It’s that time of year once again – Valentine’s Day is upon us! If there’s one evening of the year when guys are expected to really step up and make an extra effort in the style stakes, it’s Valentine’s.
Whether you’re spending the evening with a long term partner or heading out on a nerve wracking first date with someone new, you want to make a fantastic impression with a suave and stylish look. Here at Ties R Us we’ve put together some top tips to keep you at the top of your game this Valentine’s.
Keep it comfortable
No, we definitely don’t mean rocking up to a fancy dinner date in your slouchiest joggers and trainers! Dress to impress, but make sure you feel relaxed and comfortable in whatever you wear – the key here is to feel as good as you look. If you feel uncomfortable it will translate through your body language and make for an instantly awkward date. Here are some key things to consider;
- Is your outfit you? That is, is it something you would usually wear? While it’s always good to be a little adventurous, don’t stray so far from your comfort zone that you’re left feeling unnatural and uncomfortable.
- Do your clothes and shoes fit well? Accessorise with a belt if needed, and if your shoes are new wear them around the house before your date to make sure they’re broken in.
- Are you going to be too warm or too cold? Be practical here – if you’re taking your date to a cosy, fire lit pub then ditch the wooly jumper and scarf, or similarly if you’re heading out to a bar terrace make sure you have a coat to hand.
Dress for the venue and occasion
While a leather jacket and high tops combo may go down a treat in a bowling alley, it won’t quite hit the mark at a fancy bar or five star restaurant. Similarly, turning up to a pub for some casual drinks in your best suit and tie may make for a slightly awkward evening!
Think about where you’re going and how other people there will be dressed. If possible, scope out your venue beforehand (whether in person or online) to get a feel for the place and which looks may work well. Remember, however, that people will be making extra effort with their ensembles on Valentine’s Day. Perhaps consider what you would wear to your venue on a regular evening and step it up a notch to suit the occasion – so if you would usually wear your best polo shirt opt instead for a button up shirt, or switch out your jeans for a pair of smart chinos.
Mix in formal elements to perfect the smart casual look
If you’re still unsure what to wear this Valentine’s Day, play it safe with a smart casual look. Smart casual outfits are hugely versatile, work for a variety of different occasions, and show you’ve made an effort for your date.
The smart casual look is easily achieved by mixing in elements of formal and casualwear. This could be a crisp shirt paired with a pair of chinos rather than suit trousers, or even smart jeans with a suit or blazer jacket and stylish skinny tie.
For a classic and sophisticated look stick to a neutral colour palette with touches of colour worked throughout. Use greys, white, blacks or navy blues to create a base, then soften the look and add a romantic edge with coloured accessories such as ties, scarves or pocket squares.
While subtle pastel shades and pinks are perfect for the day of love (we love this pink and white polka dot pocket square!), avoid red unless you want to become a total Valentine’s cliche!
Suiting up? Try a tonal look
If you’re heading down the formal route this Valentine’s Day, keep it fashion forward with a tonal look. The tonal trend is set to be huge in 2017, and involves choosing one key colour and working variations of it throughout your outfit – so for a formal look, your suit, shirt, tie and pocket square would all be various shades of the same colour.
The key here is to use subtle layers and complementary shades to break up your outfit – avoid anything too bright unless you’re planning on rocking the children’s television presenter look! Shades such as grey and blue are perfect for this trend, and working in texture, for example with a textured tie, is a fantastic way to provide much needed contrast between pieces.
Whether you’re making an impression in a suit or sticking to a more casual look, patterns are the perfect way to bring your look to the next level. A pattern adds a playful, softer touch to any ensemble – perfect for Valentine’s!
If you’re keeping it casual this year, choose a patterned shirt or accessorise with a patterned scarf. For a more formal getup, opt for patterned accessories such as pocket squares and ties. Floral and paisley patterns are ideal for a Valentine’s date; a floral tie adds a romantic edge to your three piece suit, while a paisley pocket square tucked into a blazer pocket brings a refined and ultra stylish edge to a smart look.
No matter how much time and attention you put into your outfit, if you get the shoes wrong it will all have been for nothing! Shoes show attention to detail – even the most dapper of outfits can be ruined in an instant with old, scuffed or dirty footwear.
- To step it up for an ultra formal look, keep it traditional with a pair of sleek Oxford or Derby shoes.
- It’s Valentine’s – leave the trainers at home! For a smart casual look that your date is sure to appreciate, opt instead for loafers, boat shoes or boots.
- Brown brogues are a perfect, failsafe choice for a number of Valentine’s occasions. Classic yet with a modern, stylish edge, a pair of brogues look as great with your best pair of jeans as they do with a full suit.
Accessories really can make or break an outfit. Whether it’s finding the perfect watch to complete your outfit or pulling everything together with a stylish belt, finishing touches play a key role in your overall look.
For a smart casual look, step it up with a patterned pocket square, a stylish scarf or a luxury timepiece. For a formal look, go the extra mile with a pair of elegant cufflinks or a statement tie pin.
- If in doubt, keep your look simple, understated and sophisticated. Wearing something outlandish and over the top may make a bad first impression.
- If you’re heading out to a luxury restaurant or fancy formal event, be sure to check for any dress codes. There may well be a black tie or white tie requirement – you don’t want to ruin your evening before it’s even begun by turning up in the wrong outfit!
- Make sure all your clothes are clean and ironed well ahead of your date to avoid any last minute panics.
- For further inspirations, whether for a date, special occasion or simply stepping up your day to day style, be sure to check out the full selection of men’s ties, bow ties and formal accessories at Ties R Us!