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Style advice for a Midnight Blue "Cotton" Tuxedo - Page 3

post #31 of 47
I want to resurrect this thread because I just independently had the idea for a navy blue cotton/linen/cotton-linen blend tuxedo. I am attending a wedding tonight at 6:00 PM in the midwest, at a nice hotel with a beautiful inner courtyard. The wedding will be outdoor (in the courtyard), but the reception will be inside in a traditional ballroom. What would be more perfect than a navy blue cotton or linen tuxedo? A traditional wool tuxedo would be too hot and look bad when the sun is still blaring at 6:00 PM outside. But just a normal cotton or linen suit might be too informal inside during the reception. Instead of grosgrain or satin lapels/trouser stripe like one would find on a typical tux, I would use like a fine/smooth cotton.

Am I crazy? Or crazy like a fox?

P.S. what I'm actually wearing tonight is just a gray wool suit.
post #32 of 47
Why not just Mohair?
post #33 of 47

Wool and linen or wool and silk are also pretty good combinations for summer suits.

post #34 of 47
I would go with a double breasted suit in midnight blue in the summer material of your choice - linen, mohair, fresco, cotton - but that's as far as I would take a nod to a true tuxedo. I wouldn't use a separate fabric for the lapels or have a stripe on the trousers, etc. You want to look formal but not come off as wearing a parody of a tuxedo IMHO.
post #35 of 47
If you go with a suit, cotton or linen would be fine. IMO wearing a tuxedo is more about tradition and is best following the rules of that tradition.
post #36 of 47
Don't forget to unbutton the first four buttons of your shirt and wear a heavy gold chain, preferably with a dollar symbol pendant hanging on the end of it. If you're gonna be a pimp, might as well go all in.
post #37 of 47
This thread has been enlightening to me. I thought I was at least moderately savvy about a lot of this sartorial stuff, but so much was new to me: I had never heard of cotton tuxedoes nor of "tuxedo blazers," nor yet the term "upscale formal." I am also left wondering why a cotton suiting with more substance than a cheap undershirt would be appreciably cooler than lightweight, open-weave wool.

For a lot of us, I'll have to admit, an invitation to a black-tie-only event leaves three unpalatable options:

1. Spend a substantial sum of money for a good black-tie ensemble that you may never get a chance to wear again.

2. Buy a cheap black-tie ensemble--still hundreds of dollars--and probably look pretty crappy,

3. Rent (for $200 or so) and almost certainly look crappy!
post #38 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLibourel View Post

For a lot of us, I'll have to admit, an invitation to a black-tie-only event leaves three unpalatable options:

1. Spend a substantial sum of money for a good black-tie ensemble that you may never get a chance to wear again.

2. Buy a cheap black-tie ensemble--still hundreds of dollars--and probably look pretty crappy,

3. Rent (for $200 or so) and almost certainly look crappy!

But that's not correct. I see on review that Trini asked me four years ago where you can buy reasonably-priced formal wear. Well, better late than never, I suppose.

JAB currently has a decent peak lapel tuxedo for $240. $170 for the jacket and $70 for the pants. You still need to get the various accessories and have it tailored of course, but $240 for the tuxedo itself is pretty reasonable or at least not unaffordable. You can very easily drop that much just on dinner and drinks for two. You might as well look decent while you're at it. Why spend $200 to rent a clown suit when for just a bit more, you can get your own correct and properly-fitted DJ?

BTW, there is also a lot of really awful and incorrect stuff on the JAB site being sold as "formal wear". There is no such thing as a "three-button, notch lapel tuxedo". Buyer beware.

If you are a bit more daring, you can usually find very good deals on ebay. When someone advertises a tuxedo as "worn once," it is probably true. Formal wear on ebay usually has much less wear and tear than an ordinary suit would have.
post #39 of 47
^Have you ever examined JAB formal wear closely in person? Yeah, some of it may be technically "correct," but it's still pretty mediocre stuff, and some of the accessories are egregious. (I'm thinking of the vests in particular.). Okay, so you get the jacket and trousers for $240 (best case scenario). You've still got to pay for alterations, shirt, bowtie, vest or cummerbund, suspenders/braces, socks and shoes, unless you want to wing it by putting a high polish on your A-E PAs. So, you're going to be out at least $500 or so and still have a mediocre ensemble. I stand by my original statement.

I agree thrifting and eBaying is probably a better route, but it involves risk, knowledge and luck.
post #40 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLibourel View Post

^Have you ever examined JAB formal wear closely in person? Yeah, some of it may be technically "correct," but it's still pretty mediocre stuff, and some of the accessories are egregious.

I have seen them in person, though not for a couple of years. From a quality and styling perspective, their stuff isn't amazing but it's not terrible. I've certainly seen much worse. I can go with mediocre as a description, I guess. It's certainly mediocre in the SF sense but IRL that is -- or at least it has been -- high praise. And even your own, properly-fitted mediocre DJ . . . well, you're gonna like the way you look.

For some of their stuff, "egregious" is far too kind. But once again, they do have non-offensive stuff, too.

With respect to cost, $500 all-in seems about right. And that's certainly not nothing. But, considering the context, it's quite cheap. You are going to have a hard time buying a decent suit and getting it tailored for that price.

The larger point is that tuxedos, contrary to popular myth, don't need to be outrageously expensive. Even one from JAB, so long as it is classic and tailored to fit, will look quite excellent. If you have an interest in such things and hey, don't kid yourself, whoever you are, you're reading SF, you should get one and find reasons to wear it.

BTW, one point very much in JABs favor is that they sell DJs and pants as separates and they actually match. This saves you some money on tailoring as the pants may well be fine apart from needing to be hemmed.
post #41 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bounder View Post

I have seen them in person, though not for a couple of years. From a quality and styling perspective, their stuff isn't amazing but it's not terrible. I've certainly seen much worse. I can go with mediocre as a description, I guess. It's certainly mediocre in the SF sense but IRL that is -- or at least it has been -- high praise. And even your own, properly-fitted mediocre DJ . . . well, you're gonna like the way you look.

Were I a typical JAB or MW customer, I might well "like the way i look," but then I wouldn't be hanging around on this forum. Also, most RTW clothing does not fit me well.
Quote:
For some of their stuff, "egregious" is far too kind. But once again, they do have non-offensive stuff, too.

With respect to cost, $500 all-in seems about right. And that's certainly not nothing. But, considering the context, it's quite cheap. You are going to have a hard time buying a decent suit and getting it tailored for that price.

Aren't you rather confirming my point? I wouldn't be likely to buy a $500 suit, but here we are talking about a $240 tuxedo plus accessories, so the tux is really only half the price of the suit, with a presumably commensurate reduction in quality. Moreover, most men, even if they are not regular suit wearers, are going to have many more occasions to wear a suit than a tuxedo. In most places in my part of the country, I will be overdressed merely by wearing a necktie.
Quote:
The larger point is that tuxedos, contrary to popular myth, don't need to be outrageously expensive. Even one from JAB, so long as it is classic and tailored to fit, will look quite excellent. If you have an interest in such things and hey, don't kid yourself, whoever you are, you're reading SF, you should get one and find reasons to wear it.

If you emend "quite excellent" to "passable," I will agree with you. Buying an item of clothing and then seeking out a rationale for wearing it seems sort of backward to me. Truth be told, if I had occasions to wear a tuxedo, I would most certainly acquire one, but it would be a good one. However, I don't like the idea of spending the better part of $2K for a black tie rig I am only going to wear once or maybe never.

All I was really saying is that an invitation to a black-tie event imposes a difficult set of options on the fellow who doesn't have a black tie ensemble and is not likely to need one thereafter.
Quote:
BTW, one point very much in JABs favor is that they sell DJs and pants as separates and they actually match. This saves you some money on tailoring as the pants may well be fine apart from needing to be hemmed.

Agreed.
post #42 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by JLibourel View Post

If you emend "quite excellent" to "passable," I will agree with you.

Heh. SF passable easily puts you into the top 10% of, well, anything.

Seriously, though, you may be right. But compared to some of the awful stuff I see at some black tie events, passable is really quite good. Proper fit is really where it usually breaks down. Maybe it's my SF training . . . anyway, that's the beauty of a tuxedo. If it is classically-styled, and tailored to actually sort of fit you, you will look really good even if it isn't canvassed or made from the best fabric.

Quote:
Buying an item of clothing and then seeking out a rationale for wearing it seems sort of backward to me. Truth be told, if I had occasions to wear a tuxedo, I would most certainly acquire one, but it would be a good one. However, I don't like the idea of spending the better part of $2K for a black tie rig I am only going to wear once or maybe never.

Based on form, if you had a tuxedo it would be bespoke from Chan and excellent in all respects. I am disappointed -- and a little saddened -- that you do not.

Quote:
All I was really saying is that an invitation to a black-tie event imposes a difficult set of options on the fellow who doesn't have a black tie ensemble and is not likely to need one thereafter.

Well, this is certainly true. And I take your point about buying something and then trying to figure out how to wear it. This is why I don't have a white tie rig. On the other hand, it's a sort of chicken and egg thing. So I encourage everyone who has the slightest excuse, including getting married and/or attending a wedding after 1 pm, to buy their very own DJs and then throw elegant black tie parties to which I shall be pleased to graciously accept an invitation.
post #43 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bounder View Post

Heh. SF passable easily puts you into the top 10% of, well, anything.

Seriously, though, you may be right. But compared to some of the awful stuff I see at some black tie events, passable is really quite good. Proper fit is really where it usually breaks down. Maybe it's my SF training . . . anyway, that's the beauty of a tuxedo. If it is classically-styled, and tailored to actually sort of fit you, you will look really good even if it isn't canvassed or made from the best fabric.

You may well be right.
Quote:
Based on form, if you had a tuxedo it would be bespoke from Chan and excellent in all respects. I am disappointed -- and a little saddened -- that you do not.

Thanks for the sympathy. Indeed, I would love to have a rationale for acquiring a tuxedo from my friends in Kowloon. It's about the one major gap in my wardrobe at this point.
Quote:
Well, this is certainly true. And I take your point about buying something and then trying to figure out how to wear it. This is why I don't have a white tie rig. On the other hand, it's a sort of chicken and egg thing. So I encourage everyone who has the slightest excuse, including getting married and/or attending a wedding after 1 pm, to buy their very own DJs and then throw elegant black tie parties to which I shall be pleased to graciously accept an invitation.

But at least where I live (and in my social circles) I am scarcely more likely to get an invitation to a black tie event than a white tie one. I fear if I threw a black-tie party, the number of attendees would be a corporal's guard! Interestingly, the man who lives across the street from me, although incomparably less sartorial than I, does have a black tie rig. So did his next door neighbor before he split with his wife and moved away. I suspect my new next door neighbor may have one. After that the number falls off drastically: Two of my old prep school friends, both considerably more prosperous than I (one vastly so, with a fortune well into the eight figures, I'm sure), each own but a single business suit. Another prep school buddy does have one left over from his fraternity days, 50 years ago. Can't think of anybody else, likely to own one. But that's Southern California for you!
post #44 of 47
I think it is location based. When I was in San Francisco, I didn't even think of owning a black tie rig. Now that I'm in NYC, I've stopped counting many black tie events I've been this year.
post #45 of 47
^interesting to know. I wonder in how many other parts of the country black tie events are reasonably common. I have a sense that among the patrician Southerners they are also common. I'm pretty sure they were rare in West Texas, the only other part of the country where I've lived for some length.
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