A gentleman’s guide – How to dress for each business occasion

Stylish man

Navigating your way around business events has never been an easy task for the modern man.

From questioning whether to pop on a tie, wear a suit, or rock a tux – we sat down with the experts at leading Australian made-to-measure tailors Oscar Hunt to help guide us through dressing for each business occasion.

Cocktail Dress


When it comes to cocktail events, often it can be confusing to balance smart business with casual. The rules however, are quite simple.


The cocktail dress code is one of the most fun and exciting, as it gives you the greatest opportunity to express your own sense of style.

Distinction to stand out is key and also a great opportunity to try new combinations and stretch the rules. We recommend experimenting with colours and patterns, whether it be a bold shirt, bold pocket square or playful socks.

Do Not:

Steer away from formal ties and black suits to keep it moderately casual. Also, dress to the appropriate atmosphere of your workplace (i.e. sombre tones over a bright orange shirt if your workplace is quite conservative).

The Lounge Look 


The lounge dress code is one of the least familiar, however one of the easiest to pull off.

Much like the new kid on the block, the lounge suit sits just under the cocktail dress code – initially worn during periods of leisure (think relaxed tailoring).


Dress conservatively. You are expected to wear a dark suit and tie. If in doubt, select a charcoal or navy. Pair with a solid white or blue shirt and make sure your tie is within the colour scheme of your suit – subtlety and classic styling here is key (double breasted is also recommended).

Do Not:

As this is a conservative look, avoid bright-coloured ties and suits. Keep it subtle, safe and timelessly tasteful.

The Black Tie

Black Tie

Now for the crème de la crème – the black tie look.

This is also commonly known as formal wear, dinner suit, or tuxedo. This look requires the most specific guidelines, which are critical to adhere to.


Traditionally, when asked to wear black tie, you would always wear a black suit. This is still the case although you may find modern variations in off-white or midnight blue. Keep it clean and sharp with a buttoned dinner shirt, cufflinks and a bow tie (braces are optional, although a well-tailored pair of trousers should hold themselves up without assistance). 

Do Not:

As the strictest dress code of them all, you must adhere to the formality. This means leaving all coloured shirts and accessories (such as bracelets or fashion-led rings) at home.

While it’s important to follow a guide on business event dress codes, it’s also important to feel comfortable in whatever you wear – that it fits you well and it’s fit for purpose! Remember, confidence is truly the best look to enhance your outfit, and you should make stylistic choices to exemplify your own distinct sense of style and personality.

For more information on Oscar Hunt or to book a fitting visit oscarhunt.com.au. To follow their journey on social media please visit Facebook and Instagram.