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Guide for Guys: How to Dress for Formal or Semi-Formal

In college, tons of guys go to fraternity/sorority formals and semi-formals. These events usually require business formal attire for men. This usually translates into wearing a dress shirt, open collar, with a sport coat and dress pants of some sort. This is a great look in my opinion; classy and simple where you can’t really go wrong. This article will help you look better and possibly even stand out at your next function.

Please do not wear Sperry’s or any other kind of “boat shoe." The classic Sperry loafer can be seen all over college campuses and is incredibly easy to include in your everyday look. These shoes are nice but not nice enough and definitely will not make you stand out. I would recommend a nice pair of Johnston and Murphy’s, they are a bit pricey but will make you stand out for sure.

If you are wearing dark shoes, please wear a dark brown belt. And if you are wearing light brown shoes, wear a light brown belt. I see this way too often where guys don’t match their belts to their shoes. It is more of a minor detail, but it can bring any outfit to the next level and will make you look so much better.


If you are going to wear a dress shirt and blazer, please don’t wear a black dress shirt. Black dress shirts should be rarely resorted to and never when wearing a blazer. These shirts are just tacky and outdated. It especially looks bad if you are wearing a black dress shirt and a navy sports coat... that is the ultimate color clash. My advice is to just stay away from black dress shirts altogether. My go-to dress shirt is the Ralph Lauren classic cotton. You can never go wrong with the classic polo horse on the chest and the unlimited color options.