How do I dress it down a medium grey slim suit at a business cocktail party without looking like "th

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by 38Wham, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. 38Wham

    38Wham Member

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    I am attending a professional conference next week and the first event is a "welcome" cocktail party at 9 p.m., On the guest list are several clients and dignitaries. I am wearing a slim fit medium grey suit and want to use it on the first night.

    What should I wear as a shirt/tie combination? Should I even wear a tie? I am thinking of an Armani black dress shirt under the medium grey suit, no tie. Salesman at Louis Vuitton says I should wear a lavender dress shirt under the medium grey suit, unbuttoned, no tie. Wifey says stick with white shirt, burgandy tie, black monks.

    I want to stay dressed in a suit, but don't want to look like "that guy" at business conferences who tries too hard to look "casual" in a business suit, but ends up looking like well, an uptight guy in a business suit no matter how many shirt buttons are unbuttoned, or what kind of pastel shirt he wears under his suit jacket.

    Thank you for your opinions and sincere advice.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2012
  2. jrd617

    jrd617 Senior member

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    Your wife is right. Also, if these "dignitaries" are wearing ties, you must too.
     
  3. Ivar

    Ivar Senior member

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    Hmm, tough one. I can definitely see how you'd worry about looking like a "suit", but on the other hand -- as jrd617 mentions -- I don't think skipping the tie is an option. Your best bet probably is to seek out a decent sport coat to go with the grey suit pants (not 100% kosher, but an acceptable option if you're in a pinch). Wear it with the tie and a white hanky, the latter of which is a good way of making you look less of an office drone.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2012
  4. jimhones

    jimhones Active Member

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    I would not wear a black shirt under a grey suit for a business function, Armani or otherwise. Wear a white shirt and a black grenadine tie to look appropriate at night. and a pocket square.
     
  5. Ivar

    Ivar Senior member

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    Yeah, forgot about that one. Definite no-no.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2012
  6. Gdot

    Gdot Senior member

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    Definitely no sport coat for cocktails at 9pm. Keep the suit, wear a white shirt, dark tie and white square.

    Think more tuxedo/dinner jacket than sportswear.

    Or, if you are certain it's going to be more casual, wear the suit with a medium to lightweiight turtle neck sweater undeneath.
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2012
  7. jimhones

    jimhones Active Member

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    I wear a blazer or dark jacket for cocktails all the time.
     
  8. Ivar

    Ivar Senior member

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    Since the OP is even considering attending the cocktail party in only a grey suit and black shirt, you'd have to assume that it's not an overly formal affair, and so in that case, I do think a sport coat (not some brash seersucker coat -- natch) would be seemly.
     
  9. VinnyMac

    VinnyMac Senior member

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    What does it mean to "try too hard to look casual?" I've got no clue what that would look like. How do you know that they don't look exactly the way that they intended to?

    As far as your question goes, wear a tie. Just wear more upbeat colors. I'd suggest lavender. Maybe a blue shirt and a lavender tie or a lavender shirt and some complementary tie. If it's really a "professional conference," then a lot of people are going to wear suits and ties.
     
  10. VinnyMac

    VinnyMac Senior member

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    OP only has 4 posts, so how do you know that OP's choice to wear a grey suit and black shirt is appropriate?
     
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2012
  11. ter1413

    ter1413 Senior member

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    One of the few times that the wife is 100% re men's fashion!!
     
  12. jimhones

    jimhones Active Member

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    because it is never appropriate. unless you work in a casino.
     
  13. Despos

    Despos Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Consider that you are making first impressions and representing your company. Wear the tie out of respect for the event and the guests. The more upscale the location, the more upscale your look. Are you at the Four Seasons or the Ramada? You don't want to be labeled/remembered as "that guy with the black shirt".
    If there is a sense of formality to the event, listen to your wife and dress as well as she is dressing. If you want to tone it down, wear a light blue shirt and a knit tie or something textured and low keyed. Hope you have a great time.
     
  14. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

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    This is why we can't have nice things.
     
  15. 38Wham

    38Wham Member

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    Gents, sorry for all the flame throwing...just wanted some advice on the old grey suit...can't we all just get along?

    The event is the opening of a week long business conference in Baltimore, MD, in a major hotel. The dignataries are from the Dept. of Justice, and they'll be in blue suits and red ties.

    I expect the cameras will be rolling. Still, I like the casual look at cocktail parties...but agree that formal is the way to go. Thanks for the helpful comments.
     

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