How to Dress Like a Million Bucks This Holiday Season

November 6, 2022
Velvet Suit Jackets for Men Lauren Ralph Lauren Green Sport Coat Classic Fit
Holiday Formal Style for Men: The holidays are a time to dress up, celebrate and show off. Thankfully, there are brands like Lauren Ralph Lauren that make dressing like a million bucks easy with great pieces like this classic-fit velvet sport coat in green. Photo: Macy’s

Holidays are the perfect excuse to dress up, whether going to an office party or a formal holiday dinner with family and friends. It’s also an opportunity to show off your style in a way you can’t on most days. The holidays are the ideal time to showcase your best attire–we created a guide with some essential tips on how to wear formal style.

A Guide to Dressing Up for the Holidays

Holiday formal style for men is all about looking sharp and elegant, but it doesn’t have to be an utter bore. If you’re hosting a holiday party or attending one, these tips will help you look your best in whatever type of suit you choose:

Dress Shirt Men Banana Republic Premium Poplin
Dress Shirts for Men: A dress shirt is a wardrobe staple for every man. It’s versatile, classic, and perfect for adding to your closet. Brands such as Banana Republic have many options to explore, like the pictured premium poplin dress shirt. Photo: Banana Republic

Dress Shirts

Dress shirts should be a staple of your wardrobe. You can wear your favorite dress shirt with or without a tie, depending on the occasion and what makes you comfortable. You’ll want to make sure that your dress shirt is long-sleeved and tucked in at all times unless you aren’t wearing a jacket or coat over the top of it (in which case it’s okay to leave it untucked).

Sweater for Men Nordstrom Washable Merino Crewneck
Sweaters for Men: You can wear sweaters and effortlessly dress them up or down, depending on the occasion. If your wardrobe needs an update, include a search for a sweater for men. Retailers like Nordstrom have endless options like the pictured washable merino crewneck sweater. Photo: Nordstrom

Sweaters

While sweaters may be year-round, they are perfect for holiday dressing. Sweaters are a great way to inject personality into your outfit without going overboard. They’re also comfortable and will keep you warm. If it’s cold where you live, or if it’s a casual party at someone’s house, then go for it! You can even wear them as an ensemble if there isn’t anything else appropriate in the closet. 

Make sure whatever sweater you choose fits well and has no holes (unless it’s supposed to). You can even wear a sweater vest under jackets or blazers — make sure the vest matches the color of your suit or blazer so that it doesn’t look like two separate pieces (as this will also make your outfit appear uncoordinated).

Jackets

Suit Jackets for Men Express Classic Solid Blue Wool-blend Modern Tech Suit Jacket
Suit Jackets for Men: Every man should own at least one essential suit jacket in black or navy blue. An excellent start for suit jackets is the selection at Express that includes this classic solid blue wool-blend Modern Tech suit jacket. Photo: Express

Blazers and Suit Jackets

A jacket is one of the easiest ways to add style to an outfit. It’s also what you wear when you want to look good without trying too hard — which is often. A well-tailored jacket should fit your body correctly, have an excellent cut and look sharp. It’s your go-to for weddings and special occasions, especially around the holidays. You can wear your suit jacket with a dress shirt or a T-shirt and jeans and pair it with a tie or without one.

Suits: The Complete Package

You’ll want to select a dark color for your first suit. While black suits are a great option for formal occasions like weddings, a gray or dark blue suit is an excellent alternative for regular wear. Most suits are wool or polyester blends. Wool suits are typically more expensive than polyester blends as they are breathable and have excellent temperature regulation.

Velvet Suit Jacket for Men J.Crew Ludlow Slim-fit Shawl-Collar Tuxedo Jacket
Velvet Suit Jackets for Men: When the holidays come around, velvet is the modern power suit. The velvet suit jacket is so popular that J.Crew updated its legendary Ludlow tuxedo jacket in velvet for the ultimate holiday essential. Photo: J.Crew

Velvet Jackets

A velvet suit jacket adds a certain gravitas to your ensemble and makes you look more commanding while giving you a “rich guy” look. It’s like wearing an armor suit — but without all those uncomfortable clasps and buckles.

Velvet is also an excellent fabric for the winter months because it keeps you warm while also looking very stylish. If you want to add texture and visual interest to your outfit, try wearing a velvet jacket over any other piece of clothing in your closet. The result is always an eye-catching look that will make you stand out.

Dress Pants for Men HM Skinny Fit Suit Pants
Dress Pants for Men: A good pair of dress pants can be worn for any occasion and will take you from the office to happy hour and holiday parties without skipping a beat. You can shop for dress pants for men at H&M and pick up styles like the pictured skinny-fit suit pants. Photo: H&M

The Ideal Pants

Whether it’s a black tie, white tie, or a tuxedo, every man needs at least one pair of well-fitting black trousers to complete his formal attire. You can wear a classic pair of wool or linen trousers with various dress shirts and suit jackets. Opt for velvet or jacquard trousers to make a holiday statement if you’re going all out. Try khakis or corduroys in dark colors like navy blue, charcoal gray, or brown for casual events.

Matching Your Blazer with Your Pants

When choosing a blazer, it’s essential to consider what type of pants would go best — formal dress pants or casual chinos. Most men’s blazers come in four colors: black, blue, gray, and brown. The easiest way to match them with pants is to choose one color matching your trousers or jeans and then coordinate another piece from your outfit (tie or shirt).

Ties for Men Classic Cut Vintage Check Silk Tie
Ties for Men: Every man should have a tie and button-up shirt in his closet. They are essential items for any occasion, especially during the holidays. Adding a tie to your look is an easy way to splurge on a designer piece such as this Burberry classic cut vintage check silk tie. Photo: Burberry

Ties Can Be the Finishing Touch

A tie is a great way to pull your formal ensemble together. Typically, the width of the tie should be in proportion with your shirt collar and lapels, while the color and pattern should match your suit. For example, if you have a blue or green dress shirt, you can adopt an effortless style by wearing a blue or green tie. Try a light blue or white-based tie for contrast if you have a blue suit. 

Dress Shoes for Men Nordstrom Allen Edmonds Park Avenue Oxford Shoes
Dress Shoes for Men: Nordstrom suggests six formal styles for all occasions: the oxford, loafer, derby, monk strap, boot, and business casual sneakers. To begin with, you can’t go wrong with a pair of oxford shoes like the pictured Allen Edmonds Park Avenue Oxford shoes. Photo: Nordstrom

What Shoes Men Can Wear to a Formal Event

Surprisingly, shoes can make or break an outfit. But what shoes should men wear for a holiday? The best rule is to avoid wearing anything too flashy or trendy because it might not look as good in person as online. Instead, stick to classic black or brown dress shoes or leather boots.

If you want to wear sneakers with your suit, you should invest in some quality leather sneakers like Common Projects or NikeLab Air Force 1s. Please ensure they look good and don’t clash with anything you wear (like white socks).

Chelsea Boots Men Thursday Boots Cavalier Leather
Chelsea Boots for Men: These are the perfect shoes for any occasion you have to dress up (or even down). They’re super versatile, and since it’s wintertime, they’ll keep your feet nice and warm too! Play it safe for your first pair and look at styles like these Thursday Boots leather Chelsea boots. Photo: Thursday Boots

Can Men Wear Boots to a Formal Event?

Boots have been making a comeback lately, and many guys love them because they’re comfortable. But can men wear boots with suits for formal events? The answer is yes! Many different types of boots are available nowadays, so finding one that works for you won’t be difficult!

Chukka boots, ankle boots, and Chelsea boots are excellent alternative footwear for a formal event. For something more traditional, consider Chelsea boots and monk-strap shoes. Boots allow you to wear something other than dress shoes, but it can be hard to know what boots work best for your suit or trousers. If you need to figure out what will look good with your suiting, start by looking at the color of your pants.

For a black suit, black boots are always in style, especially if they have a slight shine. You can wear them with jeans as well as dressy slacks. For navy blue suits, brown is often considered a good color for men’s shoes. Some men even prefer brown over black when wearing a navy blue suit because it’s easier on the eyes than black.

Dress Socks for Men Falke Tiago Over the Calf Socks
Dress Socks for Men: A pair of good socks will add class to your outfit. Look for cotton or wool fibers – These fabrics are breathable, comfortable on your feet, and durable. Falke’s Tiago over-the-calf dress socks come in various colors and are perfect for pairing with trousers. Photo: Amazon

The Magic of Socks & Shoes

When you master color-coordinating your socks and shoes, it’s a classic look and looks great. The socks should be in the same color scheme as your trousers, but not necessarily the same color. It’s best to go for a shade or two lighter than your trousers, so there’s a subtle contrast between them. If you want to wear something darker, consider wearing black shoes rather than brown or grey ones.

Remember to Stay Warm

Ensure you have the proper clothing for whatever weather you expect to avoid catching a chill and ruining your evening. If you’re going to be outside, ensure your coat is water-resistant and that you have appropriate footwear—this means no patent leather dress shoes in the snow! 

Conclusion

For the holidays, you can dress up a little bit more. You’ll need a nice shirt that fits well, a tie or scarf (if your neck isn’t exposed), and some shoes that look great with everything else. It’s also essential to remember warmth during these cold days; make sure your shoes have good winter soles on them so they will stay on track when venturing outdoors.