What Do Men Wear for a Semi-Formal Event?


Quick Answer

Men wear suits for semi-formal events. The time of day of the event dictates the color of the suit, and the venue of the event calls for a more formal suit jacket or a more relaxed sports coat.

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Full Answer

If a semi-formal event is held at night, men wear darker suits — such as black, gray, dark green or dark blue — to the event. If a semi-formal event is held during the morning, day or afternoon, men wear lighter suits, such as tan, light gray or light blue.

Men personalize their semi-formal attire with tie, handkerchief, sock and shoe selections. For outdoor events, bright, colorful patterned or printed accessories are more acceptable than for indoor events, which require more understated accessories. Men also personalize their semi-formal attire with hats, but they must be careful to wear hats only to outdoor events unless absolutely certain that indoor event hosts are not offended by indoor hat wearing.

Because semi-formal events are between formal and casual events, men must not wear tuxedos or jeans to these events. However, it is permissible for men to remove their suit jackets after the main meal, speech or main event of the gathering transpires, and the focus of the party turns to more casual conversation and festivities.

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