Dressing for success doesn't always mean at the office. If you're headed to dinner at a night restaurant, you'll need to wear clothing representative of the restaurant and the company you keep. Nicer men's fashions encompass a wide variety of pants, shirts and outerwear options that run the gamut in style and price. Your main considerations when dressing for a nice evening is staying true to your personal style, adhering to the restaurant's dress code and blending in with the person -- or people -- sharing your table.
According to GQ magazine, a man in a suit makes a grandiose statement when it's subtle. This means it's OK to ditch the pinstripes and colorful ties when dining at a nice restaurant. Instead, go for a modern suit that is simple in style and streamlined in taste. This takes the spotlight off of your clothes and puts it onto your personality. Be conscious of suiting up the right way, however. Choose a well-fitted, contoured jacket and slim pants, and make sure your cuffs show.
Shirt and Pants
Men can easily sport khaki pants or slacks and a button-down Oxford at a nice restaurant. The key is to find pants that hug your leg but do not feel or look tight when sitting or walking. According to Barron Cuadro, owner of San Francisco-based men's clothing brand Fifth&Brannan, if you can pinch a 1/2 inch of fabric between your fingers at the thigh, you're good to go. Your pants should also have a 1-inch break from the hem to the shoes. Pair gray, navy or black pants with a season-inspired Oxford. Choose gingham or linen during the summer and heavier, darker cotton in the winter.
Outerwear That's In
When the weather turns chilly, it's perfectly acceptable to wear a crew neck sweater or cardigan over your Oxford. Throw on a colorful, complimentary tie and your look suddenly turns preppy. Refrain from wearing a bomber, jean or hunting jacket; instead, choose a double-breasted pea coat, trench coat or duffel coat. Finish this fall look with a wool, tweed or plaid scarf, and top it off with a fedora hat.
Accessories and Shoes
Always tuck in your shirt and wear a brown or black leather belt. This signifies you understand your surroundings and put effort into looking your best. Give your high tops, flip flops and canvas tennis shoes a walk and wear a polished pair of slip-on loafers, bucks or wing tips. In addition, give your shoes a lift by wearing socks that include argyles, stripes or ribbing. Add a conservative watch with a metal or leather band and a tie bar, if your outfit calls for a touch of elegance without looking like you're trying too hard.
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Based in Los Angeles, Lisa Finn has been writing professionally for 20 years. Her print and online articles appear in magazines and websites such as "Spa Magazine," "L.A. Parent," "Business," the Famous Footwear blog and many others. She also ghostwrites for mompreneurs and business owners who appear regularly on shows such as Ricki Lake, HGTV, Carson Daly and The Today Show.
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