Imagine attending this dinner?
Just sitting around with the who’s who of the mens fashion industry, maybe even your sartorial heroes, dining on steak and lobster, smoking cigars and playing poker!
It is the ultimate gentleman’s night! In fact a guys night out should consist of only this! And it should be black tie, just like these guys did it!
Well, strictly speaking, it’s not exactly black tie, but more ‘black ties’ younger cooler cousin – creative black tie or “optional” black tie.
So, what is Black tie? or when do you wear it? Time for another Menswear 101
So, I often get asked about dress codes, and truth be told, I’m not really up to speed with most of it myself, they’ve all changed so much since there inception that the lines have become slightly blurry, well all except white tie. What is white tie? Well, Its safe to say that if you don’t know, you don’t need to, as it is the most formal of dress codes and often kept for events like state dinners. So, really, it’s SUPER fancy!
So, black tie then? At it’s most basic, black tie is exactly that, a black bow tie, worn with a dark suit, white shirt and black shoes at a fomal evening event, of course its not that simple, but you could probably get away with that, as have the gents in the above post.
Traditionally though ( and this dress code dates back to the 19th century) the dinner jacket – or tuxedo for our American friends – is a single breasted dark jacket made of wool with contrasting lapels, usually silk, the trousers would also have a single silk stripe running down the outer seam of the leg. The dress shirt would have a pleated front, a turndown collar (winged collars are for white tie) and french cuffs to be worn with cufflinks. The shoes, which were traditionally pumps are now generally highly polished or patent leather oxford shoes.
As with every outfit it all comes down to the details, so you would pair this up with a black bow tie in the same fabric as your lapels as well as a black cummerbund ( in warm weather ) or low cut waistcoat.
As with the dress code, tuxedos have come a long way, and much like suits you get them in all types of fits and styles. You should really only ever buy 1 or 2 Tux’s your entire life, you probably wont get much wear out of them, but when the occasion calls for a Tux, you gotta look the part.
This is why, the little collection I’ve put together goes against my normal, ‘get it cheap’ motto. This is the one time you wanna spend more than you would, it’s the only way to guarantee that when you walk into a black tie event you feel like a million bucks!
I’m a big fan of the 1 button tuxedo jacket, I think it’s just so versatile you can even wear it with a pair of skinny jeans for a rockstar look, everything else is pretty standard, a nice pair of patent leather oxford shoes, some simple classic cufflinks and a pleated tuxedo shirt with a black bow tie. I have eliminated the cummerbund though, why? you ask. Simple. it’s just f@#cking ridiculous and looks terribly outdated, I hate those things.
Tuxedo by Hugo Boss
Shirt by David Donahue
Bow tie by David Donahue
Cufflinks by David Donahue
Shoes by Salvatore Ferragamo
Okay. Stay fancy. VERY fancy!