The right suit for the occasion

words Alan Woods

Getting the right suit for the occasion sounds easy enough but as the day approaches you are flown into a flap. The only suit you own is just not quite right – or so your other half tells you.

You desperately rummage through your wardrobe hoping that somehow the right suit will miraculously appear and come to your rescue but alas – no such luck. The shiny neon purple plastic suit just doesn’t look right for a funeral.

For each of the main events in a man’s life, there’s a style to match. Join Noose & Monkey as they talk us through uncompromising, unchanging outfits to each key event you’re likely to attend in your life.


Job Interview

Dressing for a job interview is a case of looking professional and confident while also getting some of your personality across. You should do some research on the company you’re interviewing for first to ascertain what style of dress is appropriate. For instance, a large corporate firm will expect a different standard to a small web development agency.

As a general rule, a navy blue slim fit suit is a good choice for interviews. Not too drab, not too bold — this is the kind of suit that will make you appear smart without being too subversive. With a blue suit, you’ll also want a crisp white shirt, which can be in a traditional oxford style or a slightly more flamboyant option such as a spotted shirt, depending on where you’re interviewing.

Finish off the outfit with some smart brown oxford shoes or brogues. Do not wear black shoes with a blue suit.



A christening is a joyous event, but one that isn’t subject to a formal dress code. As such, you’ll have your own decisions to make when it comes to dressing to celebrate a birth. Avoid black, as it’s too formal and too dense.

Don’t go for flamboyant colour either, as it’s not really the occasion. Instead go for light grey two-piece suit in slim fit – with a soft blue or pastel tone shirt. Don’t worry about the tie – you don’t want to go too smart.


Weddings are two things to men: a chance for a stellar party or the most important day of your life. If you’re a guest, dressing for a wedding is fairly simple. Smart, but don’t upstage the groom. Play with less formal suit options such as check or tartan and opt for a waistcoat to take the style factor up a notch.

If you’re a groomsman, the groom will dictate your style. Don’t try and outdo your fellow groomsmen – just stick to the standard style. It’s your friend’s day, after all.

You’ve got a few options: from a standard single or double-breasted suit all the way up to a tuxedo. Only a ‘grand’ wedding should really dictate the full tuxedo – such as a wedding set in a ballroom or fancy hotel. Elsewhere, you’ll want a slim-fitting suit jacket in whatever colour you choose. Don’t be afraid to wear non-matching colours.

For instance, a grey wool waistcoat with a blue suit. You should be dressed broadly similar to your groomsmen, but have a standout feature such as a different coloured tie or waistcoat. Don’t put bulging items in your pockets, make sure everything is crisply ironed and wear the right shoes. One final point: only wear patent black shoes with a tuxedo.


As much as we all want to celebrate life, there’s the unfortunate certainty that you’ll need to attend a funeral or two in your lifetime. Not a time to really consider fashion, a funeral is instead a chance to pay your respect to the dead – so keep things simple and classic. Black suits, black shoes and a black tie on a white shirt. Accessories should be limited to flowers for the deceased.

Black Tie Dinner

A far happier occasion to wear all-black, the black tie event is something most people experience at least once in their lives. For this, you’ll want to go for a full tuxedo and a bow-tie. You’ll need to pick a lapel style. It’s generally easier to stick to a few ideas: notch is a classic, and a peaked lapel helps accentuate an athletic shape. Your shirt needs to be white, but feel free to get one with black buttons to match a black cummerbund.

Bowties can be black, but you can also push some of your own style out there with coloured options. Keep everything else simple though – a watch should be a dress one with a leather strap, your shoes should be black leather or patent leather.


Race Day / Formal Dress Day

Not strictly an event, but you’ll undoubtedly head out on a day that necessitates a suit or fancy dressing up with your friends at some point. Whether that’s for a race day or an after work social, your style gets to really shine through. Check-pattern suits, tartan suits, sports jackets over jeans and any other style you’d like to try out is best tested at an event like this.

Of course, this is a very general guide. Individual events can vary, but having a good idea of what you need for each means you can prepare in advance and then modify on the fly. Remember: whatever you wear, be comfortable in it – confidence transforms an outfit from something normal into something special.


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