The most formal suit combination for a modern man is a navy suit, white shirt and silver tie. When that tie is a woven like a Macclesfield, it is a classic wedding combination and much more suitable to being married in than the tuxedos so favoured in the US – and looks more elegant without the fancy waistcoats that blight many English weddings.

One step down on the formality, the smartness, is a blue shirt instead of white. The contrast is reduced and the whole look softened. It is sleek enough for evening and not too stark for business.

This is my favourite combination for evening events such as the Rake/Anderson & Sheppard/Bryan Ferry party a couple of weeks ago, at which I am pictured above with Alexander Kraft of Sotheby’s. Diego Della Valle of Tod’s is also a great exponent of the look. The choice of navy or grey suit makes less difference that that change of shirt colour.

Alexander, a contributor to The Rake and a Ralph Lauren ambassador/model alongside his day job, is wearing what I think of as a more classic Italian combination of navy and blue. The suit is by Cifonelli.

My suit is Anderson & Sheppard, the shirt Kiton, the tie Tom Ford and the handkerchief a lovely grey and mint green design from Lissom & Muster. My only regret (there’s always one) is that the tie knot wasn’t tightened rather more. It is too chunky in the tie space available.

More photos from the evening here.