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Black tie styles

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Gentlemen - My wife and I have been invited to an upcoming black tie event. Just wondering what is in style for formalwear and looking for ideas of what type of tux to rent. Buying a tuxedo is not financially feasible right now, nor do we attend enough events like this to make it worthwhile. Thanks for your help. Bradford
post #2 of 6
You can never go wrong with the standard single breasted, black tux with cumberbund and bowtie.  Always dressy, always classy, and always in style. If you want to change it up a bit, you can go with a vest over a cumberbund, which usually gives you some more color options.  I generally prefer a black vest with a subtle blue pattern in it. If you want to delve into the more "stylish" tuxes, there is always the high button vest with the drop tie.  Problem is that you are looking like you are trying to dress for the [INSERT FAVORITE AWARD SHOW HERE].  Also, if there are to be any picture taken, in about 10 years, you will go.... look at that out-of-date style that I wore (think of wedding pictures ten years ago where the groom wore powder blue and ruffles).
post #3 of 6
Quote:
You can never go wrong with the standard single breasted, black tux with cumberbund and bowtie.
Agreed. To add to this, the classic lapel is the peak, as opposed to shawl or notch. If you can manage it, tie your own bowtie instead of getting a clip on. I'd resist the fancy matching tie and cummerbund sets; a solid black bowtie is always elegant, and a black cummerbund more slimming.
Quote:
you can go with a vest over a cumberbund
I know what was meant, but just to be clear, that's "over," as in, "in preference to"; one would never wear both. (Also, it's "cummerbund," rather than "cumberbund." I suspect this is one of the most common misspellings in the English language.)
post #4 of 6
I wouldn't necessarily give up on buying one. Two years ago, I went with a friend to pick up a tux he rented for a formal, and it cost US$80+ to rent (tux, shirt, pre-tied bow tie, cummerbund, shoes). Another friend of mine bought a tux and all the furnishings except for shoes at a warehouse store (K&J? Something like that) and paid about US$120 total, including hemming the trousers. Quality was hardly outstanding, but it was equal to or better than the rental. So if you have to rent twice, it's better to buy. As for what's in style with formalwear, same as always. Go single-breasted peak-lapel with either vest or cummerbund, or double breasted sans vest/cummerbund. I prefer the latter approach, just because I hate cummerbunds and like the formality of the double-breasted jacket. (I own both an SB and a DB tux, and the SB one barely gets worn. That may change if I give my current SB one away and get that sweet one Paul Smith is showing this season.... Peace, JG
post #5 of 6
I'll second (or third?) the suggestion of a single-breasted, one button, peaked lapel tux. The elangated V-shape and the peaked lapels flatter most men. I do have to air a complaint about tuxes though. I find that while the tux itself is an extremely elegant garment, all the accessories often make the whole ensemble look too fussy. IMO, and i is probably a minority opinion, a pleated shirt (not a traditional bib) looks best without either a vest or a cummerbund. Similarly, minimalist cufflinks with either a very discreet stone or none at all looks best. And in this day and age, I think that a wing collar looks extremely costumey, and that the turndown collar much more elegant in any case.
post #6 of 6
Quote:
I find that while the tux itself is an extremely elegant garment, all the accessories often make the whole ensemble look too fussy. IMO, and it is probably a minority opinion, a pleated shirt (not a traditional bib) looks best without either a vest or a cummerbund. Similarly, minimalist cufflinks with either a very discreet stone or none at all looks best. And in this day and age, I think that a wing collar looks extremely costumey, and that the turndown collar much more elegant in any case.
I'll agree about the pleated shirt, although it works better with a cummerbund than a vest. I prefer pique or bibless, myself. As for cufflinks and studs, I've seen some fancy sets that are quite elegant. I think it depends on how you're accessorizing overall: if you're wearing a fancy vest, tone down the jewelry. If, on the other hand, you're going vestless and sticking with plain black cummerbund and tie, there's room to have fun with 'links and studs. I can't agree about the collar, though. I think the wing is substantially more elegant. The turn-down collar dresses the tux down, which seems to me to be contrary to the whole point. Then again, I rather like a costumey look"”at my wedding, I wore a lavender shantung silk ascot (not what I'd recommend for most people)"”so my perspective on this is decidedly skewed.
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