Cocktail attire for men is one of the most popular dress codes and is typically a step below black tie optional. However, a common misconception with cocktail attire for men is that it means wearing formal attire only. While cocktail parties can present a formal theme, cocktail attire for men actually covers a wide spectrum of options - from smart casual to formal wear. Before choosing the appropriate cocktail attire, be sure to know the theme for the party. Showing up in cocktail attire that is overdressed or under-dressed may draw the wrong attention.
When determining what outfit you should wear for your event, it will be helpful to understand the most common types of cocktail attire for men. Business wear is the most common type of cocktail attire for men, which offers the opportunity to show a more personal expression. Another common type of cocktail attire is styled similar to that of a formal event or dinner party wear. Do your best to gauge what the theme of the cocktail party is before you start to choose the perfect outfit.
The next step to finding your cocktail attire is to identify which item you want to be your statement piece. For cocktail attire that needs to be more on the formal side, the accent piece might be your jacket, shoes, or even a simple pocket square & tie. For cocktail attire that is closer to business wear, a humble dress shirt might be the first step to your attire with the style revolving around your chosen shirt.