Semi Formal Attire for Men

In this post, I will show you semi-formal attire for men looks to help you make the difference between casual, semi-formal and formal attire.

Everybody seems to have a very personal definition of what semi-formal wear means. In fact, some think that a tie is a must while others say a dress shirt, pants, and a clean jacket are all it takes.

I personally think that it’s always a question of finding the balance between how comfortable you feel and the standard decorum required in the event you’re attending.

Also, this last aspect can be determined by the type of venue where the event is held. “Grand Hotel Ballroom” suggests a more ceremonial type of dress code than a dinner at “Mountain Rustic Chalet”

When possible, asking the person responsible for planning the event is without a doubt the best way to know.


To make it clearer here’s are some types of events where semi-formal is commonly advised. I hope these semi-formal attire look for men will inspire you.


Semi-Formal Cocktail Events



Semi-Formal Outdoor Events




Semi-Formal Happy-Hour





Semi-Formal Weekend and Seasonal Celebration



Semi-Formal Shoes


101 Semi-Formal Dress Guidelines

Now that you’ve seen the pictures let’s see how you can achieve a semi-formal style by using the right fabric, garments and accessory combinations.



This piece of clothing has the practical function of keeping you warm but not only. The blazer’s style can make simple shirt and pants that you wear for any occasion look more formal.

In fact, jackets with a chic lapel are required in most formal dress outfits like business suits and wedding tuxedos. If you want to achieve a semi-formal look, then I strongly suggest choosing a jacket that has a fitted or a modern cut instead of a classic cut.

By definition, a fitted blazer should follow the natural lines of a proportioned figure. Depending on the actual garment cut and your weight you may need to go 1 or 2 sizes up to feel comfortable.

You’ll also notice that comfort really depends on how stretchy a fabric is. Most casual blazers are made with a blend of polyester and spandex as opposed to formal suit jackets.



The shirt you can wear at a semi-formal event should at least have a collar. If you wish to wear for a V or round neck shirt than you need to pair it with a blazer and trouser style that will provide more formality.

Ideally, wearing a regular collar shirt or a spread collar shirt is the best option. No need to wear a tie but if that is something you like why not? I would suggest a narrow tie as they look more casual.

You can also pick a pattern that adds a modern touch. Mixing both classic elements with modern details is a great way to achieve a semi-formal look.

A banded collar shirt is a stylish alternative for any semi-formal event. Note that most shirts with front buttons will look more formal when they are tucked into the pants.

Click on the Image to See More Colors and Pricing


Pants are a good example of how a garment can build or destroy a style.

We usually think that trousers are not as important as the top part of the body elements. This is partially true since we talk to people at a distance that only allows us to see the upper part of their silhouette.

Is that a good reason to wear your PJ pants? If you think that wearing jeans pants with your semi-formal blazer and shirt is a good idea, think again.

When it comes to pants it’s more about the design than the fabric. If you like the comfort of denim than you should wear cotton pants. Only you should choose a more classic design than the regular jean design.

Square back pockets, front pockets, the front zipper closure underlined by the contrasting color thread are all elements contributing to making them look too ordinary. The same rule applies for cargo pants style who is as you probably know a symbol of casual wear.

Leave those for your next billard night with friends.

Instead, pick a classic design.

Click on the Image to See More Colors and Pricing



Bottom line, you simply need to look at how it looks in general and add the finishing touch to make your own personal semi-casual style.

For example, you can decide to wear a bow tie with a handkerchief in your front pocket and have your sleeves rolled up.  Personalizing your outfit will make you feel much more comfortable wearing it and look perfectly in control of your style.

For a summer celebration, a simple, sleeveless jacket with or without a tie is a fashion accessory that looks classy without being too chic.

Hot Days Semi-Formal Attire for Men Tips

Pay a special attention to the type of fabric especially if the event is early in the afternoon and mostly held outdoors.

Some blends are more breathable than others. Linen and cotton are comfortable in the summer because they allow the warmth of the body to flow out. This reduces moisture on the skin and prevents excess sweating.

To prevent wrinkling of the fabric, try choosing a garment that mixes natural fibers with synthetic ones.

Other Events Dress Code

Finally, this video from GQ Barber Lounge explains the degree of formalities in what to wear in a clear and concise way.

White tie, black tie, formal, semi-formal, cocktail, business casual, country club and leisure are all discussed in this video.

It includes interesting tips on what to wear but also on how to wear them.

Therefore, I think it’s a good starting point in understating the differences between all types of events. It could be a good reference to keep in mind when you’ll be attending a different type of event in the future.



Finding Your Semi-Formal Attire Style

 – what about other events dress code?


These days, most common events we are likely to attend are weddings, outdoor celebrations, business dinners, office parties, anniversaries…

It’s difficult to know what to wear if the invitation does not specify what is required. Usually, wedding invites provide you with a theme or at least the address where the celebration will be held.


Also, the type of venue is a good indication if it requires a cocktail, semi-formal or formal attire.


The celebration theme also tells a lot about what to expect:


  • Casino Royal theme: Tuxedo, formal


  • Beach and nautical theme: semi-formal, cocktail


  • Vintage theme:  Tuxedo, formal


  • Golf club and country club venues: semi-formal, cocktail


  • Rustic venue: semi-formal, cocktail



Hope this answers any questions on semi-formal men dress code. If not, feel free to ask a question and share your thoughts by leaving a comment in the section below.



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