Ask PM | Cocktails & Dress Codes

Going out for any sort of party or event recently is cause for celebration—also good reason to dress up a bit. 

Whether it’s a wedding, a cocktail party or a casual get-together, event season is here. 

However, nowadays the line between what’s ‘casual’  and what’s ‘dressed up’ have been blurred and sometimes it can be stressful or confusing trying to figure out what to wear. 

We recently had a small cocktail party at The White Moth and although we assumed most guests would wear a suit, we set a dress code anyways: ’Cocktail Attire’. 

What does ‘Cocktail Attire’ mean and what are the other dress codes? For us, there are 3 main categories of dressing for parties and events in this modern world. First, black tie, the most formal. Second, cocktail attire. Finally, no dress code or ‘casual’.  

Our friends from Peddlers Gin Co. were kind enough to share a few cocktails that match the mood and shared the recipe incase you are interested in mixing one up yourself. 

Black Tie & Martini’s

Events that might call for a black tie dress code would be formal annual parties, Galas or Balls, weddings or award ceremonies.

If a dress code calls for black tie, you are in luck, because it’s hard to get wrong. The simplest way to dress is to wear a tuxedo, white shirt, black bow tie and black shoes such as black Belgian loafers or black oxfords. There are many variations of black tie attire, but keep it simple.

If you need some inspiration, just look up James Bond and images of him in tuxedos, whether from recent or older films, he always looks sharp. 

Contrary to Bond, gin enthusiasts will always prefer their Martini stirred, not shaken, in order to keep more of the true Gin flavor. 007 always ordered his shaken, which dilutes more ice into the martini thus making it less strong—a spy needs to keep his senses after-all.

Classic Martini Recipe:

60ml Gin

10ml Dry Vermouth

Shaken or stirred with ice

Strained and served up in a chilled glass

Garnish with an olive or a lemon twist

Cocktail Attire 

Justin in vintage Scabal pinstripe suit

This dress code denotes that there may be drinks involved, perhaps a celebration and maybe in the evening. One of the reasons we had a cocktail party was to see how our guests would interpret ‘cocktail attire.’ 

The simple and easy outfit is to wear a full suit and tie. You could even get away with wearing an odd jacket and tie. Some of our guests chose to wear a jacket over a turtleneck, velvet dinner jacket and even a Chang Shan (traditional Chinese men’s robe) and not one person looked out of place. After all, it was a party to meet with friends and take the opportunity to dress up a bit. 

A favorite cocktail by many in the Sartorial sphere is Negroni. Its origin dates back to 1919 in Florence, when a bartender responded to a patrons’s request for something stiffer than an Americano, which is Campari, Sweet Vermouth and club soda. The bartender then replaced the club soda in an Americano with gin and the Negroni was born.

Negroni Recipe:

30ml Gin

25ml Rosso Vermouth

25ml Campari

Poured in glass over ice, stirred. 

Garnish with orange twist

Casual or No Dress Code

Justin in Jersey Jacket, Seersucker Shirt, and Milktea Chinos

A birthday party, casual get together or event that doesn’t have a dress code requires a bit of thinking on your part. You probably don’t want to go full on street wear or athleisure but you wouldn’t want to go out in black tie either. 

We will always stop and think about TPO; Time, Place and Occasion. If it is a casual summer get together, chinos, a shirt, or polo with some loafers would look nice and neat, if at a casual restaurant the same would probably be fine. But, if it’s at a nice restaurant, it’s safe to throw on a jacket over a shirt. 

In any occasion, we’d always recommend some casual chinos or trousers, a shirt or polo and a jacket to top it off. In the heat of the summer, you can always take off the jacket. 

You might also want to think about who will be at the event and how they normally dress or how they might dress. Normally you want to try to fit in and not stick out of the crowd. However, the art of dressing at its best is “stand out, without stick out”. 

GNT (Gin & Tonic) is a go-to drink for summer:

50ml Gin

Tonic Water

Pour over ice

Garnish with Lime

Peddlers also recommended a Salted Plum Gin Fizz, which was the favorite cocktail of the night. It was refreshing, had a nice sweet and savory flavor and wasn’t too strong.

Salted Plum Gin Fizz

45ml Peddlers Salted Plum Gin

15ml Lemon Juice

10ml Osmanthus or Simple Syrup

Shake with ice, pour over ice in glass

Garnish with dried salted plum

I think most of the guest’s that joined the cocktail party indeed enjoy dressing up for occasions. If your daily look is workwear or streetwear, we get that. Maybe you also enjoy wearing athleisure. But there is something elegant and classy about a suit or jacket that is irreplaceable and why not mix that into your repertoire, too? □ PRINCIPLE M

Writer: Justin

Photographer: Adora

Cinematographer: Nicolas Schmmit

Produced by PRINCIPLE M

Special Thanks to Peddlers Gin & White Moth

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