A while back I posted a question on the FYG facebook page asking if there were any topics you gentlemen wanted discussed. One of the proposed topics, and this is my paraphrase, asked how to take your daytime business suit/outfit and transition into a nighttime affair.
The simplest and most concise answer is that it is all in the accessories; belts, ties, cufflinks, socks, pocket squares and suspenders. It is partially a play on formality and partially a play between conservative and playful. By changing a few of your accessories you can take a solid navy suit from your desk to the dance floor. And yes, I mean you may have to be that guy in the office bathroom changing his tie at 6pm. Or, depending on the combination you could wear something less conservative to the office and then wear it through the night.
The more classic approach to dressing at night is that you dress formally; black shoes, dark colored tie and a formal pocket square. However, I believe the gent who asked the question wanted to hear about a less conservative and more playful approach.
Take for instance, the 4 photos below. Each has a different combination of tie, pocket square and suspenders. And each could go well with a solid navy or gray suit. But each represents a totally different aura. Obviously, you will not have the identical items at your disposal, but the focus here should be more on the essence of each piece and not the exact item. In the first photo is a pretty formal and conservative combination and it is geared more toward a business setting.
Although this ensemble would be perfectly appropriate at night (and some staunch classicists would say it is the most appropriate of the 4 looks) let’s assume you do not want to wear something so ‘professional’ out on the town and you want something more playful. So we can change out the tie and pocket square. This look is still quite formal. A navy tie (the Fuck You tie from Chipp2) and dark colored paisley pocket square. However, it is considerably more playful.
So maybe you want something even more playful. More colorful. In the third combination we have something that could easily be worn during the day but would also work well at night because it is formal and playful at the same time (tie from Charvet, suspenders are of my own design).
And lastly we have the least formal ensemble. The silk knit tie (from Paul Stuart) really serves to dress things down in a more fun manner (they also almost always get a lady’s attention). The pocket square has 4 different geometric patterns and as such is somewhat formal but compliments the tie well. And pink suspenders (from Albert Thurston) because betches fucking love pink suspenders.