Stressing about prom? Can’t wait? Maybe… both? Congrats, you’re normal. But if you’re definitely going, you definitely don’t want a “normal” prom outfit. It’s a big deal, and you only get one shot to show up.
We have some recommendations. Whether you’re looking for some version of the classic black and white tux, or a modern look that won’t age poorly, we’ll get you ready for the party.
WHAT DO YOU NEED?
First, let’s talk about the basics: what you need, what’s optional.
Suit or Tux: It’s prom—polo shirts are not okay.
Tie or Bow Tie: Which one is up to you. Bow ties work best with tuxedos.
Dress Shirt: White is the way to go. If you wear a tux and bow tie, try a tuxedo shirt.
Black Shoes: Shiny patent leather is great for a modern outfit. Black leather works, too.
Suspenders: A fun, vibey accessory, but tux pants have waist adjusters and you can use a belt for a suit. Your pants will be fine without suspenders.
Pocket Squares: You should wear one if you can—it just looks great.
Vest: You don’t have to wear a vest, especially for a modern look.
Cummerbund: An old-school tux garment that’s coming back, but it’s not required.
Cufflinks: You should totally wear these, but you can get by without.
If that seems like a lot to handle, let us do it for you— read on to build the perfect look for you.
Classic Prom Outfits for Men
Do it right, and a classic look won’t feel outdated. Google vintage pics of OG actors, athletes, or musicians—the legends keep it simple. Below are three men’s prom outfits to help you reach legend status in your own time.
CLASSIC PROM SUIT IDEAS
Unless your prom has a black-tie dress code, you’ll still look formal enough for prom if you wear the right suit. While everyone else goes big with a tux, a suit can make a low-key, timeless statement. A blue suit (or navy, or grey) is a great base for accessories.
As good as this suit looks with the red tie and brown shoes above, you’ll want to dress it up with black and white ties, shoes, and accessories for a formal prom. Make yours interesting with unique patterns like tartan or pindots. Don’t forget the pocket square.
CLASSIC PROM TUXEDO IDEAS
The classic tux has been around for a long time, and that’s because it makes everyone and every body type look great. It’s a good choice when you want to go big but in a subtle way. To pull this off, less is more. Start with a black tuxedo and white shirt, then add black and white accessories.
If you want to coordinate with your date, try matching the color of your pocket square to their outfit. Our quad pocket squares each have four shades—in blue, green, red, yellow, and more colors—so you can fold up to the right tone and let it peek out of your jacket pocket. Keep everything else B&W to avoid looking like a twinning sibling combo, not cool.
Modern Prom Outfits for Men
If the classic looks are too traditional for you, or you’re looking to make a statement, a modern prom outfit could be a wise move. Need to bring awards season energy? One of the modern looks below should do it.
MODERN PROM SUIT IDEAS
If you wear a suit with a pattern—a modern trend, btw—you should try to avoid doubling down patterns on your accessories. It gets messy quickly. This suit has a simple black and white pattern (called gingham) that isn’t too “out there,” and looks great on anyone.
MODERN PROM TUX IDEAS
For a modern take on the classic tux, try a dinner jacket look—a unique jacket paired with black tuxedo pants. The burgundy version below is just one of many options—emerald, plum, marigold, and rose are all bold colors that are equally rock-able.
If you haven’t noticed, we recommend a lot of black and white accessories for prom. Maybe that’s just us, traumatized by the shiny, bright-colored vest and tie combos. Besides, you can take the accessories below and wear them with any suit or tux (or dinner jacket prom outfit), and you’ll look perfect. Don’t overlook the shoes—these grosgrain loafers are great for dancing.