I often go to events and I’m overdressed. Can you help me understand how to dress for the occasion?
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Hi, Antonio! I have a problem making good combinations for particular occasions. Sometimes I get overdressed or under dressed for an event. Right now, I’m having a problem making the best combination for my graduation ceremony, which is coming up in a few weeks. I’ve got a charcoal grey suit and I was wondering to wear a black tie with a white shirt, but sometimes it looks like a party wear dress and not a graduation dress, so what should I do? I need help. Sincerely, Natesh.
All right, Natesh, my advice to you is — one thing about graduations is don’t mistake, graduations are not about you as the graduate. Often times, we think it’s about us. It’s actually about your family and everybody, your teachers, everybody that supported and has invested in you as a young person to make the jump. And so, really you’re not dressing for yourself. You are dressing for your family.
We used to laugh about this, but I remember it was a 6th Grade or 7th Grade graduation and some of the kids would go across. The families would go nuts.
I’m just laughing in the back thinking, “Man, this must be the first one for this family.”
Seriously, guys, now that I have children, I realize how much work and effort it is raising kids, and they don’t notice it.
I think of all the graduation events, I was very lucky to be able to make — and how proud my mom was that I was able to go across that stage and get my bachelor, my masters, and other places I’ve graduated from.
So again, there is nothing wrong with what you said. You’re wearing a charcoal grey suit. I don’t care where you’re at in the world. This is going to look good, but there are
4 things you should be paying attention to and can help you feel more at ease so that you don’t feel overdressed or under dressed at any occasion
1. You should ask. Simply ask, is there a dress code? That is the easiest way. I wish more events would make this so that you don’t have to even think about it. They should have a dress code. If they don’t, then you need to.
2. Research. Find out what people wore last year and the year before. You can look at photos and quickly see how people dressed. Just ask people around if there is a dress code what are they going to be wearing. That way, you get a good feel.
3. Dress in something that can be flexible, so perhaps instead of wearing a suit, if you find that most people are going to be just wearing a shirt and a pair of nice slacks, perhaps you can just don a sports jacket and have a tie handy.
That way, if you notice a number of people are actually wearing suits, you can simply put on your blazer jacket, wear a tie with it, pocket square, you’ll be just fine even though other people are a little more dressed up than you.
4. Being overdressed often times is a state of mind. I am always overdressed not just because of my custom clothier, but because I live in rural Wisconsin. And unless I’m wearing Carhartt’s and a t-shirt and work boots, I am overdressed.
So when I simply walk out of my house wearing a dress shirt with a pair of dark raw denim with western boots and a nice belt, I am overdressed. I roll up my sleeves; it doesn’t help. I’m going to be overdressed.
Think about it. It is more of a state of mind. Be comfortable. Be comfortable around others and people are going to forget about the clothing, but also remember this particular event, this graduation, you want to dress nicer than normal because there are going to be a lot of pictures and a lot of happy people just excited to see you make this jump.
That’s my advice. Take it for what it’s worth. Guys, if you’ve got a question about men’s style, you know where to go, mensstyleqa.com. Check out my new website. I’d love to hear from you on it.
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