Guys Guide to Prom
Proms are big news. Originally coming over from America they have now grown in popularity in the UK and are a great end to the school year. We have created a comprehensive guide to prom from a man’s point of view and just in case you needed any more help we’ve asked a few experts to give us the scoop. If you’ve ever had a question about anything from skinny fit to pocket squares, then look no further we’ve got you covered.
Smart or Casual
It’s safe to assume that your prom will be a smart occasion but there is still a choice of black tie or smart casual. Check to see what your friends are wearing to get a feel for the event and above all just wear what makes you comfortable.
Craig Landale from Menswear Style advises: “Tuxedo rules are quite harsh, you basically have to wear a black tuxedo suit with a black bow tie and specific white shirt oh, and mega shiny black shoes too. Strictly speaking, a tuxedo will have satin or silk on the lapels (the bit that looks jazzy) and there’s also a long strip down each trouser leg too. A prom suit is much more relaxed, you can wear all sorts of colours, patterns and even get away with wearing trainers.”
Size & Fit
Once you have decided what type of suit you want you can focus on finding the size and fit that’s perfect for you. If you’re opting for a two or three-piece suit, then you have the following options: Regular Fit has a slightly longer jacket and wider trouser making it a very comfortable fit. Tailored Fit is always a classic shape and will see you not only through your prom but other formal occasions too. Slim Fit feels more modern with a shorter, more fitted jacket. Skinny Fit as the name suggests is skinny through the waist and sleeve and perfect for the more fashion forward.
Take a look at our suit fit guide to make sure you find the perfect one.
Craig suggests: “This is probably the most important rule to remember. If the suit doesn’t fit properly, don’t buy it. Stick to slim or skinny fit suits and get a 2nd opinion - it’s difficult to judge fitting on your own. It’s amazing how much better men look when something fits correctly. If finding the right fit proves difficult be sure to visit an alterations tailor and spend approx. £20 getting things shaped up properly - worth every penny!”
How To Tie A Tie
Robin James from Man for Himself has created this easy to follow video so you have plenty of time to practice your tie and get it perfect before the big day. He tells us about the best knots to tie including the half windsor knot, windsor knot, Pratt Knot and four in hand knot and a step by step guide of how to tie the windsor knot.
Cufflinks essentially hold your cuffs together in place of a button. They’re a nice decorative little extra that you wouldn’t ordinarily wear and really help to tie your whole outfit together, don’t forget about them!
There are two key classic styles when it comes to men's formal shoes, the brogue and the loafer. The brogue is laced whilst the loafer is a slip on and they usually come in a mix of colours and fabrications. Black is classic and goes with everything while brown can look great against any lighter colours such as blue, match your belt to your shoes for a polished look!
Michael Adams from Michael84 suggests: “You should go for a pair of more formal Oxford or Derby shoes, with black being preferable, but it will come down to the choice of colour of your suit.”
The Pocket Square
Carl Thompson has put together this step by step guide on how to fold a pocket square, so simply pick your favourite and have a go.
“The pocket square is a timeless classic, which gives your suit a little sartorial depth along with adding your own personal style to your look. There are a large number of different pocket square folds to choose. From a simple square fold to extremely complicated ones that you’ll require a degree in origami to get right! Luckily for you, I have picked my three favourite styles that are easy to fold with maximum sartorial impact.”
The Scallop Fold
As far as pocket squares go, the complexity of this one is middle of the road but with maximum visual expression. Use this fold with soft silk pocket squares ideally with contrast colour rolled edges. This style is perfect for someone creative; it expresses an attitude and exudes confidence.
1. Start with the pocket square, square. 2. Fold the bottom left corner over to the top right. 3. Repeat with the bottom right to the top left. 4. Take the top left point of the triangle and fold over. 5. Do the same for the right hand point. 6. Tidy up by folding the bottom neatly.
The 3 Stairs Fold
This fold can be quite tricky if you use a soft silk pocket square so it’s best to use cotton or linen. If you are having difficulties getting all three folds in the correct shape, you can lightly iron on a very low heat to help keep its shape. Experiment with a different number of folds and different fold widths to suit your personal preference.
1. Start with the pocket square in a diamond shape. 2. Create 3 folds over lapping each other. 3. Pinch the 3 folds to keep them in shape and then fold the left part of the pocket square underneath itself. 4. Place on the counter and do the same with the right hand side.
The 4 Point Fold
This one requires a lot of folds so can be difficult, be patient and stick with it and you’ll reap the rewards. The king of pocket squares because it looks like a crown and you’ll stand out for all the right reasons.
1. Start with the pocket square in a diamond position. 2. Fold the bottom of the square up to the top, creating two peaks. 3. Fold the left hand side up to the top right, creating three peaks. 4. Do the same with the other side, creating four peaks. 5. Fold the left into the center. 6. Do the same for the right hand side. 7. Fold the bottom underneath itself to tidy up.
Finally, always give your suit a good test out in the store. Walk around and sit down, dance (if you dare) but make sure that you can move around easily. Remember that your suit should never look loose or baggy anywhere but you also want to make sure it isn’t strained or tight. You should comfortably be able to get two hands in between your chest and your suit, if you can’t you might need to go up a size.
Pocket square images credit: http://www.rebecca-spencer-photography.com/