relaxed fit so you stay comfortable. Moreover, in case of traveling, you can even make an exception and go for some relatively casual shoes like sneakers. Of course, you would have to be careful in selecting the sneakers though as bold and funky colors wouldn’t be very appropriate so either go for white sneakers or simple black ones.
↓ What Not to Wear to a Semi-Formal Event
The picture below explains the different types or categories of outfits for men and what sort of a general look is perceived for semi-formal outfits. Coming towards items that can not be worn to a semi-formal occasion, these include shorts, flip flops, boots, jeans, snapback caps, sportswear shirts and other such items. Another outfit to avoid is a linen suit as it can look too casual at a semi-formal event.
To sum up, dressing for a black tie or formal event is always the easiest because you know exactly what your options are. The semi-formal wear is confusing because it leaves the event’s dress code up to your own interpretation. We hope that the ideas we shared will make this interpretation much easier, the next time you get invited to a semi-formal event. And remember that if you ever feel like you can’t decide what look to go for, a black suit without the tie is the safest option.
Caz, aka Vixen, has been freelance creative writing for several years. She has a lot of experience in different fields including high street fashion, tattooing art, and even the gothic and historical costumes. Caz has a Diploma in Fashion and Textiles and also a Bachelors Degree in Historical Costume and Corsetry. Her passion lies with gothic design, corsetry and any other styles considered to be taboo or unusual. Style-wise Caz has a love for Vivienne Westwood and her take on the punk era. Although Caz loves the weird and wonderful, she has a deep love for all fashion and allows this to show through her work.