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A Formal Invitation: Formal Trends With Next

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Spring has truly arrived – the clocks have sprung forward and the nights and stretching longer and lighter as we tentatively crawl towards British Summer Time. And with it comes weddings, garden parties, and other formal occasions that are going to call for comfortable, lightweight formalwear.

The classic dinner suit is a staple of the male wardrobe, excellent for any occasion from a funeral to a Christmas party – but they’re so obviously suited to the colder months, especially if you’re going ultra-formal and including a waistcoat too.

Signature black regular fit suit from Next, £230

When it comes to spring/summer 2012’s formal looks for menswear, we’ve roped in the help of UK retail experts Next, who have been providing British men with the right kind of chic clobber for over three decades.

A beautifully Italian-inspired note for the summer formal look comes in the form of this white linen shirt with single cuffs. Disposing of the double-twill thick cotton of the winter shirts, and pairing this of course with a lighter colour and cuffs, it’s an excellent indication of how to bring summer chic to a dinner suit. We recommend without a tie for a pared-down feel – excellent for daytime parties and weddings.

For those formal occasions when only a tie will do, the white chisel collar shirt is a shorter, sharper cut collar that will allow for a slim tie or bow-tie, but retains some of the lightness of the linen.

Whilst the casual side of mens’ fashion goes mad over bomber jackets and American-inspired sportswear, from high-tops to go-faster stripes, summer times formal wear options offer a more selective palette, but with some excellent detailing.

The black shawl collar suit, which also features a tailored leg and slim fit, is a sleek two-piece that is the equivalent of a sporty bit of formalwear – it won’t weigh you down and the fabric has got a lightness to it that makes it a great option for black tie events and weddings in the summer. Here’s some of our favourite pieces from Next.

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Paul McGregor
Paul McGregor

Founder of MFM, and short course lecturer at The London College of Fashion teaching all things marketing. Read my personal blog here.

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