Formal can mean fun
It is very easy to assume that formal means boring or old fashioned. It might be a smart event such as a wedding anniversary but you have a fair amount of leeway in what you can wear. A suit may be mandatory but there are a wide range of colours, fabrics and styles to choose from. Plus you can opt for a particular look, for example the '007 look' or the 'extremely wealthy hedge fund manager look'.
Sleek, narrow lapelled suits a la Mad Men are still very much on trend. Choose a grey slim fitting suit, team it with a white shirt, slim tie and a pair of black Oxfords, and, add a final flourish with a pair of designer cufflinks. This is a stylish yet sexy look.
You may want to give the fedora a miss though.
If you have been invited to a wedding the choice is between a suit or smart shirt and trousers combo. But this depends upon how well you know the bride and groom and the type of 'do' they are having.
If it is a full on traditional church wedding then opt for a smart three piece suit in a dark navy, black or grey colour, handmade shoes and a silk pocket handkerchief in the top pocket.
But if it is to be held in a registry office or is planned as an informal event then a pair of slim fit trousers and a matching shirt will pass muster. Add a roller buckle belt and a black plating watch. There is always the option to add a tie if necessary.
An after work event may be a social affair but tread carefully. It is all too easy to get carried away so opt for smart casual or conservative unless you work in a creative environment.
A good choice is a pair of suit trousers with a coloured shirt, skinny tie, tuxedo blazer and a pair of patent leather shoes. But if you are a fan of the film 'Quadrophenia' then release your inner mod and choose a sharp Italian suit or a pair of slim fitting chinos, button down shirt, skinny tie and a velvet blazer.