How to put together a LOUNGE SUIT dress code attire: https://bit.ly/lounge-suit-explained
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What is a lounge suit?
The term lounge suit was coined in the beginnings of the early 20th century. At that time, a regular suit was rather casual and so that's what you would wear to a lounge, so obviously, things haven't changed in the sense that lounges were considered casual yet the whole formality scale of clothes was very different. In those times, Gentlemen mostly wear frock coats, as well as morning coats, and a lounge suit was a new casual kid on the block.
So today, when it says lounge suit, don't be confused. You actually have to wear a dark suit that is rather formal and very similar to what you wear when a dress code would call for business attire or if you'd go to a funeral.
Most of the time, you'll find a lounge suit dress code on written invitations, for example, you're invited to the Embassy or let's say at Buckingham Palace. So what exactly should you wear when the dress code calls for a lounge suit? Basically, a dark suit with a necktie. It can either be single-breasted or double-breasted, a two-piece suit or a three-piece suit. For color, you should go with either navy or charcoal, maybe dark grey or even a form of charcoal brown can work, stay clear of any bright and loud colors. Subtle patterns like a pinpoint are okay, maybe a very subtle non-contrasting houndstooth, maybe a faint stripe, but I would stay clear of wide rope stripes or big contrasting white stripes in a dark background because that's too loud for a lounge suit dress code. Likewise, stay clear of very casual suits, other materials such as tweed or bold patterns with a very casual structure and texture. The suit should always be worn with a necktie; it can be a regular classic necktie or if you want to, also a bow tie. Stay clear of ascots or an open neck since it's too formal of an occasion to go without proper neckwear. In terms of patterns, keep it classic and conservative, meaning go with maybe a blue tie, a red tie, or something in darker shades. Stay clear of the bright orange or yellow ties. For your shirt, a plain solid white or a plain solid light blue are your best options. Patterned shirts should be avoided, checked shirts or anything that is quite bold such as blue and white stripes. The collar of your shirt should be a classic turndown collar. The spread can vary and it depends a bit on your face. With a rounder face, you can go for a smaller spread and a bigger collar. With an oval face, you can have a more spread collar but you definitely want to avoid a button-down collar since it would be too casual. The goal is to look appropriate and respectful without being flashy.
So for shoes, that means go with a pair of Oxfords, maybe some derbies in either black, a form of brown, or maybe dark burgundy. Stay clear of loafers, casual textures such as suede or full brogues since that would be not formal enough.
In terms of the rest of your accessories, go with over the calf socks so you don't reveal your bare skin. If you want a pocket square, you can go with one. Try to keep it muted, the classic white linen pocket square with hand rolled edges is probably your best bet and you can find it in our shop here. I also suggest you go with a more conservative fold such as the TV fold I'm wearing here right now, not the crown fold or something more flashy. You can wear any form of a micropattern tie, meaning small pattern, which is very formal and elegant.
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Thank you, very informative. Could you please make a video about mixing different pants from jacket and your observations? For business, I often wear either plain dark wool pants with a more friendly slightly lighter herringbone jacket, or a dark jacket with plaid pants. My reasoning is that a suit, in business (not social situations) tends to prevent human connection and puts people on the defensive. It's simply too formal on day-to-day if you want people to actually tell you what is really going on and truly get things done, on a daily basis. I'm in the actuarial field. I'd love to hear your opinions and theories on strategic downdressing to make people feel less intimidated and building long-term business relationships that are open, rather than on guard and defensive.
If you never attend dinners/events with a dress code -- and your work is also completely casual -- you could still just take you wife out to dinner (example) and dress well. Just make sure you pick the most suitable place you can. Being the best dressed is nice, but wearing black tie at a Red Lobster will just make you clash and look like an idiot.
Also, you could join a club or a fraternal organization like The Elks, Odd Fellows, Masons -- they still have formal events and rituals, although check as some lodges have gone more casual.
You state that oxfords, semi-brogues or derbys are acceptable -- showing a pair of long-wings as your derby example (I'd call them blutchers or just long-wings before calling them derbys, but..) Then you state that full-brogues would not be acceptable.
Question: Wouldn't long-wings be considered full-brogues?
Firstly, Sven, you produce the most amazing videos that have helped me on many occasions to dress in the right manner. Secondly, I am going to be travelling quite a bit for my new job and I want to wear a suit whilst travelling but I was wondering what I should wear and/or how to style it? Any way that you could help out would be appreciated.
I’m going to start calling a suit a lounge suit on invitations to see what creative things people come up with. ...it sounds like you’re describing cocktail attire. Is there difference between cocktail attire and lounge suit?
I love learning about these things but after .. oh i dunno, 7-8 years of this, I realized that most people will spend their entire lives not ever needing (for example) a tux for a black tie event, or will need to know the intricacies of when to wear a white dinner jacket/tux. Still, it is nice to know I can just come to this channel and search for these topics.
I am curious though - how would one manage to require this sort of esoteric knowledge? The most formal event most people will experience in their lives is a wedding and i'm sure 99/100 the dress code will just require random dinner jackets, instead of males matching in black.
Why do you have such an aversion to button-down collars, i.e. what makes them casual? I'm a huge fan of them as they keep the collar stiffly in place without the need to starch or use a tie bar and they ensure that the collar does not come with too much spread.
Great video I confess when I first saw the title "Lounge Suit" I immediately thought WHAT! He will be discussing polyester leisure suits? But now after watching the video I have a clearly and much better understanding of the terminology thanks for a precise and wonderful explanation!
You mention this is not a time for an ascot.
I’d love to see more about best ways and occasions to wear an ascot. I think ascots are under appreciated and underused today!
Also can you talk more about shirt colors and face shapes or other factors dictating which color shape. I had never heard about face shape making a difference.
Michael Powell "...what is a lounge anyway; what do you do there?"
A lounge is a place for lounging. In other words, it's a place for gathering not related to work or church. It could be some place specific such as a cocktail lounge, or simply the "living room" of your home when guests are invited.
I’m running in the wrong circles. I’m a middle aged man and I’ve never been invited to or even heard of an invitation with the words lounge suits. Living in Florida our clothing options are limited. It’s extremely casual here. Too casual generally for my preference. It’s the oppressive heat. You can never wear a tweed suit here or a heavy sweater. Maybe once or twice a year. Big on cargo shorts in this state. People wear T-shirt’s to fancy restaurants. Ugh.
Adriel Rowley I have to tell you this. When I came down to Florida it was September. Basically still summer. I came our of the hotel in key west in shorts and T-shirt. I walked one block and sweated so much too things occurred to me. First, how does anyone deal with this? Second, when are people going to start throwing coins at me making wishes mistaking me for a fountain ? My blood thinned out dramatically but not as much as you. Good day.
Evan, I have walked a half mile to mile in the Summer in long underwear, pants, and shirt, plus sweater more than once, but was only 90 to 100*F (been having a cool summer this year). But, been told I run a little cooler than others and yes I have had my thyroid checked. If I feel like I might be getting warm, I tell myself otherwise and feel fine, how I adjusted to warm weather. So take it how you will, just saying as usual I defy logic and make folks wonder. ;p
I love to make it to New York city for a visit, only made it far north as the south Pennsylvania border when a teen. Couldn't live there with people living on top of each other.
Thank you for the compliment and have a good day.
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