5 Outfit Ideas for Cocktail Attire for men 2022

Scores of people still believe that cocktail attire for men 2022 is a casual dress code. Nothing could be further from the truth.

So, you get an invitation to a party and it specifically says cocktail attire for men, you then go into your closet and immediately pull the khakis and polo shirt you wore to that “one thing” you went to a few months ago.

Cocktail attire and casual dress code, it’s the same thing, right?  Wrong.

When an invitation reads cocktail attire, what it really means is that it’s giving you the opportunity to be one of the best dressed, dapper people in the room. Let’s get into it.

Dress code definition: What is cocktail attire for men mean?

A party invitation huh? If you are invited, then I think you should dress properly. Cocktail attire for men you should wear a suit with shirt, formal shoes and a tie or bow tie. In some instances, just a blazer and a pair of dark-coloured jeans will be acceptable if the dress code is more casual.

You don’t necessarily need a dedicated cocktail suit for this event. Your usual business suits will work just fine, if you can match your suit with other components. You can invest in a dedicated cocktail suit if you expect to attend a lot cocktail party, however. In that case, you should look for a suit that has more structure and that is made with heavier fabric to emphasise the evening party element and separate it from a day business suit.

So, after getting the smaller details about the cocktail attire for men, what elements should be featured in a cocktail attire and what are the occasions when you have to wear them, are pretty sure still difficult to put together, but don’t worry, we have got you covered fam. Remember that dressing elegantly is important and semi-formal environment is always better. So, if you have still doubt then just stick to our guide and you won’t be disappointed.

Cocktail attire and cocktail look has different purpose than business casual. However, the essence is kind of same. What you are looking for is less formal than your usual business casual look but yet classy and formal to attend a party.

Lucky for you, cocktail attire is not that difficult to pull off, it’s convenient or men as you pull off using garments and accessories.

How should men dress for a cocktail party?

The details. The secret to rock a cocktail dress is the DETAILS. They quality of your suit, fabric, the fit of your shirt, finishing and shine of your shoes. How well you are able to pull off the colours you are wearing, together makes everything attractive and compelling way.

Basic things first, a jacket, a shirt, a tie and pair for formal shoes.

mens cocktail

Cocktail attire is exactly middle between formal attire and casuals. So, it becomes difficult for everyone to choose exactly between, right? So, we have written the best article for you to know what you have to choose in between. All, the questions you have regarding with cocktail attire answers will be given in this article.

Attires for cocktail are reserved for special occasions and evenings in which you need something different and extra to make your outfit special. The cocktail attire is a more flexible dress code and can get a little bit of fun into what you wear well.

Location Matters

While the cocktail attires are very flexible in what you can wear, and you should keep the location in the mind, occasion, is the event on the night or day.

Let’s say if you are going to a wedding, you have to keep it simple and elegant. Don’t be flashy. You can’t take all the attention away from bride and groom. A traditional cocktail attire should be your fit most of your wedding events, but keep in mind what the theme if for the wedding. If they are greatly informal or glamorous and colourful.

What colour suit should you wear to a cocktail event?

For the cocktail events, black tie becomes as the most widely chosen accessory. Black tie can easily differentiate between a casual suit up and formal suit up and makes a person look sharp. Along with that, black is the classic one but as times are changing so are the people with style. Light colours like pink, emerald, light blue has taken a bit of popularity.

In this article we have provided various brands from which you can buy your next cocktail attire too. We have done the hard work for you to choose the best brands with best quality materials, so don’t worry and just start shopping for your next big cocktail event.

Cocktail Attire – Fun and Formality!

Cocktail attire is now more open to fashion and style statements which can be interpreted in many ways. So, this guide will help you through the styling process.

There are many different approaches you can take from this and will give you great idea of how to dress for the occasion.

Each outfit can be customized is different way for a different person, so, don’t be shy to do what I say, try something for yourself.

Basics of Casual Cocktail Attire

Basically, its between casual and business casual. Avoid wearing too formals like tuxedo or anything too dressy, otherwise, you might look out of place.

Cocktail attire has much room for styling than the formal attire, so, make more use for it. You can wiggle for some interpretation.

Some events are more casual, allowing you to play a bit more with colour and style. Time of the day, location will further help your appearance.

The Formality of the Cocktail Dress Code

Think of a formal attire guy found out about the modern style and implemented on himself, in laymen language, that’s cocktail attire.

It’s a debate that where it originated from in England or the United States, what we are sure is that it happened during the 1920s fashion era. One thought is that the idea originated from Missouri, a known socialite invited 50 guests to her house for cocktails. From then, it become an institution in the States and quickly spread around the globe.

The thing to know is what occasion your attire calls for. If you are meeting your friends at a restaurant, smart casual cocktails what you should seek for. But if the occasion is a wedding or an anniversary as a guest, whether its summer, winter, autumn, stick with the traditional men’s cocktail dress code.

Winter Vs Summer Cocktail Attire

Actually, summer and winter cocktail attire are very similar, the difference is layering. In summer cocktail attire you don’t have to wear more than two layers, and make sure to choose the right cloth. For winters, you need to wear at least three layers to stay warm.

There are many times that the cocktail events are dress code specified. If the dress code is mentioned beforehand, then you should go for it. If the dress code is not informed, then you should go for a more relaxed look. After all, that’s the purpose of these parties. A flannel shirt with patterns may be suitable and a coat above it will look good.

Evening parties tell you a bit more of what to wear. If its networking meeting then go for a formal attire. If it’s a new year’s party, then you should for a daring and flashy approach.

How should men dress for a cocktail party?

The secret to dress for a cocktail party is how much detailing is worn. The quality of your suits, fabric, fit of your shirt, neat and clean dress. The finishing and details of your shoes. And how well you’re able to pull it all together in an attractive and compelling way.

You cocktail attire should be comprised of a shirt, pant, suit or formal jacket or coat, a tie and a pair of shoes with complementing socks. Its that’s simple or not lol? Continue to read the article and you will get to know more.

Your cocktail attire starts with a jacket, a shirt, a tie and a pair of dress shoes. It’s that simple.

The Details Matter

The detailing on your clothing and the quality speaks a lot about your style. The traditional woven clothing may work in most of the places but not for cocktail event. Look for something that is distinctive, fabrics like silk and velvet, shines a lot and comes with great patterns.

The Roll Neck

Rolled neck feature will save from wearing a shirt when you don’t feel like. Just know it’s a more laid-back and relaxed wear.

The cocktail attire can be most confusing and puzzling dress code you ever come across. While the style date backs to 1920 and 1930s, most of the men today don’t have a clear idea about what to wear at those events.

History of the Cocktail Attire for Men 2022.

These cocktail attires might have started way back in 1920 to 1933 in the States, but ofcourse not in the streets, all the wealthy people. More to add, alcohol was flowing liberally in that time of America so much so that they even began enjoying a boozy beverage or two before dinner.

Since all social activities required an element of formality for men back in the day, male cocktail party attire was introduced. The proper men’s cocktail dress code has been around ever since.

  • Having the right attitude makes a difference.
  • Dressing in your comfort zone is very important. If you are not confident with any colour outfit then you won’t be able to pull if off. You can start by wearing a single item of that colour and then build up your confidence on that basis.
  • Don’t overdo it. Being flashy is not considered cool in cocktail attire. The subtle art of looking elegant should be title of cocktail attire.
  • Ask away the host if any dress code is specified or not.

Do’s for Cocktail Dress for Men 2022

If you’re about to throw on that cocktail suit, but still unclear as to whether you’re following proper protocol, here are some trusty “do’s” and “don’ts” to help guide you:

  • Do feel free to inject your own personal touch by way of texture, colour and pattern.
  • Wear a Matching suit or match your suit with trousers.
  • Go for good quality fabric.
  • Wear accessories which complements your outfit.
  • Ask the host to clear your thoughts on what to wear on cocktail party.

Don’ts for Cocktail Attire for men 2022


  • Don’t try to persuade that same person that they should opt for one dress code over another because it suits your wardrobe.
  • Don’t wear too flashy colours.
  • No layers of bling.
  • Don’t outcast by wearing something different from requested.
  • Don’t overdo by wearing tuxedo.

Do have a different jacket for a night and day occasion. The time and place decide the jacket. Dark for the night and light for the day. For during the sun hours, go for some playful colours to take it up a notch.

Don’t wear wrinkled and not dry-cleaned clothes. Cocktail events are planned events, so if you are invited then its your duty to at least look planned and prepared. A tip, after you wear your formals, make sure to take them directly to cleaners. Or drop it to the cleaners 3 days prior to the event, this can safe if something mishaps with the clothing.

Do have patterns and textures. You can have as many textures and patterns you want, but make sure you are not the only one in event wearing weird patterns. Try a wool jacket or knitted sweater. But don’t get carried away with your outfit.


Once the basic business attire is in place, then you can start adding some accessories to express your outfit more.

Men’s cocktail attire style rules to guarantee success

When you are ready to pull up at a cocktail party, there are some simple rules to follow up with. These style tips will help you to execute your cocktail look with elegance.

Rule 1: Know where you’re going

Different occasions have different dress code. If you feel unsure, ask the host or people who have been to it before.

Rule 2: If you are invited to a wedding

In weddings, the cocktail attire is seen the most. Make sure you don’t draw the unwanted attention away from the couple.

Rule 3: If you are invited to a formal cocktail party

If you are invited to formal business party, so, remain the conservative with your look and opt for dark coloured suit with a white shirt and black leather dress shoes. Take a tie with you, if the party is more formal then wear it, otherwise suit yourself by unbuttoning the collar of your shirt.

Rule 4: If you are invited to a casual cocktail party

Casual cocktail party are entirely different affair. Your busines suit will be too formal, so, instead go for a blazer of sports jacket with a pair of dark-coloured jeans. This is a great combination in summer when you want to adjust your clothes for the heat.

When Is Cocktail Attire Appropriate?

As already mentioned, the in-between of formal and casual is the cocktail. So, there aren’t many events that you go for a cocktail attire unless you are specifically asked for.

Weddings, funeral, traditional events and also the fundraising events that offers official invitations are generally considered to be worth of cocktail attire.

Sport Coat Substitution

Many asked that the trouser or the sport coat instead of a tuxedo or a full suit. The answer is a definitive maybe. If you have an elegant looking jacket and pants, you can get away with any event.


Grooming is very important and the first thing which everyone notices. Your hairstyle, beard, smell all are important matters.

5 Outfit Ideas for Cocktail Attire for men 2022

#1 Men’s Cocktail Attire Shirt

Whenever you start to get ready for any casual or business event, your shirt is typically the first garment you will pick when building an outfit. Business casual are similar to cocktail attire for men.

Business casual has got thinking not much of colours are allowed, but that doesn’t mean colours are off the charts. Powder blues, purple are very common for cocktail attire. Even if you don’t plan on wearing your jacket the entire time, base your shirt on the blazer or suit jacket you plan to wear. Most formal colour rules have extra leeway but avoid mixing too much blue and black as the lack of contrast usually results in an incohesive look.

The white button-up collared shirt

A classic white shirt is a must. It makes the look sophisticated and looks good when fully buttoned-up. You want the collar to give your proper stance and structure to frame your tie.

#2 Men’s Cocktail Attire Pants.


Cocktail Attire for men 2020

Cocktail attire for men isn’t limited to matching jackets and pants. Unless you already have bought dozens of matching suits. You can easily try to mix-match your pants with jacket is option though. The colour of your pants should complement your jacket and not vice-versa. Stick with darker greys, navy, and black for a safer look that won’t disappoint!

#3 Men’s Cocktail Suit

A suit is a must. I say it again, for men’s cocktail attire: wearing a suit is must. Its great if you already have matching suits, shirt and pant. You can mix it up and show off your personal style. Now bear in mind there’s no need to go overboard by grabbing that tux out of the garment bag since black tie is, after all, its own respective men’s dress code. Instead, opt for a nice suit or blazer ensemble.

Best part of cocktail attire is you can wear it to your work and to a cocktail party. Go with dark colours like navy and charcoal to be on a safer side. Remember, the more colours you wear, the less formal the look becomes.

In my opinion, you need a cocktail suit that fits perfectly on you, length of the sleeves on wrist and usually in darker shades. And make sure you wear a fabric quality. However, we do want to emphasis on wearing only black tie and you shouldn’t overdress. Likewise, don’t overdo it to the point where you’ve upstaged the groom or guest of honour. In other words, feel free to add the personal touch, but avoid loud colours, patterns and details. It’s not always about you, man.

#4 Men’s Cocktail Attire Shoes and Socks

Obviously, you won’t be wearing any sneakers or sandals, you need to get good quality shoes. Keep them clean and shiny. Make sure your shoes match with rest of your outfit. As for socks, socks should cover up over the ankle, make sure your ankle is not visible even while sitting down. Patterns on the socks are acceptable, permitted they still blend elegantly with your jacket and trousers. Now you’re looking sharp from head to toe.

Fragrance & Cologne

Having a good fragrance is a demand for every event. It is a very pivotal and noticeable thing to look for. Cocktail attires need a great smelling companion, which will surely complete the whole look. We have written an article about the best fragrance and cologne do check it out.

#5 Cocktail Attire for Men Accessories

Accessories for cocktail attire can include:

  • A Tie
  • Tie Clip (where appropriate)
  • Pocket Square
  • Lapel Flower
  • Socks
  • Cufflinks
  • Belt or Braces

Add subtlety with your ties

A tie is a subtle chance to express emotions and personality through your cocktail dress. Also, an excellent way to differentiate your evening dress from office wear. A party is perfect occasion to go for a more daring tie style.

Tip – tighten your tie till you collar buttons get concealed.

Top 5 Cocktail attire for men Brands 2022

Picking the right cloth material and quality is very important for any attire, be it formal or informal. For cocktail attires too, brand matters a lot. but first, you need to decide what you want and then look for items.

The point is first choose what you want and then search for the brands which has them the best. We have looked it up for you the brands which has them the best.

Its essential that you know about the brands you are going for purchase, so you don’t waste your hard-earned money or bad quality clothing.

Top Cocktail Attire Brands 2022 –

Tom Ford

Tom Ford is one of the best in formal clothing and so as in cocktail attires too. They have styled some of the most stylish men on the planet, few names from James Bond to Harvey Specter. You just cannot be wrong with Tom Ford, is all we saying.

Ermenegildo Zegna

One of the higher ends in the list, but with high-quality comes greater price, right? Ermenegildo Zegna’s brand might be tough to pronounce but look stylish is the easiest thing to look in them.


The Italian mega fashion brand. Brion is expensive but it’s definitely worth the quality they provide over that price tag.

Hugo boss

Similarly, to Tom Ford, Hugo Boss is a very well reputed brand which will never disappoint with anything they provide. With range of premium fabrics, they are must to add the subtle and sophisticated look for the cocktail party.

Frequently Asked Questions!

What shirts are cocktail attire?

In a business casual setting, you want to wear clean, neat and ironed dress shirt, you can also suit yourself with a polo shirt in summers, but t-shirts are generally not formals.

Are polo shirts cocktail attire?

Some places or offices might allow polo-shirts in summer but those are more casual than a professional attire. Only wear polo only if its too hot for a formal one.

Do I need to wear a tie with cocktail attire?

It is not mandate to wear a tie, but wearing a tie will most likely will complete the look. Also, depends upon the occasion or what the event is. If it’s an office event then surely you need a tie, but if it’s a wedding or some family event than you can get away without a tie.

Do I need to wear a tuxedo jacket with cocktail attire?

Tuxedo can become too formal for a cocktail event. Go for a tailored suit or blazer to keep in casual and formal at the same time.

Can I wear a pocket square with cocktail dress?

Yes, that’s the highlight of any blazer or top coat. It goes nicely with your attire.

Do You need to wear a tuxedo jacket with cocktail attire? 

While you are invited to a cocktail event, first thing that might pop up is it a formal or non-formal event. But its partially formal and non-formal. There are no rules for a strict mens formal wear, but wearing casual jeans is also not invited. This means that you might thing tuxedo is the best thing but that will make it a too much formal. For cocktail attire just grab a pair of pants and white t-shirt and a formal jacket to complete the look.

Cocktail attire for men is not really that difficult to pull off. The thing is Cocktail attire is similar to business casual for men. Just make sure not to go casual while wearing it. So, these are my recommendation for outfit Ideas for Cocktail Attire for men 2022.

If you liked the article then message us at our social media  Tweet us at @thefashionwolff Also check out: – Business Casual for menMonochrome outfits for men DressingBest formal shoe for menBest Mens haircutsWhat to carry on tripsBusiness Casual for Women  – Pixie cut haircut90s Fashion for men80s fashion.  




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