When to wear a white dinner jacket

31 May 2017

"Being a style maverick isn't for everyone, but you still face an important style decision for your dinner suit."

There's an evening-wear revolution: more occasions in which to dress better, more pressure to look your best. Consequently, a dinner suit trend has emerged, and if you look at the men’s style from any red carpet event over the last year, you’ll notice some experimentation. Think chocolate brown velvet, midnight blue dinner suits or Idris Elba’s elegant three-quarter-length tails. The world’s most stylish men now put their own spins on formalwear. Being a style maverick isn't for everyone, but you still face an important style decision for your dinner suit: Should you stick to traditional black or try something new with a white dinner jacket?

When to wear a white jacket
A white dinner jacket is a stellar way to stand out at any black-tie event. Though it might seem less formal to some, it’s actually the most formal dress statement a man could achieve outside of a white-tie event. For that reason, it should be used sparingly. If white seems extreme, it comes in many shades, including cream and ivory, meaning there’s a hue for every complexion.

Not restricted to evening affairs, white dinner jackets work well for formal daytime events and summer events. If you need to dress formally for an event on the high seas, a white jacket is often more appropriate than solid black. White works during times when light colours are appropriate, so avoid it in winter. If you want to mix things up so you stand out from the crowd, try midnight blue instead. Or switch up your fabric with velvet or silk brocade.

When to go traditional
Most formal events that require dinner jackets are held at night. Traditional black dinner suits are a staple choice. They’re simplistic and stylish without the need for much other flourish; the garment speaks for itself. If you’re worried about blending in amongst the sea of black, rise above with the small details. Make sure your lapel fabric matches your trousers’ braiding and skip vents in the back. Tailor your dinner suit with a superior fit, complete with the perfect trouser break and jacket torso.

Standing out in a dinner suit isn’t only about colour choice. Pay attention to the little things, and only pull out the white dinner jacket occasionally. Work with your tailor to create something extra special for your more refined occasions.

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