Dress Code: Summer Parties

The sun has finally reared its head, so you know that your calendar will soon be inundated with invitations to evening parties and daytime barbecues. You will be wanting to make a great impression, whatever the occasion – whether it’s your new boss’s Sunday get-together (aren’t you the honoured one?); a few drinks and some food with close friends (which will inevitably lead to more drinks) or a gathering that you are attending with a recently established someone special, for which you will want to look stylish but not as if you have made too much effort.

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The opportunities are doubtless going to present themselves, so we have come up with a guide offering what-to-wear advice to see you through such events in style.

A Garden Party With Your Boss

You have recently started a new job and, presumably to break ice, your boss has invited your team over for a casual get-together on a Sunday afternoon. The dilemma presents itself immediately: you are meeting your colleagues outside of the office for the first time and you want to make the perfect impression. Too formal in your appearance and you’ll have that ‘straight from the office’ look full of awkwardness at the weekend; too casual and your boss will see you in a light you do not want to present yourself in.

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We suggest a semi-smart approach. A simple cotton blazer, like this one from Topman, will elevate an ensemble but the modern cut will guarantee enough distance from your usual office attire. Driving shoes combined with a pair of turned up tailored trousers will add a cool insouciance. Contrast a crisp, slim-fit shirt with a knitted tie to finish the look with just the right amount of attention to detail.

sunset dark greybobbies loafersoxford long shirts

off white blazerdiagonale tiesround thome browne

An Engagement Party

Meeting that special somebody‘s friends and family is always a daunting invitation. You want to make a lasting impression but without appearing as if you have spent hours toiling over your outfit choice.

Opt for something that is crisp but casual and with a touch of class. We have witnessed a rise in suits paired with sneakers, which is a look that can work incredibly well if done correctly. This will strike just the right balance and ensure that you look great, feel great, are great.

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First of all, the suit itself needs to be one of the more informal options: no heavy padding in the shoulders and in fact a rather unstructured fit altogether will tone down any connotations of more formal contexts. Then the sneakers which must be clean. No dirty trainers allowed here – we are talking fresh-out-of-the-box, brilliant white trainers. There is no need to overcomplicate matters as you will have caught others’ eyes with the suit-sneaker combination; stick with a white pocket t-shirt and add some simple chic jewellery like this bracelet from Miansai. Push up your blazer sleeves for a touch of sprezzatura.

air max nikeflatlock teefleck skinny jackets

skinny flecks trouserssilver hook cuffcutler and gross

A Barbecue With Friends

You get a call from friends who are throwing a barbecue with the possibility of hitting the town afterwards. You don’t want to overdress as you want to be as comfortable as possible throughout the day, with enough stylish elements to your ensemble which will carry you through the evening and make sure that you still stand out from the crowd.

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The bomber jacket has seen as huge revival in recent seasons and this example from All Saints is no exception to its revamp. It will look great over the top of a striped Hentsch Man t-shirt when the weather turns a little colder towards the end of the day.

These slip-ons from Vans are a classic choice, comfortable enough for you to throw some shapes in and should get you into any club without too strict a dress code. We have completed this look with a pair of jet-black jeans from Jean Machine and a subtle but super-stylish watch from the folks at Uniform Wares.

bomber jackets trentjean machinesslip on shoes

hentsch man152 wristwatch seriesclubmaster internal glasses

A Final Note

A ‘summer party’ can mean a number of different things and imply varying levels of formality, but this doesn’t mean that your style should ever be anything other than sloppy. We have come up with three style ideas suitable for a range of events. As with all advice offered at MFM, this is for you to interpret by putting your own spin on things. Dress with confidence and you’ll be remembered for all the right reasons.