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What to Wear to Your Formal or Prom

Posted by Joe Button on

Prom, or school formals are events you will likely remember for the rest of your life. When it comes time to decide on your attire, don’t be tempted by bright coloured suits a la Dumb and Dumber.  

While it’s important to show your personality through style, there are classy ways to do so that won’t have you cringing when you look back on your photos 20 years later. So what should you wear to your formal? Joe Button is here to help so let’s cover the basics:


If your event is black tie or you feel like going all out, tuxedos are the crème of the crop. As a label specialising in bespoke clothing, we recommend purchasing over renting but how you look is up to you. Fit is paramount, so if you rent, make sure the pant length and jacket fit flawlessly. Tuxedo options are as follows:

Jacket: You have a choice between a peak or shawl lapel and the choice of satin or a normal finish. You can’t really go wrong with either so it’s a personal choice.

Trousers: Always go for trousers in a matching fabric (unless it's a white jacket with black pants). Satin stripes down the side are optional (but also sort of going out of style). Traditionally, tuxedo trousers are worn without belts, so have fun going Urkle style or opt for side tabs. You can probably skip the cummerbund.

Shirt: Plain white shirt is a classic or go for a tuxedo shirt with a wing collar and a bib front. Make sure that the shirt has a stiff vertical band and French cuffs.

Accessories: Don’t skimp on this! Have fun with the cuff links; today you can order just about any style so why not get your high school mascot? A satin bow tie, tied by you, will pull the outfit together. Pick a fun colour but nothing neon or obnoxious.

Shoes: Black dress shoes are fine. Sneakers are not recommended. 


If the invitation or your date doesn’t require black tie, feel free to go with a regular suit. Again, fit is important and it’s likely you’ll need a suit in your immediate future so we recommend going bespoke. While black is the classic choice, mix and matching top to bottom can be a fun way to show more style. Just stick with classics like black, navy or charcoal grey. Separate yourself from the penguin pack by adding those personalised accessories: pocket squares, cuffs, and bow ties are all great ways to do this. 


Starting with a solid foundation like a well-tailored suit will make this night much easier. Spend the extra time accessorising and remember to get that haircut a few days before the big night, so you don’t look too “clean-cut”. Have fun and show your sartorial edge! 

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