What to Wear to a Fancy Restaurant: A Guide for Men in 2023

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Appropriate Attire Options for a Fancy Restaurant

When dining at a fancy restaurant, it’s important to dress appropriately to match the upscale ambiance. Men typically have several options for their attire, including a suit or tuxedo. A well-tailored suit in a dark color such as black, navy, or charcoal gray is always a safe and sophisticated choice. Pair it with a crisp white dress shirt, a coordinating tie, and polished dress shoes for a classic look that exudes elegance.

For women, there are various options for dressing up at a fancy restaurant. A cocktail dress is always a great choice, particularly one in a timeless silhouette such as an A-line or sheath style. Opt for fabrics like silk or satin to add an extra touch of luxury to your outfit. Pair your dress with high heels and accessorize with statement jewelry to complete your glamorous look.


  • Suit: Choose a well-tailored suit in black, navy, or charcoal gray.
  • Dress Shirt: Opt for a crisp white dress shirt.
  • Tie: Coordinate your tie with the rest of your outfit.
  • Dress Shoes: Polish up your leather dress shoes for a polished finish.


  • Cocktail Dress: Select a cocktail dress in an elegant silhouette.
  • Fabric Choice: Opt for luxurious fabrics such as silk or satin.
  • High Heels: Pair your dress with high heels to elevate your look.
  • Statement Jewelry: Accessorize with statement jewelry for added glamour.

Suit or Tuxedo: What to Wear to a Fancy Restaurant?

Choosing the Right Attire

Deciding between a suit or a tuxedo for a fancy restaurant can be a tough decision. It ultimately depends on the level of formality of the restaurant and the occasion. If you are attending a black-tie event or dining at an upscale establishment, a tuxedo is the more appropriate choice. A tuxedo typically consists of a black jacket with satin lapels, matching trousers, and a formal dress shirt. On the other hand, if the restaurant has a more relaxed dress code or if you are attending a semi-formal event, a well-fitted suit would be suitable.

Accessorizing Your Attire

When wearing either a suit or tuxedo to a fancy restaurant, it’s important to pay attention to your accessories. A classic bowtie is essential for completing your tuxedo look, while for suits, you can opt for either a tie or bowtie depending on your personal style. Additionally, consider adding cufflinks and pocket squares to elevate your outfit. Choose accessories that complement your attire in terms of color and pattern.


  • Research the dress code of the specific restaurant beforehand to ensure you make the right choice between a suit and tuxedo.
  • If in doubt, it’s better to slightly overdress than underdress for a fancy restaurant.
  • Ensure that your suit or tuxedo fits properly by getting it tailored if necessary.

Choosing Colors and Patterns for a Fancy Restaurant

Color Psychology in Fine Dining

When selecting colors for your outfit at a fancy restaurant, it’s important to consider the psychology behind different hues. Darker shades such as navy blue, charcoal gray, and black exude elegance and sophistication, making them popular choices for formal dining occasions. These colors also have a slimming effect, which can boost your confidence when indulging in a decadent meal. On the other hand, if you prefer to add a pop of color to your ensemble, opt for rich jewel tones like emerald green or deep burgundy.

Patterns that Complement the Ambiance

In addition to color, patterns can play a role in creating an appropriate look for a fancy restaurant. Subtle patterns like pinstripes or small checks can add visual interest without overwhelming your outfit. However, it’s best to avoid loud or busy prints that may distract from the overall ambiance of the restaurant. Stick to classic patterns that convey timeless style and refinement.

Are Jeans and a Nice Shirt Too Casual for a Fancy Restaurant?

The appropriateness of jeans and a nice shirt at a fancy restaurant largely depends on the specific establishment’s dress code. While some high-end restaurants strictly enforce formal attire policies, others may allow more casual options. To determine if jeans are acceptable, consider the overall atmosphere of the restaurant and any guidelines provided by the establishment.

Dress Code Guidelines

If you’re unsure about whether jeans are appropriate for a fancy restaurant, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and dress up rather than down. Opt for tailored trousers or dress pants paired with a button-down shirt or blouse. This ensures you maintain an elegant appearance while adhering to any potential dress code requirements.

Accessorizing to Elevate Your Look

If you do choose to wear jeans, consider elevating your outfit with sophisticated accessories. A blazer or tailored jacket can instantly transform a casual ensemble into a more polished and refined look. Additionally, opt for dress shoes rather than sneakers to further enhance the overall sophistication of your outfit.

Dress Shoes or Stylish Sneakers: Footwear for a Fancy Restaurant

When deciding between dress shoes and stylish sneakers for a fancy restaurant, it’s essential to consider the level of formality required by the establishment. In most cases, dress shoes are the safer choice as they align with traditional notions of formal attire.

Dress Shoes: Classic Elegance

Dress shoes such as oxfords, loafers, or brogues are timeless options that exude elegance and refinement. Opt for leather or suede materials in neutral colors like black or brown to ensure versatility and compatibility with various outfits. These shoes not only complement formal attire but also add a touch of sophistication to any ensemble.

Stylish Sneakers: Contemporary Twist

However, some upscale restaurants have embraced more contemporary fashion trends and may allow stylish sneakers as part of their dress code. If you’re considering wearing sneakers, choose sleek designs made from high-quality materials like leather or canvas. Stick to neutral colors and avoid overly sporty styles to maintain an appropriate balance between comfort and sophistication.

Accessorizing at a Fancy Restaurant: Cufflinks and Pocket Squares

Accessories can elevate your outfit at a fancy restaurant, adding an extra touch of style and sophistication. Two popular accessories for men are cufflinks and pocket squares.

Cufflinks: Small Details, Big Impact

Cufflinks are an excellent choice for adding a touch of elegance to your formal attire. Opt for cufflinks made from high-quality materials like sterling silver or gold, and choose designs that complement your outfit. Classic styles such as knot or bar cufflinks are versatile options that can be worn with various shirt colors and patterns.

Pocket Squares: A Pop of Color

For both men and women, pocket squares offer an opportunity to inject some personality into your outfit. Choose a pocket square in a color or pattern that complements the rest of your ensemble. Fold it neatly and place it in your jacket’s breast pocket for a sophisticated finishing touch.

Considering Weather When Choosing an Outfit for a Fancy Restaurant

Dressing Appropriately for Different Seasons

When dressing for a fancy restaurant, it’s crucial to consider the weather conditions outside. Your outfit should not only adhere to the establishment’s dress code but also provide comfort throughout the duration of your dining experience.

Summer: Light Fabrics and Breathability

In warmer months, opt for lightweight fabrics such as linen or cotton to keep cool and comfortable. Men can pair tailored shorts with a short-sleeve button-down shirt, while women can choose flowy dresses or skirts in breathable materials. Avoid heavy layers or fabrics that may cause discomfort in the heat.

Winter: Layering for Warmth

In colder seasons, layering is key to staying warm while maintaining style. Men can wear a suit or blazer over a sweater, paired with trousers and dress shoes. Women can opt for elegant coats or jackets over their dresses or skirts, accessorizing with tights and boots. Consider adding scarves, gloves, or hats as necessary to protect against the cold.

Open-Toed Shoes in Summer: Appropriate for a Fancy Restaurant?

The appropriateness of open-toed shoes in a fancy restaurant during summer largely depends on the establishment’s dress code and overall atmosphere. While some high-end restaurants may prohibit open-toed shoes, others may allow them as long as they are tasteful and well-maintained.

Dress Code Considerations

If you’re unsure about whether open-toed shoes are acceptable, it’s best to consult the restaurant’s dress code or contact their staff for clarification. In general, closed-toe shoes like pumps or dress sandals with minimal straps tend to be more universally accepted for formal dining occasions.

Elevating Your Look with Closed-Toe Alternatives

To ensure an appropriate and elegant appearance, consider opting for closed-toe alternatives that still provide comfort in warmer weather. Peep-toe pumps or slingback heels can offer a compromise between style and breathability while maintaining a polished look suitable for a fancy restaurant.

Fashion Faux Pas to Avoid at a Fancy Restaurant

Avoiding Overly Casual Attire

When dining at a fancy restaurant, it’s important to avoid certain fashion faux pas that can detract from the overall ambiance and formality of the establishment.

Avoiding Denim and Athletic Wear

  • Avoid wearing jeans unless explicitly stated as acceptable by the restaurant’s dress code.
  • Avoid athletic wear such as sweatpants, hoodies, or sneakers unless specifically allowed by the establishment.
  • Opt for tailored trousers or dresses instead of casual bottoms like shorts or leggings.
  • Choose refined fabrics and avoid overly casual materials like t-shirts or sweatshirts.

Inquiring About Dress Code: Asking the Staff at a Fancy Restaurant

If you’re unsure about the dress code for a fancy restaurant, it’s always best to inquire directly with the staff. They will be able to provide specific guidelines and ensure you are appropriately dressed for your dining experience.

Calling Ahead for Dress Code Information

Prior to your reservation, consider calling the restaurant and politely asking about their dress code requirements. The staff will appreciate your proactive approach and can provide any necessary details or suggestions to help you plan your outfit accordingly.

Asking for Clarification Upon Arrival

If you forget to inquire beforehand or have any lingering doubts upon arrival, discreetly ask the host or hostess about the dress code. They are trained to assist guests and can offer guidance on appropriate attire based on the establishment’s policies.

In conclusion, when deciding what to wear to a fancy restaurant as a guy, it is important to choose attire that is both stylish and appropriate for the occasion. Opting for well-fitted suits or dress shirts paired with trousers, along with polished shoes and minimal accessories, will ensure a sophisticated and refined look. Remember, dressing appropriately not only shows respect for the establishment but also enhances your overall dining experience.

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