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Tuxedo adivce please

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
After attending a Black tie optional event, I realize I would rather be wearing a dinner jacket instead of a suit. With that in mind, what would be the correct (classic) style for a jacket and shirt?

I was thinking a one button peak lapel, is this acceptable and will it remain so for 10-20 years?

What kind of shirt would go best? Point collar with a regular bow-tie (not pre-tied)? And vest or cummerbund?

From forum reading, I have seen that formal pumps and black hose are needed, as are cuff links and studs for whatever shirt I get.

For the pants, they must be uncuffed and with white braces, correct?

I will start looking through ebay and stores for any good deals, since this doesn't have to happen right away.

Thanks,
Scott
post #2 of 9
Scott:

Some excerpts from the Formalwear chapter of The Encyclopedia of Men's Clothes:

Tuxedo Jacket: Peak lapels in satin, silk or grosgrain, single breasted, one button is traditional, piped or double besom pockets (avoid flap pockets), no vents or minimal side vents.

Dinner jackets are the same length as suit jackets, but Tailcoats have tails that should be no longer than back of your knee.
The waist of the trousers and the bottom of the shirt pleats must be covered by a cummerbund or waistcoat or Double-breasted dinner jacket, which is, of course, never unbuttoned.

Lapels: Peaked or shawl lapels are both appropriate, the notched is not. The peaked lapel, single-breasted dinner jacket is the most correct since it's derived directly from the original tailcoat, and the shawl has origins from the smoking jacket.

Shirt: White or Ivory with wing or straight collar and French cuffs, pleated front you'll use studs that match your cuff links to close the front of the shirt. Wing collars are more appropriate for tailcoats but are acceptable for any formalwear.

The formal shirt will have a pleated front (to the waist only, so that it doesn't buckle when you sit down) - that's the reason the waist is always covered with either a cummerbund or waistcoat.

The shirt pleats (not ruffles!) will be refined; ¼ to ½ inch pleats will do nicely. Fewer pleats are more sophisticated than many. An alternative is pique or waffle weave fabric on the front of the shirt.

Like any dress shirts ½" of "linen" should be exposed beyond the jacket sleeve. This finishes off the look plus gives guests a chance to check out your fabulous cuff links.

Cuff links and matching Studs - not buttons are used to close the front. When you buy the formal shirt you'll notice that the shirt is kept closed by buttons sewn on a ribbon. When you open the shirt remove the buttons on the ribbon. You'll use your matching studs. Cuff links and studs should be quiet and elegant in style.

Tie: Black silk or satin in either thistle or batwing style and tied yourself!!!
Trousers should match the jacket, be pleated, held up by braces only, with a seam up the outside leg (derived from military formal dress from the officers leg braid) of satin, silk or grosgrain. One leg seam for black tie and two for white tie and tails. The braid should match the fabric on the dinner jacket lapels.

And NEVER cuffed!

Shoes: Black Patent leather dancing pumps with ribbed silk bows are the most traditional. Formal shoes can also be shined leather or velvet. Velvet pumps are most appropriate when you are hosting a formal evening at home!
Oxfords (lace up) are fine, especially in an emergency. If you're going to wear oxfords, the best choice would be a plain toe or cap toe.

Andy
post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks Andy. I'll be looking around for some deals now, so next time I will be properly attired!
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Sorry for the extra post, but I forgot to ask:

I've been looking around on ebay, and there are a lot of pre-owned tuxedo's that come from rental stores. I would think that these outfits would be pretty heavy-duty to stand up to continous wear and cleaning, and would not make a good outfit for me? Is this pretty accurate?

Where would be some good places to look? Wait for various sales at reulgar clothing stores?

Thanks.
post #5 of 9
Don't bother with rental-shop castoffs. The whole point of owning is that you don't have to settle for rental quality. Which is generally crap.

Ebay will frequently turn up lightly- or unused formalwear from Brioni, RLPL, Belvest, et al. Last I checked shopthefinest.com, Ian carried a few NWT tuxedos as well.

Tom
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garfieldthecat
Sorry for the extra post, but I forgot to ask:

I've been looking around on ebay, and there are a lot of pre-owned tuxedo's that come from rental stores. I would think that these outfits would be pretty heavy-duty to stand up to continous wear and cleaning, and would not make a good outfit for me? Is this pretty accurate?

Where would be some good places to look? Wait for various sales at reulgar clothing stores?

Thanks.

Besides, if you attend enough BT functions that you are concerned about wear and tear, you want something that looks really good, and that you really love and feels very comfortable. Commit to the expense of quality formalwear with an elegant cut and fine fabric.
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the replies. That is what I thought as well.
post #8 of 9
Andy,

Why should trousers always be pleated for black and white tie?

Best,

Eden
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by The False Prophet
Andy,
Why should trousers always be pleated for black and white tie?
Best,
Eden

Eden:

Trousers are traditionally pleated. Flat front is a "newer" affliction.

Plus pleats are actually practical, they automatically widen at the hips when you sit giving you more room when you need it. Pleats also let you put more stuff in your front pockets including your hands without disturbing the drape. If you're wearing the right size pants, pleats are actually slimming. (Despite what Carson and you're girlfriend/wife thinks!!)

Andy
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