When headed out for a night, many women spend a lot of time deciding exactly what evening cocktail dress to wear and how to accessorize it. Men, however, sometimes don't give what they wear as much consideration. They should, though, because how they dress significantly affects how they and their dates are perceived. If you're a guy and are headed to a cocktail party with your girlfriend, fiance or wife, here's how to match your outfit to hers so that you look like the perfectly matched couple.
Determine the Base Color
As D'Marge explains, cocktail parties call for either suits, or blazers and trousers. Your don't necessarily have to match your suit (or blazer and pants) to your date's evening cocktail dress. For instance, if she's going in a lime-green dress, you don't have to wear a bright green suit. You absolutely must not, however, wear a suit that clashes with her dress.
To avoid clashing, find out what color dress your date is wearing and choose a suit (or jacket and pants) accordingly:
- if she's wearing a black, brown or navy blue dress, wear a suit that's the same color
- if she's wearing a white dress, wear either a black or white suit (check with her first before choosing a white suit)
- if she's wearing a brightly colored dress, wear a black suit
While black, blue and brown don't always clash, wearing the same base color as she is will ensure you're safe -- even if you don't know what colors clash and which ones match. If she's wearing any other bright color, wearing black will let you incorporate accents that match her dress into your outfit without standing out at the party too much.
Match Your Shirt to Her Dress
Picking a dress shirt that matches your date's evening cocktail dress will ensure you two are coordinated. Since you chose a suit that doesn't clash with her dress, you can safely wear a shirt that's the same color as her dress. If her dress is brightly colored, a dress shirt that's mostly covered by a jacket or blazer will add just the right amount of color to your outfit. If her dress is neutrally colored and the same color as your suit, your outfit won't look monotonous because your pants, jacket and shirt will have different textures that add intrigue to your look.
Match Your Tie or Undershirt to Her Main Accent
For the final finishing touch that will make you two the perfectly dressed couple, you need to pick your tie or undershirt with great care. If you're wearing a tie, it will add just a little splash color. If you're not, your dress shirt will be unbuttoned at the top -- and your undershirt will add a touch of color. What this color is should be determined by what your date is trying to accent with her outfit.
Ebay has a useful list that can help you determine what your date's likely accenting. If she's wearing
- an unusual color of makeup, she's accentuating her facial features
- a necklace, she's drawing attention to her neck
- a V-neck, scoop neck, wrap or form-fitting dress, belt or sash she's showing off her physical assets
- striking high heels, she's displaying her legs
Ask your date what she's wearing, and listen for any of these items. They'll tell you what she's most proud of. Wearing a tie or undershirt that matches the accessory she mentions will show her that you notice her feature. Since her outfit all matches, you can safely assume this color will go with your neutrally colored suit and the color of your dress shirt.
The next time you go an evening event, ask your date what evening cocktail dress and accessories she'll be wearing. Plan your outfit around these. You two will look great in pictures -- and she'll definitely see that you appreciate her outfit. For more information, talk to someone at a company like Danza Vita.