A Guy's Guide To Homecoming Fashion | 2023 |
Homecoming, like prom and graduation, is a truly special occasion for any young person and always calls for a fun, stylish and memorable outfit.
Everyone you ask will tell you the same thing: nothing boosts a guy’s self confidence or expresses their own personality during homecoming quite like a well styled outfit.
If you’re really going to go all out for your homecoming outfit, then there’s a bit more to think about than you might realize, like:
Should you wear a suit or a tuxedo? How formal should your outfit be? Should you follow the latest trends or dress more traditionally? How do you match your date? How should you coordinate your colors? What kind of fit should you look for?
This can all be a lot to think about, even for someone already familiar with fashion.
But don’t worry, because in the spirit of homecoming season, we’ve created this easy to follow guide with 3 major tips to help you create the perfect homecoming outfit and dazzle everyone who lays eyes on you.
So let’s get started!
Know Your Event’s Dress Code
First thing’s first: know the event's dress code.
In the fashion world, your event’s dress code is always the single most important thing that determines how you should style your outfit. If you’re not sure about your homecoming’s dress code, contact your school or check the event’s invitation.
Whether you attend homecoming alone, with a date, or with a larger group of people, you’ll always want to put your best foot forward to really have fun, impress your friends, create the best memories, and stand out from the rest of the crowd.
This means that how you match your homecoming event’s dress code is going to be a key factor to having the best possible homecoming experience in almost any circumstance.
Understanding how to match your homecoming’s dress code might seem a bit confusing at first but it's actually usually pretty simple.
There are essentially 3 levels of formality of dress codes for homecoming: formal, semi-formal, and semi-casual. Each individual school’s homecoming event is going to fall within 1 of these 3 categories, depending on the school’s traditions and school spirit.
Formal events almost always call for a tuxedo or suit ensemble of some kind. At these kinds of homecoming events, a black-tie tuxedo styled with black or brown loafers represents the peak of tradition and formality. A simple dress shirt and slacks probably isn’t going to create a standout impression in a formal atmosphere like this one. Formal dress codes usually call for you to style your tuxedo with a bow-tie, usually in either black or white.
If tuxedos aren’t your thing, then a well styled dark colored suit is another option that also works in a formal atmosphere, though it is less traditional. Wearing a suit instead of a tuxedo to a formal event is a more modern option, and many people find suits easier to wear, but suits are less formal than tuxedos and sometimes use less luxurious fabrics. Regardless of if you choose to wear a suit or tuxedo, most formal homecoming events are usually going to call for darker colored outfits, either solid black or dark gray, this should also include your footwear.
Since formal events usually call for very opulent, well planned outfits, they also usually involve a fair amount of accessorizing (keep reading for advice on how to style your accessories!). Accessorizing can be difficult but it’s worth it: not only do accessories add flair and bravado to your look, but can also be used to stylize and accent the darker colors of your outfit.
Semi-Formal events are probably the most common of the 3 categories listed here. This kind of event is usually not quite formal enough for a traditional tuxedo, but also not quite casual enough for jeans and sneakers. Suits and dress shirts are usually appropriate for semi-formal homecoming events, which means that styling an outfit for a semi-formal gives you a fairly wide range of options.
Colors are usually a bit more flexible during a semi-formal event. Rather than solid black or gray, colors like navy blue, beige, white, and black are all safe options to consider when styling your outfit. Semi-formal dress codes also give you more options to style your vest with the rest of your outfit, and, like with formal events, the effective use of accessorizing always makes a big difference when creating a truly memorable look. You can also branch out from traditional oxford and derby style loafers and experiment with more modern styled footwear, like sneakers or dress sneakers.
Remember to be sure to style your outfit with the appropriate neckwear, usually either bow-ties or neck-ties, which are both appropriate for semi-formal events. When choosing between the two, keep in mind that bow-ties are a bit flashier and can sometimes be seen paired with dinner jackets, while neck-ties are more commonly seen with blazers and suit jackets. Style them to create a look that you feel most comfortable in.
Semi-Casual dress codes feature relatively simple outfits designed for comfort and ease of wear. They often feature a wide variety of outfit options including dress shirts, khakis, and even jeans. Collared shirts and sneakers are commonly seen in these kinds of events. Colors are a bit more relaxed than in semi-formal events, but you should still take care to match your date.
Semi-casual outfits are fairly simple to style for, but you can still add a lot to these kinds of outfits through clever accessorizing. Accessories are a universally useful tool for getting the most out of your outfits, and this is true for semi-casual dress codes as well. Hats are a great option for these occasions, and can add a completely new dimension to an outfit. Dress shoes and sneakers are both appropriate here, and the choice comes down to personal preference. Dress sneakers are a useful intermediate option, combining the formality of dress shoes with the clean, modern design of sneakers.
Neckwear is optional for semi-casual events, but you can also use it to accent your outfit, according to your preference. The most casual of semi-casual outfits will probably lack any neckwear, but a necktie paired with a dress shirt can make for a fine option for semi-casual events. Just make sure your outfit fits well and isn’t wrinkled. Like with semi-formal dress codes, bow-ties are a bit flashier while neck-ties a bit more modern and sleek.
Always keep in mind that correctly following the dress code for your event is the easiest way to ensure you have the best possible experience. You should always know which level of formality your own school’s homecoming event falls into beforehand, and plan to dress accordingly.
Style Your Vest EffectivelyMake effective use of your vest and to style it well according to the rest of your outfit. Many people overlook the importance of their vest, but this is a big mistake. Take special care to make sure your vest doesn’t clash, either in material, style, or color, with the rest of your outfit.
Vests are affordable, comfortable, and attractive, but their greatest quality is their versatility. Vests can be worn in nearly any circumstance and have the ability to effectively accent nearly almost any style or look. In fact, vests can be worn in all 3 dress codes discussed earlier from formal, to semi-formal, to semi-casual.
Vests are an important part of almost any kind of formal or semi-formal outfit, so it’s important to style them well. Keep these ideas in mind when styling with your vest for homecoming:
Coordinate your vest with the rest of your outfit, by making sure the colors match. For more traditional looks, avoid flashy colors or bright materials like sequin or glitter. If you have a date, then make sure your vest matches theirs, or at the very least, doesn’t clash with its design.
Check the vests fit. A vest that’s too tight will be uncomfortable and unprofessional, but a vest that’s too loose will make you look sloppy. You should be able to button all the buttons comfortably, and the vest should cover your waistband and belt buckle.
Accent your vest with neckwear. Show off your shirt collar or tie. An attractively styled vest should create a flattering silhouette and focus attention to your neck and chest.
Make sure your vest is wrinkle free. Nothing kills a crisp look faster than wrinkles. So be sure to de-wrinkle your vest before wearing it. Make sure you follow the care instructions on the label of your vest to avoid damaging the fabric, as different fabrics may call for different cleaning methods.
Find Different Ways To AccessorizeAccessorize with a variety of different looks. Lapel pins, handkerchiefs, hats, belt buckles, and suspenders are all great ways of adding personality and variety to your homecoming outfit.
Like vests, suspenders are an inexpensive, fun, and easy way to add a layer of depth to your homecoming outfit. They are also styled in a way that’s fairly similar to styling a vest, with brighter colors and more flamboyant motifs being reserved for less formal occasions. Generally speaking, thinner suspenders are more casual and playful, while wider suspenders are more formal.
Other smaller accessories include lapel pins, cufflinks, and tie-pins. These are easy additions to your outfit that can add a tremendous amount of depth and character to your look.
Hats can be a game changer for any kind of homecoming outfit for any kind of dress code, with fedoras and flat caps being particularly attractive options. Be sure to experiment with different looks and take care not to wear a hat that is too casual, like a baseball cap, since it might clash with the rest of your outfit.
Take these easy steps into consideration and you’ll be stealing the show in no time. Homecoming is a very special event that will create lasting memories, so get out there and make the most of it!