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When it comes to dressing up for a black-tie event, a tuxedo or a sharp suit are usually the outfits that first come to mind. And for a good reason—their allure is timeless so you really can’t go wrong with either. But if you are getting bored with wearing the same old matchy-matchy looks and are willing to freshen up your style a little, then wearing separates is the way to go. Italians even have a word for it—spezzato (or broken)—that refers to mixing and matching separates from different suits. If done right, the end result oozes modern elegance that will gain you major style points.

Easier said than done, you may say—but how do you style different fabrics, colors, and silhouettes without ending up looking like a mess? Well, the simple answer is as long as the separates complement each other, you can be certain that you are pulling off the look with flying colors.

Take Jon Hamm, for example. The actor recently attended the 2019 LACMA Art and Film Gala clad in a stylish tuxedo that consisted of black pants and a navy blue jacket with black lapels. The outfit works because black and navy are such a classic color combination that you can never go wrong with.

And speaking of complementary colors, at the same event, John Legend showed up wearing a burgundy-hued jacket and black pants—that’s another color combination you may want to keep in mind, especially with the holiday party season ahead of us.

Alternatively, you can opt to style different shades of the same hue, just like Armie Hammer did here:

Lastly, if your style is more on the flamboyant side and you are really looking for something to wear at your next holiday party that will make a statement, look no further than Jared Leto. The actor/musician favors a more extravagant aesthetic so each time he hits the red carpets, he makes the news. Here, he went for an eye-catching combination of black bootcut pants and a peach-colored jacket with contrast lapels and gold piping, all by Gucci.

Here are a few separates that, together, would make the perfect outfit.

Brunello Cucinelli Men's Peak-Lapel Velvet Dinner Jacket and Paul Smith Slim Wool and Mohair Pants

To buy: $3,495, and $495,

Tom Ford Men's Shelton Textured Evening Jacket and Stefano Ricci Men's Flat-Front Wool Formal Pants

To buy: $4,490, and $860,

Dolce & Gabbana Sequined Sicilia Tuxedo Jacket and Hugo Boss Slim Fit Formal Pants with Silk Trims

To buy: $4,295, and $298,


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