A Man’s Guide to Getting Ready For a Formal Event

The impression you make lasts forever. Here’s how to make it count.
A Man’s Guide to Getting Ready For a Formal Event

Every so often in a man’s life, an occasion arises that requires him to be at his best—both in form and substance. Needless to say, these sorts of formal events can be intimidating.

But formal events don’t need to be the high-pressure situations we imagine them to be: All it really takes is a little polish. Here’s an easy guide to preparing for a special occasion:

Everything you need to know is on the invite.

Beyond the occasion and theme, a proper invitation will include the affair’s dress code. This includes possible color requests, themes, and degrees of formality—“Black Tie Only,” for instance, demands a tuxedo, not a suit.

What most folks tend to overlook, however, are the RSVPs. While a lot of us simply use them to confirm attendance, they’re also there for any clarifications you might need on the dress code. Calling in with questions isn’t a social faux pas. In fact, it shows deep respect for the host’s plans, as you just want to do right by them.

Getting ready begins a few days ahead.

Now that you know exactly what attire the event entails, select your suit. A no-nonsense, two-piece, single-breasted suit in dark blue will always be the safest choice, especially for a more professional setting. More glamorous events like galas and balls present the opportunity to make a statement with color and patterns—be it on your suit or even in the smaller touches like your pocket square or accessories. Also, make sure that your belt matches your shoes. All of these make a huge difference.

Beyond colors and flourishes, proper fit is most important. Try on your suit and have a tailor make adjustments as needed. As a rule of thumb, your pants should fall just above the highest point of your shoe, and its legs should be neither skinny nor baggy.

For the suit jacket, make sure that the shoulder seam falls right on the edge of your shoulder, and not past it—otherwise, you’ll look like you’re drowning in your suit. The sleeve should end around your wrist, revealing about a half-inch of shirt cuff. Make sure that the body doesn’t just fall straight down, either; there should be a very slight cinching at the waist, giving your upper torso a subtle V-shaped silhouette.

Finally—and most men forget this—get your shoes shined. This little task goes a long way in showing you care.

“Getting ready” doesn’t just involve your clothes.

Your body is the foundation of every outfit you wear, so make sure your grooming game is up to par. Get a haircut around two to five days before the event—close enough to the date to show polish, but also far enough so you don’t look like you just came from the barbershop. Take this opportunity to figure out your facial hair situation, too—does the outfit look better with a clean shave or could it benefit from a little scruff?

A shower is non-negotiable before the big night. Looking and staying fresh is half the battle, and your best partners here are products that are actually formulated for men, such as those by Dove Men+Care. Your hair and skin have different needs from women’s, so using your girlfriend’s shampoo and body wash may not be ideal.

Start by using a shampoo that fights dandruff and strengthens hair. This helps prevent white flakes and loose hairs from messing up your jacket. Then, use a facial and body wash that’s able to moisturize a man’s tougher skin so you can look fresh all night.

Finally, at the end of your routine, don't forget to finish up with a good, long-lasting deodorant. A good ensemble will help you look your best, but you have to smell like it too.

A man is at his best when he takes a little time to prepare himself, after all. Part of that is knowing exactly what works for him, whether it’s in the form of a well-tailored suit, a haircut that brings out his best features, or even his grooming products. Dove Men+Care helps you put your best foot forward by providing care specific to what your body needs. You’ve made your first impression—all you need to do now is enjoy the night with excellent company.

Learn more about Dove Men+Care by visiting their website.

This article was created by Summit StoryLabs in partnership with DOVE.