or Connect
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Need Help on Formal Dinner
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Need Help on Formal Dinner - Page 2

post #16 of 39
Thread Starter 
Inexpensive tuxedos can be found almost anywhere, but that's like throwing away money imo.

Not to mention the accessories you need such as the shirt, bowtie, shoes and cufflinks.

It all adds up to a large waste of money. The problem is this: I don't have cash to burn on a nice tux right now, but I will later. So that basically means i can buy one now for cheap and burn it later, which is a waste, or ... I can simply wear the nicer suit, and be "that guy."

TBH, this isn't an event in New England or Washington DC and I doubt I'll be the only one in a dark suit for sure.
post #17 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by furo View Post
Inexpensive tuxedos can be found almost anywhere, but that's like throwing away money imo.

Not to mention the accessories you need such as the shirt, bowtie, shoes and cufflinks.

It all adds up to a large waste of money. The problem is this: I don't have cash to burn on a nice tux right now, but I will later. So that basically means i can buy one now for cheap and burn it later, which is a waste, or ... I can simply wear the nicer suit, and be "that guy."

TBH, this isn't an event in New England or Washington DC and I doubt I'll be the only one in a dark suit for sure.

Haven't you answered your own question then?

I would get the cheap tux. It won't necessarily look cheap if it fits, and it's a night event, which masks a lot. Plus, the fact that some guests are going to be in military dress uniform will make your suit look even more casual and wrong than it normally would be. In a black suit and a long black tie, you'll wind up looking more like one of the event staff who isn't supposed to be regularly seen but had to dress up because he was told to by the manager.

It's also a matter of respect. You were asked to dress to a certain level of formality. Others will be properly attired. So long as you can afford it, you should be too.
post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by furo View Post
So in your opinion it's better to look crappy in a cheap rented tux than to look good in a fitted HF suit?

And I'm being honest when I ask that ... because it seems that the etiquette rule trumps all here regardless of how terrible you might appear.

Yes. Because it's not about you. A black tie event is an act of community.

The rented tuxedo and the plastic duck-bill shoes are to be avoided not only because they are ugly but because they are expensive. If you are planning to wear a tuxedo twice a year then you should buy one, hands down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by furo View Post
Inexpensive tuxedos can be found almost anywhere, but that's like throwing away money imo.

Not to mention the accessories you need such as the shirt, bowtie, shoes and cufflinks.

Not really. I don't think things like full canvassing are quite so important when it comes to a tuxedo as you wear them so much less often than a suit in rotation. Durability, for example, isn't really an issue with a tuxedo, unless you're a waiter.

The three things you really need in any tuxedo is wool instead of polyester, classical styling and some tailoring to make it fit. If you have these three things, you will look great, guaranteed.

As for how much, take a look at this from the dreaded JAB.

http://www.josbank.com/IWCatProductP...Product_Id=232

As this is double-breasted, you can avoid buying a cumberbund. JAB, to their credit, actually sells tuxedo separates so you can get matching flat front or pleated pants for $60 during their current sale. So for $220, you can get a brand new, classically-styled, perfectly decent tuxedo. BTW, please don't get one with a notch lapel. Anyway, this seems quite a good deal to me compared to $100-$150 to rent one.

If you want to be even cheaper, you can hunt for a used one on e-bay. You can often pick up excellent tuxedos for under $100, though, of course, you have to make sure whatever you are getting can be tailored to fit you.
post #19 of 39
Assuming the higher-priced offerings are not realistic (e.g. Brooks Brothers, etc.), there are still several purchase options.

Known:
1. Formal dinner with Black Tie specified
2. Good chance most or all will be in black tie or dress uniforms
3. About two such functions a year
4. Funds and time are limited

OPTIONS-
Rental:
1. Minimum $60-80 for worst option; can pay up to $150+, depending on store
2. Typically poor quality/cardboard

Available suit:
1. Pinstripes not good at Black Tie
2. None are black or even charcoal colored

Purchase dinner jacket: (NOTE: I'd get a good shirt for $50-75 instead of a temporary poor one for $25-30.)
1. Joseph A Bank offerings (current sale, all wool) -

A. Signature dinner jacket (1B, SB, ventless, peak lapels, grosgrain facing) and trousers $450
B. Double breasted jacket with trousers (no cummerbund needed) $220
C. Velvet dinner jacket (SB, 1B, notch lapels) and regular trousers $140

2. Macy's (current sale) -

A. Lauren by Ralph Lauren tuxedo (SB, 2B, all wool, ventless, satin facing) $215
- Two-button is not technically correct for a dinner jacket, but most agree that one "rule" can be broken.

3. Kohl's (yes, Kohl's) -

A. Dinner jacket (SB, 2B, all wool, satin facing) and trousers $145
- No idea of quality. Look past the sappy description, still probably better than rental grade.
- Add their shirt, tie, cummerbund, link and stud set for $29.

4. JCPenney (current sale) -

A. Dinner jacket (SB, 1B, satin facing, all wool) and trousers $100


I vote for purchasing:
1. You will use it more than once and find you can wear it more than you think.
2. Even the cheapest options from JCP and Kohl's are better quality than the low rental grade.
3. Compare rental vs. purchase prices: 1-2 wearings can pay for a purchase.
4. It gives time to shop around for your ideal black tie outfit, no rush to beat the next event.

Some here laugh at the JCPenney, Kohl's, and Macy's options. I still believe they are much better than any rental at a comparable price. When funds are better you can sell them and get what you really want. No one scoffs at a person dressed in his best appropriate attire making the most of his budget. With even a prospect of wearing this dinner jacket more than once, renting would be throwing money away, in my opinion.

(There has been ample discussion of notch vs. peak. I much prefer peak lapels, but notch lapel dinner jackets have been around about long as peak. There have been worse sins than a notch lapel.)
post #20 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbc View Post
Some here laugh at the JCPenney, Kohl's, and Macy's options. I still believe they are much better than any rental at a comparable price. When funds are better you can sell them and get what you really want. No one scoffs at a person dressed in his best appropriate attire making the most of his budget. With even a prospect of wearing this dinner jacket more than once, renting would be throwing money away, in my opinion.

I'm not laughing. I think you're totally right. In this case, the OP needs to man up!
post #21 of 39
Thread Starter 
Good run-down, pbc.

I might check out some of those sales, but my city doesn't have the best options for formal wear, so I'll be limited for sure.
post #22 of 39
+1 on pbc can't really argue with his logic here. although steer clear of the notch lapels and the SB two buttons.
post #23 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by youngscientist View Post
+1 on pbc can't really argue with his logic here.
although steer clear of the notch lapels and the SB two buttons.

Good advice, unless you want to be Presisdent of the United States.
post #24 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by furo View Post
Good run-down, pbc.

I might check out some of those sales, but my city doesn't have the best options for formal wear, so I'll be limited for sure.

Thanks. All those items can be ordered online, which works if you know your size. (Go to a respectable place to be measured by someone halfway knowledgeable and try on a few jackets and/or pants.) Check on the shipping, alterations, and return details. I think two of them were "today only" type sales, so if you know what you want, and especially if the return policy is good, you may want to spring for it now.

We all get pretty worked up about other people's formal events. At least let us know what you decide on and how it goes at the dinner. Then we can start another round of speculations/advice/musings on formalwear.

pbc
post #25 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pbc View Post
Thanks. All those items can be ordered online, which works if you know your size. (Go to a respectable place to be measured by someone halfway knowledgeable and try on a few jackets and/or pants.) Check on the shipping, alterations, and return details. I think two of them were "today only" type sales, so if you know what you want, and especially if the return policy is good, you may want to spring for it now.

We all get pretty worked up about other people's formal events. At least let us know what you decide on and how it goes at the dinner. Then we can start another round of speculations/advice/musings on formalwear.

pbc

I didn't find those options available where I'm at yet, but still checking.

Looking online, I found the following available: ebay tux

Does this look like a decent bargain or maybe too good to be true? If I'm going to break down and spend some cash I'd like it to be truly worth it in the long run, not just for a year or two.
post #26 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by furo View Post
I didn't find those options available where I'm at yet, but still checking.
They are all online. Some of the sales are gone now, but there are some decent prices.

Joseph Bank
Macy's
Kohl's
JCPenney

Quote:
Looking online, I found the following available: ebay tux

Does this look like a decent bargain or maybe too good to be true? If I'm going to break down and spend some cash I'd like it to be truly worth it in the long run, not just for a year or two.

That looks pretty good. Search the forum for reviews on M. Valentino.

pbc
post #27 of 39
Furo... I am curious... how old are you?

If over 25, I'm one of those who believe that any gentleman over the age of 25 needs to own his own tuxedo... the numerous charity events we attend in our lives, formal dinner parties, one must be prepared. And, tuxedos (or dinner jackets as they were traditionally referred) can last a lifetime.

I bought my first one at 25 years old... I am not 50. 2 years ago, I had it altered to fit my 20 year old son. It still looks great.

Look upon it as a wise investment.
post #28 of 39
Since the event is in Texas in May, you could easily get away with an off-white dinner jacket (with black dress trousers--stripe down the leg), depending, of course, on what part of the state you're in.

If you're interested, let me know. I have six vintage, shawl-collar dinner jackets in various shades of white, beige and cream. A few different sizes, too. PM me your measurements and I'll see if I can hook you up.
post #29 of 39
Thread Starter 
pbc, thanks -- i went ahead and bought the M Valentino online from Wizard's. Will try and post some after-tailored pics

As for age I'm 27 so this will be my first tux. I'm coming out of the military so I never had to worry about a tux ... always wore dress blues instead. Guess there's a first for everything though, so hoping this one doesn't fail.

Just curious, but I ordered these Ferragamos to go w/ the M Valentino tux. Are they going to fly, or are they too contemporary?
post #30 of 39
Loafers are not formal enough for black tie. You are supposed to wear patent leather lace ups, and a lot of people on this forum are fans of formal pumps/court slippers, which I suppose these are meant to be a modern take on, but they look like weird loafers to me. Any smart highly polished black lace ups will do, well not any - no brogues, but an Oxford would probably do.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Classic Menswear
Styleforum › Forums › Men's Style › Classic Menswear › Need Help on Formal Dinner