Contemporary Formal Wear / by Didier Young

All ready to mingle Glasses: Phillip Lim, shirt: Carven, Suit: Theory, Clutch and bracelet: Celine, Shoes: Gucci

Sometimes a boy’s gotta do what a boy’s gotta do. I am most comfortable in a set of chinos and a tee shirt but when Nordstrom lands its mothership in Toronto, one knows its time to dust off the suit. 

My little twist on a classic.

Still looks pretty classic from the back though.

In the context of a formal event, one expects a muted colour palette. People’s outfit options are not always black and white; shades of grey are also acceptable. In some cases, so is navy. For the first Nordstrom Gala, I chose the classical route of black and white. The two-piece suit is rather timeless in its details but the cut is slimmer than usual which makes it more contemporary. When it comes to shirts, stick to white. Some people prefer to wear black shirts and that is a perfectly great option if you wish to be mistaken for a waiter. Keep the shirt crisp and interesting. In my case, the shirt in question features a broader front with invisible buttons. Instead of a bowtie, I picked a ribbon tied as a bow which adds a fresh and unexpected twist to the classic neck ornament.

Put a bow on it. Like you're a present to the world.

No matter how well your pants fit, make sure to wear a belt. One traditional rule is to pair the colour of your belt with your shoes but sometimes rules are meant to be broken. Paired colours work but so do contrasting ones, however we shall stick to black for this outfit to create a sleek and elegant figure. Shoe wise, I went for my trusted Gucci loafers, a piece with a slimmer finish which results in a modern take on the classic. The brassy gold horse bit adds a nice pop of detail to the shoe. One may add a watch to elevate the overall look but instead I picked my favourite bracelet whose golden tones work perfectly with the gold horse bit.

Once the look is put together, you still need to remember two key rules: be comfortable and don’t forget to have fun.