Author Topic: Office Christmas party -- man's attire  (Read 2934 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

jmarvellous

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3591
Office Christmas party -- man's attire
« on: December 05, 2012, 02:25:32 PM »
My office is business (not business casual) dress on a daily basis, ties are the norm and suits are common on the 'upper floors' and slightly less common elsewhere. We're having our annual party next week after work (frankly, too soon after work -- I'm going to struggle to drive home, change and drive back -- I'm guessing many will just wear what they wore to work, but I have to go home anyway to pick up my boyfriend). Invitation says, "cocktail attire," and I know I'll have to track down a good dress this weekend.

My question is about my boyfriend. He owns one suit, which is frankly quite dated and a bit too big for his slender frame. He cannot buy a new suit at this time. He does have a very nice, fitted dress shirt, matching tie and good slacks, and somewhat clunky but nice shoes. It's fine that he doesn't have many dress-up clothes most of the time because his office is exceptionally casual.

He wants to skip the suit for the party, and while I do think he looks nicer in the less formal outfit, I worry that it'll be too informal. What do you think?

Neither of us has been to this sort of party before.

NyaChan

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4107
Re: Office Christmas party -- man's attire
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2012, 02:29:28 PM »
Personally, I think he'd be okay, but you know the tone of your office better than I do.  I imagine people might take off their jackets anyways & really, how are they to know where he is coming from or if he had time to change?  If the suit is actually dated and doesn't fit well, it is going to stand out more than a nice outfit that is a shade less formal than others' clothing.  If he does his hair nice, wears a watch or whatever male dress up accessories he might normally wear, I think he will fit the cocktail attire standard.

Outdoor Girl

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 14241
Re: Office Christmas party -- man's attire
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2012, 02:31:39 PM »
I agree that he should skip the suit.  I think it would look worse to be in something ill-fitting than something potentially less casual than the others.  And by the end of the evening, if it is like any Christmas party I've been to, most of the men won't be wearing their suit jackets, anyway.   :)

If he can afford to and would wear it again, it might be worth investing in a blazer like jacket to dress up a little.
I have CDO.  It is like OCD but with the letters in alphabetical order, as they should be.
Ontario

MrTango

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2434
Re: Office Christmas party -- man's attire
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2012, 03:03:42 PM »
If I were in his position, I'd wear the clothes that fit well.

Question for the OP: You say the suit is too big for him.  Is it that it once fit him and he has since lost weight, or that the suit never fit him well?

If it once was a good fit and he's just lost weight, he might still be able to wear the suit jacket as if it were a blazer.

jmarvellous

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3591
Re: Office Christmas party -- man's attire
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2012, 03:42:28 PM »
I'm not sure why it might make a difference, but he has been basically the same size his whole adult life. I think he bought the suit off the rack in the late '90s, when oversized/generous cuts were more in. It's also  pretty fuzzy/wooly, and our highs are in the 70s-80s this week.

WillyNilly

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7490
  • Mmmmm, food
    • The World as I Taste It
Re: Office Christmas party -- man's attire
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2012, 03:55:12 PM »
How about the classic casual dressed up men's look of a collared shirt, tie and fitted (solid colored) sweater?  It's a preppy classic, a bit more then just shirt and tie and skips over the need for the suit coat/sports jacket.  At my formal wedding there were a few guys who don't own suits who rocked the sweater look and they absolutely fit in as dressed up.

Like this:
http://www.jcrew.com/mens_feature/NewArrivals/sweaters/PRDOVR~35195/35195.jsp
« Last Edit: December 05, 2012, 03:57:21 PM by WillyNilly »

DavidH

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1806
Re: Office Christmas party -- man's attire
« Reply #6 on: December 05, 2012, 03:57:39 PM »
I think a man without a jacket in room filled with men in jackets and particularly suits stands out as markedly less formal.  Depending on your role, I might be more or less concerned with fitting in.  I think that if your are say an associate in a law firm and trying to make partner it will be more important than if you are later in your career.

At a minimum, if the jacket could pass as a stand alone, I'd wear it to the party and shed it as soon as others removed theirs.  A better alternative would be to buy a blazer if that would work with your budget. Men's jackets don't change that quickly or dramatically, so a conservative cut a few years old, say from a thrift store, aided by a good tailor will likely look fine. 

If appearances are important, I'd carefully consider whether being the least formal person in the room is a good idea, or maybe you leave a bit early and meet him afterwards. 

BeagleMommy

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3231
Re: Office Christmas party -- man's attire
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2012, 04:11:40 PM »
OP, I think your BF would be fine with a well fitting shirt, tie, slacks and dress shoes.  If he will need to accompany you to future events he might want to invest in a blazer.  Either a navy blue or pinstripe would work well and can even dress up jeans.

doodlemor

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2257
Re: Office Christmas party -- man's attire
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2012, 04:52:10 PM »
You might be able to find a suit or jacket at a nice consignment store, if there is one nearby.  I've seen some very nice men's clothes in those shops.

jmarvellous

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3591
Re: Office Christmas party -- man's attire
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2012, 05:10:07 PM »
I am pretty sure we won't be buying him anything new. He likes his lumpy suit, and if I insist on a jacket, that's the one.

His very nice shirt is from a thrift store, though.

MrTango

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2434
Re: Office Christmas party -- man's attire
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2012, 08:33:17 PM »
I'm not sure why it might make a difference, but he has been basically the same size his whole adult life. I think he bought the suit off the rack in the late '90s, when oversized/generous cuts were more in. It's also  pretty fuzzy/wooly, and our highs are in the 70s-80s this week.

I was just thinking that if the suit fits his frame but is somewhat big for his build, that isn't as big a deal as something that doesn't fit his frame at all.

Hmmmmm

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6712
Re: Office Christmas party -- man's attire
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2012, 09:44:52 PM »
I think a man without a jacket in room filled with men in jackets and particularly suits stands out as markedly less formal.  Depending on your role, I might be more or less concerned with fitting in.  I think that if your are say an associate in a law firm and trying to make partner it will be more important than if you are later in your career.

At a minimum, if the jacket could pass as a stand alone, I'd wear it to the party and shed it as soon as others removed theirs.  A better alternative would be to buy a blazer if that would work with your budget. Men's jackets don't change that quickly or dramatically, so a conservative cut a few years old, say from a thrift store, aided by a good tailor will likely look fine. 

If appearances are important, I'd carefully consider whether being the least formal person in the room is a good idea, or maybe you leave a bit early and meet him afterwards.

If it is important to you for you to appear on equal footing as the other attendees, I'm going to agree with David that he should wear the suit and quickly shed the jacket.  Cocktail attire implies suits or at least a sports jacket.

Can the lumpy suit be tailored to something more current?
 

jmarvellous

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 3591
Re: Office Christmas party -- man's attire
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2012, 09:29:04 AM »
I'm not sure why it might make a difference, but he has been basically the same size his whole adult life. I think he bought the suit off the rack in the late '90s, when oversized/generous cuts were more in. It's also  pretty fuzzy/wooly, and our highs are in the 70s-80s this week.

I was just thinking that if the suit fits his frame but is somewhat big for his build, that isn't as big a deal as something that doesn't fit his frame at all.

Ah, I see. It's not outrageously big, just baggy, and not flattering or current. He's only worn it to job interviews in the time I've known him.