Let me start by saying, that yes, I realise that this is not black tie. Even if I didn’t (which I do), I was duly reminded by Instagrams fashion police a number of times after posting this look. Lucky for me, I wasn’s arrested and managed to get off with just a warning.

This is why I decided to call this post “Black Tie with a twist”. Originally I was going to call it “F&%K the haters, I’ll wear whatever I feel like” but then realised it was a little long and probably terrible for SEO. Maybe even a little conceited.

This look was actually put together for a recent trip aboard the Rovos Rail (if you missed that post, you can check it out here – one of my favourites). As you would expect, one of the worlds most luxurious trains has, of course, got a dress code to match. In order to maintain a feeling of a by-gone era, a jacket and tie are required for dinner, and with a dinner so lavishly prepared, it really is the least you can do. After all, the Victorian era ushered in the start of men’s fashion as we know it, where 3 piece suits replaced the feathers, pantyhose and high heels of the Georgian period before it (and yoy thought you were fancy). This is where men started dressing like men and taking pride in what they wore, by the time the 1930’s had arrived every major menswear fashion rule ever written had been set in place.

Now that I’ve dropped that little fashion history knowledge bomb, let’s move on to how I decided to put a twist on the classic black tie!


A strictly black tie dress code would involve a dark suit, black bow tie and pants with a braid in the same fabric as the lapels of your dinner jacket. If you need a lengthier description on the intricacies of black tie, you can check out an earlier post here.

My first twist came in the shape of a white dinner jacket with a contrasting shawl lapel. White dinner jackets are probably one of the biggest red carpet trends of 2017 –  nailed perfectly by Ryan Gosling at the Golden Globes in January. Now, if Ryan doesn’t impress you then maybe Bond will (James that is…James Bond). The white dinner jacket has made an appearance in no less than 5 times with the most recent on Daniel Craig (or Beefy Bond as I call him) in Spectre. Either way, if you’re looking for one stand out piece for the upcoming festive season, this should definitely be it. With our warm climate, a white dinner jacket is a perfectly acceptable replacement for its traditional darker counterpart.

If going full black tie than also be sure to wear a black patent leather shoe and black socks. My second twist was by wearing a semi patent oxford, where the toe cap and eyelet tabs contrasted against the vamp. I LOVE these shoes!! The last and most obvious twist was that of the necktie over the bow tie. I’m all about adhering to dress codes, and as this one particularly asked for a tie, I didn’t want to overdo it. No one likes a show-off right!?


At the end of it all, it comes back to the same thing. Wear whatever makes you comfortable. When you’re comfortable, you feel good and when you feel good you look good. This does not apply to track pants – I don’t mean that kind of comfortable – adhere to the dress code and feel comfortable within its confines.

Sounds easy enough right?


If you liked this look, the whole thing is from Fabiani. I highly recommend you jump on that white dinner jacket!

Okay. Stay Fancy

30 thoughts on “Black Tie…with a twist

  1. Hey
    Love the outfit. well put together, simple yet sophisticated. I have just started a blog myself on on blazers (one of my passions) and would love to you use one of these shots for a future post. Do you mind at all? of course full credit will go your way.
    Thanks Trevell 🙂

  2. Love your blog page bro. Everything you post is so amazing. You inspire me to continue to do what I do. Keepuo the amazing work.

  3. It’s a great look, like how the coat is black and white, that’s an incredible twist 👌🏿👌🏿

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