How to dress for prom: The ultimate guide to finding your perfect suit
Finding the perfect suit for your prom night can be a daunting task. Aside from weddings or a formal occasion, a prom suit is typically the first time you’ll be able to pick a suit that reflects your style and personality. But, there’s a lot to think about when it comes to choosing the perfect suit — fit, colour, style and accessories are all important in making this a prom night to remember.
So where should you start?
Our styling experts have put together some top tips to help you find the suit that’s perfect for you. In this guide, we’ve outlined the hottest trends for prom 2021, how to find your perfect fit and the accessories you need to elevate your prom suit to the next level.
How to choose the perfect suit for you
Whether you’re all about standout prints, luxurious velvet materials, or classic 3-piece sets, a suave prom suit will guarantee you’ll steal stares all night long. Say goodbye to that boring polyester piece in the back of your wardrobe and inject a new lease of life into your formal attire.
Let's begin with the big question; suit, tuxedo or blazer?
Each look brings something unique to the table, so deciding between the three is no easy feat. Unless you’ve been given a specific dress code that you need to stick to, you should be able to choose whichever style makes you feel the most comfortable and confident.
But, what exactly is the difference?
- Suit — Available in 2-piece or 3-piece sets, a suit is a surefire go-to for many on prom night. They also come in three mainstream fits — slim-fit, tailored and regular.
- Tuxedo — The more formal of the three options, a tuxedo typically features satin details. Satin-faced lapels, buttons and side-stripping down the trouser leg are all key identifiers of a classic tux. They also consist of a bowtie, while suits usually feature ties.
- Blazer — If you’re opting for something a little more casual, a blazer is the way forward. These versatile jackets are usually cut in a more relaxed style, allowing you to mix and match to suit your style.
When it comes to picking the right fit for your suit, there are a few factors to consider. You’ll need to think about how you want the jacket to sit on your arms, shoulders and chest; as well as your preferred style, cut and the formality of the event.
There are three main types of suit fits that you can choose from:
SHOP ALL SLIM FIT SUITS- FROM £69
Sometimes known as “skinny fit”, slim fit is streamlined to be the narrowest of the three options. Leading to a tighter fit that looks more modern, this stylish fit sits snug on the arms, shoulder and chest, while the trousers taper toward the end of the leg. Extremely flattering, almost anyone can look good in a slim fit suit.
SHOP ALL TAILORED FIT SUITS- FROM £85
Defined by a clear, shaped waist, a tailored fit suit will flatter any build. This suit will sit comfortably on your arms, chest and shoulders whilst showcasing your silhouette. To finish off the suit, the trousers are fuller in the thigh and slightly tapered on the hem to elongate the leg and look sharp. Tailored fit has some excess fabric and is ideal with anyone who wants to dress smart but not compromise on comfort.
SHOP ALL REGULAR FIT SUITS- FROM £49
Suitable for every occasion, a regular fit suit opts for a more relaxed style and fits looser in the body. With a broader fit running through the arms, legs and shoulders, the jacket sits close to the body and is only slightly fitted. To finish off the suit neatly, the trousers should naturally fall down straight, only with discreet tapering at the ankles. A regular-fitting suit is just right if you’re looking for a style that guarantees comfort but provides timeless elegance.
One of the most important decisions you can make for your prom night is all dependent on the colour wheel. By using the colour wheel as a helpful starting point, you can see which colours work well together and which should be avoided. To implement colour theory, you’ve got three elements to choose from — your suit, shirt and tie. Adding different colours to an outfit is an effortless way to make it look more eye-catching and to add depth.
It’s also important to ask yourself — are you going with your partner and want to match? Or are you and your friends, opting to look dapper in the same colourway? It’s important to pick a colour that you will feel comfortable and stylish in.
When it comes to selecting your suit, there are a number of classic colours that never fail to impress:
SHOP ALL BLACK SUITS- FROM £65
Simple but stylish, a classic black suit is a no-nonsense approach to looking effortlessly suave. Ideally, a black suit is usually paired with a crisp, white shirt and a matching pocket square and bowtie. Rather than picking and choosing colours, a black suit makes use of a range of monochromatic tones throughout. Pairing impeccable craftsmanship with a timeless design, style with a pair of polished black dress shoes for a sharp finish.
SHOP ALL GREY SUITS- FROM £69
Nothing says dapper like a grey suit. With the unpredictable British weather, a fashion-forward grey tweed suit is guaranteed to elevate your prom look. Suitable for all types of formal occasions, this effortless, sophisticated tonal colourway adds options to explore everything from dark charcoal to slate grey. Plus, the neutral tones of grey make it easy to add a splash of bright, contrasting colour with your choice of tie or pocket square.
SHOP ALL CHECKED SUITS - FROM £85
Whether the theme is bold or understated, finding a suit that matches your style can sometimes be a challenge. A brown suit helps to create a refined, modern, and sophisticated look. Not only is it effortlessly cool, but a brown suit in materials like tweed help to add a vintage and rustic feel to your suit styling. To complement the suit, accessorise with ties and pocket squares in deep blue hues, as brown and blue sit opposite one another on the colour wheel, to create a winning combination.
SHOP ALL NAVY SUITS- FROM £85 — £135
A navy suit is one of the most versatile options that can be chosen in a suit. If you want to experiment with traditional colours, there are endless options when pairing with navy. Take inspiration from the colour wheel and utilise adjacent colours of light blue tones and deep purples hues, whether in a striking shirt or a bold tie. A navy suit matched with versatile tones creates a sophisticated look and helps to add a put-together finish to an incredibly crisp suit.
Two-piece or three-piece?
When deciding on a suit or tux style, it’s important to consider whether you’d prefer to keep it simple and opt for a two-piece, or go the extra mile and commit to a three-piece suit.
Slim Double Breasted Blue Check Two-Piece Suit — £99
While two-piece suits are largely more popular than a three-piece, a two-piece consists of a formal suit jacket with a pair of matching suit trousers. A two-piece suit allows for more choice in the fit and usually makes use of a single-breasted blazer, so there’s less reach across the chest. You’ll also find that two-piece suits can help showcase your personality. A playful check print or bold colourway helps to create a more standout style and look great when worn and accessorised correctly. Creating a clean and cohesive outfit by matching your tie to your dress shoes completes a two-piece suit.
Grey & Purple Check Three Piece Suit — £135
On a general level, a three-piece suit should consist of a suit jacket, matching suit trousers and a waistcoat. The presence of a waistcoat increases the formality of the suit and is usually worn for formal events like weddings and races. A waistcoat adds structure to the outfit and the popular slim fit cut offers a more modern and stylish finish to an otherwise classic look. Both single and double-breasted blazers compliment a waistcoat perfectly.
How to accessorise
Time to add the finishing touches. Making sure you get your accessories right is key in pulling your prom suit together. From tie pins to dress watches, these final details are often overlooked, yet are the key to standing out in the crowd.
Wine and Navy Patterned Tie — £14
As well as finding the right suit to match your personal style, choosing the right tie can make or break your outfit. Ideally, you’re looking to create another level of contrast between your shirt, suit and accessories.
Firstly you have to decide whether you want a block-coloured or a patterned tie. Patterned ties often echo patterned shirts, adding a level of consistency by matching their design, whereas solid colours help to pull the eye toward this main focal point.
Black And White Polyester Bowtie — £7
Nothing says timeless style like a bowtie. The perfect partner to a tuxedo, a bowtie can showcase your personality. Play by the book with a classic black bowtie that will perfectly complement an all-black suit, or try a bowtie in striking paisley or polka dot to add the final finishing touch.
Sophos Tartan Braces — £12
Often overlooked, braces are a quality essential in completing any suit. Helping to add a more personalised finish to your look, braces present a more traditional, versatile style as well as giving your trousers a better fit. These vintage accessories are largely worn with two-piece suits and look best with a long sleeve white or lighter coloured shirt for a stand-out contrast.
Navy Tear Drop Pocket Square — £5
A simple way to uplift a suit, it can sometimes be hard to navigate pocket square etiquette. A pocket square looks great whether it’s coordinated with your tie or bowtie, or contrasting against your suit. Pocket squares in bolder colours are great for adding personality to a more conservative suit in a risk-free way, whereas patterned designs can reflect your personal style.
Celtic Sheild Design Cufflinks — £14
Cufflinks are the final finishing touch to any suit, but sometimes it can be easy to forget this subtle detail. Shirt cufflinks represent the best excuse for a sophisticated treat to ensure your style is finished off to the highest standard. Complete your outfit with the finest cufflinks in sterling silver and add a piece of your personal style to complete your prom suit.
Find a style that suits your taste
Now that you know how to pick and style a suit for prom, it’s time to put your new-found knowledge to the test. At Slater Menswear, we have a huge selection of prom suits to choose from, or if you’re looking for more guidance, head over to our style inspiration hub for more expert fashion advice.