Tis the season to dress your best. Here’s 7 tips how.

The holiday season brings office parties and family get togethers and you’re expected to dress for the occasion. Your in laws may be in town or you boss may expect you to be the host of this years christmas exchange. Either way, you’ll want to bring your A game if you want to create a memorable holiday. If you want to look your best, here are 7 tips to help you do just that.

  1. The navy suit is out.

While the rest of the year may be perfectly fine to wear that navy suit you’ve got, this isn’t the time to go old school. Try to find a bold patterned suit, but not too bold this isn’t the ugliest suit contest. You’ll want to choose something with wide squares or stripes in a dark under color with bright lines. The contrast of light over dark will go well with the winter season. If you’re in the southern hemisphere and it’s summer during this season, reverse the color and find a light under color with dark lines. Again, large squares and stripes are bold, classic, and eye catching.

2. Contrast is king

Winter is a season of contrasts. The stark white snows offset the dark bark of bare trees and bushes. The shorter time of light creates a sense of urgency and change. At night, the outdoors become bright with snow and lines are sharp and stand out more. So you can bring that contrast into your wardrobe during this season. Use two different patterns such as a diamond patterned sweater under a striped coat. You can also use contrasting textures. Like wool and silk or cotton. The key is to emulate the stark contrast of the season with warm, firelight interior homes and cold, bitter snowy outdoors. You can even include well made jumpers in your fashion repertoire.

3. Ditch the tie. No really.

Even at office parties, this isn’t the season for ties. Especially if you’re thinking of wearing a funky seasonal tie to your grandma’s house. It may be okay to dress that way if you’re planning on getting laughs, but if you want to dress your best, ditch the tie. This season is about gathering together and celebrating. Depending on your religious beliefs, it’s a time to come close and let the world see you as a bit vulnerable. Now, that doesn’t mean you can dress slovenly, but it does mean you don’t have to dress so formally. Not wearing a tie gives your fashion the sense that you’ve dressed down without actually having to do it.

4. Wear dark pants

Dark slacks are a must to be the best dressed you can be this season. Whether it’s black dress slacks or dark blue jeans, go for the darker shades to create that contrast we talked about earlier. As we discussed earlier, that contrast between sharp darks and lights mirror the season. So when you wear dark pants, it makes it easier to accessorize those with other contrasting colored wearables. The old adage of not wearing white after labor day applies to men as well as women. White or light colors are summer colors and reflect the warmth of the sun. So, naturally, winter is a time to absorb as much of that short lived sunshine as possible. Wear those dark pants and put the light colored slacks in storage for summer.

5. Seasonal Socks are cool

Remember when we said that wearing seasonal fashion was out of the question? Except when it comes to socks. A little peek of Rudolph’s red nose flashing below your pant leg brings a festive cheer to the whole party. Brightly accented socks are actually a great way to contrast between the dark shoes and pants to bring a hint of color to the bottom of your ensemble. A pair of snowflake socks lets your inner boy come out playfully.

6. Loafers are fine

Many men believe they have to dress in their finest wingtip Oxford shoes at seasonal parties. While this is not a fashion faux paux, it’s perfectly okay to wear loafers instead. As we said earlier, this season is about being open and dressing down a bit. Not too much, however, but wearing a nice pair of dark leather loafers is a great way to give the dressed down feel without compromising your best dressed fashion. Stick with leather loafers, however. Don’t go for the suede or fabric loafers that are worn during the summer months and especially don’t wear light colored loafers. Dark browns and blacks are the best loafer colors.

7. Don’t forget the jacket

If you have decided to wear a nice cashmere sweater, don’t forget to add a contrasting fabric jacket over the top. Nothing finishes off a well dressed man like a jacket. It says that you’ve chosen your clothes carefully and put the finishing touches to the details. Again, don’t use light colors for your jacket, you’ll want to stick to darker colors, but enjoy picking a pattern that might not be what you normally pick.

This holiday season, as you go about attending family and office or business parties, remember to use these tips to create the best dressed fashion for yourself. Your in laws and your boss will be proud to have you in attendance.