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Exploring the intersection of style and confidence in a modern man’s world, we reached out to 2,000 men across the UK for their perspectives on fashion, colour and dressing for different occasions.

Do men feel comfortable dressing for different events?

When it comes to the art of occasion-appropriate dressing, we asked how confident men feel slipping into black tie, business formal, business casual, cocktail and casual every day.

Only 19% said they felt perfectly comfortable choosing what to wear in various settings. Around 44% feel somewhat comfortable dressing up for events, against 20% who feel less so. 12% admit they aren’t comfortable in the slightest, revealing a big variance in how men feel about event dress codes.

Millennial men are the most comfortable with occasion-specific dressing. Those aged 25-34 said they know exactly what to wear for different events (28%), while over 55s aren’t as certain.

Londoners were at the top of the fashion stakes. They had the best idea of what to wear when, with 29% of men in London admitting that dressing for events is well within their comfort zone. Those in Wales are a bit more hesitant in deciding what to wear (18%).

How confident are men at dressing for events?

With a more relaxed approach to dressing than ever before – thanks to working from home and easing dress codes – we asked what clothes made men feel most confident while socialising, working, and dating.

Social occasions

More than half (52%) feel their best in a suit for a social occasion, such as a wedding or a party. This was the case across every category, with men ages 25-34 placing the most minor emphasis on a suit. Men over 60 were more likely to agree that they felt comfortable in suits for a special occasion. This shows a difference in dress codes through the generations, with a more relaxed approach to dressing for Millennial and Gen Z men.

There was a little more variety when comparing regions. Those of you in Northern Ireland were the most likely to want to wear a suit to a special occasion, followed by men in Scotland and the East Midlands.

Professional settings

The office is one of the places where the changes to dressing are most visible. How do men really feel about the more relaxed dress codes seen in professional settings?

More than half (52%) still prefer to wear a suit at work. Casual clothing trailed behind at just 32%. There are some differences when it comes to age too – 69% of 18- to 24-year-olds would prefer to wear a suit for work, with 49% of 45-to-54-year-old men agreeing. This could be down to how confident different age groups feel about being taken seriously in the workplace.

Londoners are most confident when dressed smart in a work setting, with 63% saying a suit gets them into work mode. Men in the South West agreed that wearing a suit for work was a lower priority, with just under half (47%) noting that it makes them feel more confident.

On a date

When it comes to feeling self-assured on a date, the tables seem to turn. A massive 79% of men surveyed said they feel more confident in casual clothes on a date, against just 7% who said they’d prefer a suit.

Interestingly, men between 25-24 are most likely to wear a suit for a date, with 18% saying it’s the ideal way to feel your best when meeting someone new. However, casual dressing is in for older gentlemen, with 85% of 55-64-year-olds saying low-key is the way to go when trying to make a good impression.

Again, London-based men are most likely to attend a date wearing a suit, though this was still pretty low at 12%. Men in Northern Ireland were the frontrunners when feeling the most confident in a casual outfit at 85%. The East of England (82%) and Yorkshire and Humber (83%) both feel confident in casualwear on a date too.

For men needing help deciding when or where to wear a suit, the Moss Suit Fit Guide is the perfect place to get comfortable dressing up for every event.

The colours men feel most comfortable in

Colour theory and trends have always been big news in men’s fashion, but not all colours are created equal when it comes to their confidence-boosting abilities.

Blue and black come out on top. Both tie for top place, being hailed by 30% of men as the ultimate confidence catalyst. Classic grey followed at 10%, while brown, green and red were at the bottom of the pile.

Interestingly, colour doesn’t factor for everyone, with 24% of men admitting that colour doesn’t really play a part in whether they feel more or less confident. This could mean that they’re more driven by trends, what’s in their wardrobe or comfort above all else.

Black has men divided. For men under 55, it’s the top choice for building confidence, but the least popular among 65s and older.

Regionally, black clothing is most popular in the North East, London and the East Midlands, while blue is most favourable in Northern Ireland and Wales.

The facial hair that men feel most comfortable in

According to data from YouGov,  more than half of men in the UK now have facial hair of some kind.

Contrary to this, our survey revealed it’s actually being clean-shaven that makes men feel the most confident. More than half (53%) say a clean shave boosts their confidence, suggesting men are choosing beards and moustaches for practical reasons rather than style.

As always, age plays a big part. Men over 45 are most likely to enjoy a clean shave, while younger counterparts aged 18-34 say a beard makes them feel more self-assured. Stubble is one of the preferred choices for men aged 25-54.

Across the country, men in Wales say they feel most confident with a clean shave (60%), closely followed by men in the South West (59%) and men in Scotland (58%). Men in Yorkshire and the Humber (22%), along with the West Midlands (22%), feel a beard provides a confidence-boost.

What does this mean for men’s fashion?

The lines of what to wear and when are more blurred than they have been previously, which can lead to confusion about what to wear and where to wear it. There are plenty of differences when it comes to your age and where you live too, which adds something extra to think about.

It’s clear that men care about what they wear, but they’re not always certain if they’re making the right choice – this is clear across the board, from younger men who are building their wardrobe to older men who might feel like they’re not as up to date with what to wear as they once were.

There’s also a move towards more relaxed styles for special events, which some men aren’t yet feeling as comfortable with, but it’s worth remembering that dressing up and elevating your style choice is always in fashion. If you’re in need of some inspiration, check out our article on how to dress for every occasion, so you always feel confident and ready for whatever you’ve got going on.