10 Do’s & Don’ts For Men’s Cocktail Party Attire

Hello there fellow Raleighite! Here’s your guide on how to show up for the Me Fine Foundation Gala  in something you’ll enjoy yourself in all while making a statement! You’ll be helping children with illnesses and their families battle through their journey so you’re already a star in our book!

To prep you on some style pointers, we’ve invited Brian Burnett owner of Glenwood South Tailors + Alterations and Hengs Suiting + Armoury, their Bespoke Suiting popup shop. Brian has served as stylist/clothier at Nordstrom to Triangle execs, attorneys,and business leaders while he attended UNC-CH full time. Post 2013 graduation, he traveled to London, France, Austria, Netherlands, Italy, and Germany to absorb European tailoring knowledge and refine Bespoke styling etiquette. After a brief stint at a couple digital tech firms Brian launched the aforementioned ventures formally.

  1. Do: Define Your F.I.T.™Preference (Fashion Involves Tailoring)

Is your fit preference Classic or Modern? Do you prefer the classic fit of a black suit, or a custom tux with a bit of room in the belly and thigh? Or are you a modern tailored kind of guy? Typically the popular Modern fit includes a jacket that hugs in the torso and sleeves. Noticeably slimmer  trousers will fit against the thigh and calf area to balance it out.


  1. Do: Have Your Jacket and Trousers Tailored

The jacket needs to be tailored well in the torso ranging on your body type, not hangng off your shoulders. Trousers should be tailored to insure a modern fit-minimal excess fabric in the legs

At our men’s pop-up shop, Hengs Suiting & Armoury, our bespoke suits are cut on a trimmer pattern-yet not tight. Because we’re owned by Glenwood South Tailors, we can take care of tweaks in house using our Flextailoring™  for custom clients and shirts.

  1. Do: Wear a necktie or bowtie.

A bowtie or necktie pulls the whole suit together. For formal events, choose from colors and fabrics like: standard black satin, black velvet (yes, velvet), or a nice glen plaid print. For a classic look, black silk is always a go-to.


  1. Do: Adopt a Pre-Event Grooming Routine

We’re not channeling Tom Hiddleson, we’re going more for Benedict Cumberbatch or Ryan Gosling. Ensure your facial hair is trimmed; not geometrically precise. Go with minimal hair product ;this reduces the amount you’ll perspire.


    5. Do: Choose a Quality Dress Shoe
A fine dress shoe represents attention to detail and makes you look sharp from head to toe.-Listen closely:The wrong shoe can break an outfit, while the right shoe can make an outfit. They are evil and belong in 2002 with the square toed shoes. Go for an Italian make like a Bruno Magli,To Boot New York,  an updated Johnson Murphy or Allen Edmonds.


  1. Don’t: Wear Slacks with Improper Length

Don’t be the guy with trouser fabric puddling over the shoe. Make sure that you have a timeless but modern trouser hem. You can never go wrong with a medium break and it’s worth a quick trip to your local tailorshop or have your tailor come to you.


  1. Don’t: Wear a Visibly Worn Dress or Formal Shirt

Cocktail parties are a time to dress well. A crisp, tailored white dress shirt is so dashing-you have no idea! Do your shirts have noticeable collar/cuff discoloration? Replace it and make sure you purchase a tailored fit shirt or have your local tailor taper the sleeves.


  1. Don’t: Wear 3 Button Jackets 

Okay guys, it’s over. Just stop. Remove all 3 Buttons from the closet ASAP. For most jackets, as long as it fits in the shoulders reasonably well (this is important) the torso area can be tailored inward a bit to make your suit fit your leaner. See the picture below.

 9.Don’t: Wear Ill-Fitting Slacks or Casualwear

Slacks are a simple fix and they give most suits a drastic update. Do not make this a casual occasion; jeans & dark khakis are a no-no.  At GST we’ll bring in both seams based on your body type.

  1. Don’t: Wear the Wrong Shoes

The type of shoe you wear with your suit is so important, it made this list twice.Stay away from Cole Haan Caldwell Captoes in the lacquered finish.   A cap or almond toe in black is standard.  Avoid dark brown, mahogany, or cordovan for this event.

These tips all come from a good place as does the initiative by the great folks atMe Fine Foundation that provide hope to critically ill children treated by Children’s Hospitals in NC and their families through financial assistance, emotional assistance, a necessary support. At Glenwood South Tailors, we’re excited to support the Me Fine Foundation and are proud to help Richard, Joey, and Laura (all who have pushed this initiative with NO government assistance), so lets show up big for the children!!!

Brian Burnett is the owner of Glenwood South Tailors and Alterations.. Founded in 2016, Glenwood South Tailors specializes in mobile (Yes they come to your home/office via their mobile app) high end tailoring, bridal alterations, Bespoke Suiting/shirting, and personal styling for professionals. GST is located off of Glenwood Avenue in Raleigh.. You can follow GST on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.