Ask dapperQ is back with a reader question about how to dress stylish for fancy ocassions without wearing a suit. We’ll touch on this issue more in the New Year (dressy menswear really does exist beyond the bow-tie and suit), but for now, let’s provide some quick tips for those who do not want to wear a suit, cannot afford to wear a suit, or do not have time to get a proper fitting suit before New Year’s Eve!
A reader asked:
“I’m a masculine non-binary person (AFAB) going to a New Year’s party for the first time in a few years, and since last time I’ve pretty much stopped wearing dresses. The problem is people are expected to wear a suit or a dress to fancy occasions like weddings or New Year’s Eve parties. I can’t afford a suit, and wearing a dress feels like going in drag. Any tips for a cheap fancy outfit? (Keep in mind I live in Norway, so shops in the US aren’t a good option, and shipping/VAT is expensive.)”
Don’t worry! Unless the party invite specifically states “Black Tie Required,” you can still look dapper without donning a suit. A simple button down paired with dress pants will suffice, especially if you play with patterns and colors that pop. Add some stylish socks (see how here), a collar chain, or other interesting accessories (see suggestions here) and you’ll be the toast of the town! While dapperQ encourages readers to shop small and eco-friendly, we also understand that brands in those categories can be prohibitively expensive and/or are not easily accessible in certain areas. That said, you can find affordable trends, such as bold prints, drop crotch pants, and metallic blazers, at big box retailers like Topman, Forever21, H&M, TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Burlington Coat Factory, and Express. Need some shopping inspiration? Take these images with you:
A stylish hat can really dress up a simple button down and black slacks. Photo by Emma Strugatz
Style guru Ari Fitz knows the power of patterned pants!
Add color, color, color!!! via The Parisian Flair
Add bling, bling, bling!!! via Cosmopolitan UK
Menswear style blogger Anthony Urbano is the master of dressing up sans suit and tie!
Mix patters and power clash a bit! Photo by Shaina Chin.
We’re seeing a “pattern” here. Ruby Rose via Daily Mail.