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Posts by Caustic Man

If you want it, get it. If you don't, do not.
Well it looks great, either way.
Also KW?
I think that's right. And besides, "expensive" means different things to different people. I suppose if I had to specify it even more, I'd say that black tie events are places where it is appropriate to display wealth in the sense that you can afford to have items that cost a relatively large sum of money but have a very narrow purpose. What I mean by "large sum" is in the context of the average person. A $300 pair of patent leather opera pumps, for instance. $300 is a lot...
That's a valid argument, but it doesn't really touch on what I meant. Conspicuous not in the sense of being flashy or standing out, but in the sense that it is not the time to look like you are trying to be frugal. If you are ever going to look like you are wearing expensive clothes that have no other use than in a formal environment, then this is it.
Well, I'm not sure it is an excuse, but it certainly has to do with American familiarity with the notched lapel suit. Most American men won't even attempt to find places to wear a tuxedo, and when they do wear one they want it to be familiar and safe. I believe that #menswear aside, most American men disdain standing out with their clothing. They would rather fit in than make a statement. Not to mention most of them are not, and have never seen, true social aristocrats....
That's another issue altogether. Notched lapels look hideous on a dinner jacket, in my opinion. However, what is acceptable or not has changed dramatically over the years. You hinted at it yourself when you mentioned the humble(ish) origins of the tuxedo. Learning the origins and history of black tie emphasizes the point that black tie has never been one specific thing, frozen in time, unchanging forever. It always goes through modifications and updates. Some good, some...
You make some good points, once again. I think it's worth mentioning though, the number of rental tuxedos per capita depends on the event. At weddings, yes, the ratio is quite high, at least that I have noticed. At events like opening night at the opera, formal garden parties, or other "society" events, the ratio is very low. This doesn't mean that everyone in attendance is wearing a well fitting garment, but at least they aren't renting.
Yes, that's a valid argument. But, as you hinted at, in America black tie is about as good as it gets. I'd love to wear white tie but that really does look like costume in the U.S. at this point. I can't speak to Britain, of course.
So, the reason I don't think they are fine is because black tie is a moment in time to express conspicuous consumption. Unashamedly. If you have a pair of shoes that cost $400 that you wear perhaps 2-3 times a year, that is the essence of the aristocratic look that black tie embodies.
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