Arriving Awards ShowNote: this article was specifically written for the gents out there. I spent some time looking for a good article on this subject for ladies, but I couldn’t find a good one to link to. If you know of one please let me know and I’ll link to it from here.

There are certain important occasions when you really need to look your best beyond what your personal preference for style is. I am sure you all are familiar with the most common of these situations like dressing up for a job interview, dressing up for work or for a especial event.

And then there are some other not so common occasions such as awards shows.

Yeah, I know not most of us will have to deal with this in all of our lives (or will we?), but I recently received a request to create a blog post with some advice on how men should dress for an awards show, so I thought this would make for an interesting post.

If you have been invited to such a ceremony and are unsure to what you should wear, this is a post for you! And of course, many of these tips can also work for any major event, so the rest of you reading can still come out with a few takeaways.

Were You Nominated For An Award Or Simply Assisting As A Guest?

The first thing we need to consider is whether you are assisting as a guest or as a nominee. The reality is, all tips that I will be providing here will apply to both. The only certain difference is that nominees are usually artists, actors or simply someone who will probably be publicly recognized, thus they can get some more leeway as far as how audacious their outfits for such events can be.

So if you are assisting as a nominee, feel free to be a bit more adventurous and bold. I won’t really go into detail to define “adventurous” in this context, since the range of options will be overwhelming. Having said that, try to still follow closely the basic rules that come next.

For the rest, i.e. the guests (which I’m guessing that’s the most of you reading this blog post), you can simply try your best to adhere to this article and you’ll surely make it a killer evening.

Consider The Awards Ceremony Dress Code

Justin Timberlake Grammy Awards

Something many of us outside of the entertainment industry are not really aware of, is that most (if not all) awards ceremonies do have a dress code for all their assistants. It is just a bit hard to notice when so many assistants choose stretch the code as they please.

Don’t be that guy.

Follow closely what the dress code dictates for the show you are attending. Dress codes are important and have a real purpose, so stick to the rules first and create your own style within the boundaries of what’s acceptable to wear for the event.

While it’s true most dress code guidelines apply mainly to women, asking them not to be exceedingly sexy. The basic rules of class still apply to all male attentands.

Different Styles For Different Awards

Not all awards have the same dress code, thus what is acceptable for one might not be acceptable for the next.

Look at what people wear for the Oscars vs what they wear for the Grammys vs what people wear for a school awards ceremony. The difference can be abysmal.

Always be cognizant to the type of awards show you are attending so you don’t end up looking completely out of place. Let me say it again, make an effort not to be that guy that always stand out like a sore thumb.

In general, a good fitting suit for most events or a good fitting tux will be your best bets. The decision to go for one over the other lies on how fancy the event will be. Anything less than a suit and tie should be considered too casual if you really want to be noticed as being appropriately dressed.

Bypassing the tie is *possible*. I would, however, hardly recommend it unless you know the rest of your ensemble carries as much elegance without the tie as with it. And then again, if that is the case, doesn’t it make more sense to just wear the tie?

What about those who think a suit and tie is just too stiff of an outfit? Yes, we always see a large of number of men wearing all kinds of ridiculous clothes on these shows, but do I really have to explain how absurd they look?

There are some other blogs that will praise them for it, not here.

Moving on.

Be Original Without Sacrificing Class

Oscars Show StyleI have already mentioned how sticking to the rules can be your best bet when assisting to an awards show. However, I never meant to say you cannot show a bit of originality in your outfits. It is acceptable and valid to show some personality while still being elegantly dressed.

So what are some cool ways to show some individuality in your ensembles? Here are a few ideas for you:

Warning: the following suggestions apply only to not-so-strict shows. If your show calls for Black Tie, please stick to it, wear your tux with a bow tie (don’t fall for the very questionable trend to wear neckties with tuxedos) and keep the eccentricity to other occasions.

  • Wear a bow tie instead of a necktie. Most men will be wearing a tie to these events. Going for a bow tie is a cool way to stand out from the crowd.
  • Make it colorful. Don’t be afraid of wandering away from the very tipical black and navy. Awards show can be a great occasion to break out the reds, greens and purples. Learn some more about how to wear colorful jackets here.
  • Make use of accessories. This is probably the easiest way to add some of your own personality to a very typical outfit. You can wear a vibrant pocket square, a pair distinguished cufflinks or even a cool hat, as long as it’s tasteful and doesn’t detract from the class of your garments.

There should be many other ways to boost the character of your awards show outfits, I just wanted to put you in the right mindframe to start experimenting and come up with your own ideas.

Just remember class is key here.

Kill It With Confidence

If there is a single most important piece of advice that I could give you all is to act confident.

This type of occasions are the perfect opportunities to put your best foot forward and display how capable you are of putting together a fantastic outfit. There will be cameras all around as well as people watching, and you know how it goes…. make it worth their while.

But you know the best outfit will never be enough if you don’t show enough attitude and confidence behing what you are wearing.

The best outfit just won’t save the lamest of attitudes.

As always, be confident. Own what you are wearing, stay classy and simply kill it with style and character.

What Will You Wear?


So now that you have the basic rules and a few tips on how to dress for an awards ceremony I hope there will be no more excuses to make this a great experience.

Let me know in the comments below if you have ever been to such a ceremony, what you wore to it and what the experience was like.

For those of you with an invitation to an upcoming event, what will you wear?

And don’t forget to enjoy the show. 🙂

If you enjoyed this post, I’d be very grateful if you’d help it spread by emailing it to a friend, or sharing it on your social media accounts.

Thank you!

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