The New Rules of Party Season Style

What does it mean to get dressed up in the year of sweatpants and slides? After months of a less-than-appropriate-to-be-seen-in-public dress code, followed by more months of being unsure of how to really dress like a normal, functioning human man, getting party-ready might serve as a useful way to feign some kind of normalcy.

Covid did us the favour of getting rid of the awkward end of year office parties that end in someone doing a lot more than they should in front of people that they really shouldn’t be doing it around – dear ex-colleague who invited both her ex-husband and current husband to the end of year party after a few too many drinks, I’m talking about you! That aside, the end of this year does still deserve some celebration, albeit small, socially distanced and a little more casual than before, and while we’ve updated the style rules to help you look the part – no, sweatpants will not be allowed.


Dress Down to Dress Up


There’s something in the simplicity of a good pair of slim cut jeans that skim the leg, paired with a crew neck tee that feels timeless and sophisticated without trying too hard. It’s the kind of nostalgic, romantic feeling that rivals a sharply tailored smoking jacket without the stuffiness of, well… a smoking jacket. If you get your fit just right and pair it with the right smart shoe and a slick pair of wayfarers you could exude that magnetic bad boy energy that’ll elevate you to life-of-the-party status.


Casual Suiting is Cool Suiting


There’s nothing new about dressing down a suit with a tee and sneaker, but it stays the freshest way to give your suit new life. Pick a suit with enough interest to take the spotlight and dress it down with a simple tee and a classic sneaker. The modern update of the plain white sneaker looks to tennis shoes with some detailing that give it interest.

Be careful not to donne the corporate colours. A banker blue or plain grey getup can quickly feel like you’re repurposing your work attire – remember this is where you want to stand out, not fit in.


Soft Shirts Go Hard


They do, just try. Co-ordinated shirt and short sets are the height of this summer’s trend list, but they don’t always have to be just great streetstyle or pool party pieces. Split up your co-ord and make the shirt work harder by pairing it with a structured chino or trouser to give your party look a playful edge. The trick to staying sophisticated is picking your colours carefully to feel curated and intentional.


There’s No Excuse to Slack on Scent


Good scent is the marker of a sophisticated man at any party. Check out our guide to summer’s best scents if you don’t know where to get started.

This is where you want to whip out your most commanding fragrance to steal attention as you pass people. The simplest way to know what’s right for the night – fragrances who’s packaging or juice are darker in colour are best suited to the night and are usually the ones with the most enigmatic notes. Stir up intrigue with notes of oud, spice, herbs, leather or wood that feel deep and mysterious.


Akim Jardine – MKM Guest Fashion Editor