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I am wearing a vintage midnight blue tux in a few weeks....

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
Hello all,

I am new to the forum as a poster but I have been lurking for good while now, and this is my first thread.

I am attending a black tie dinner in DC in two weeks, the guest list is highly exclusive and President Clinton is the guest of honor. I will be presenting a scholarship award on stage in my late Uncle's honor along with his stepson. I have done this event once in the past and I rented a tuxedo at the time (black, peak lapel, one button) and used my own tuxedo shirt with stud holes, a black cumberbund, a black self tie bow tie and black and sliver stud set.

This time around I opted for buying my own tuxedo, I went the vintage route because I love the look of midnight blue; I found one in a shawl collar non-vented design from the late 40's-early 50's. It is a pretty handsome tuxedo and I was lucky that it needed very little tailoring for fit, and just few minor alterations for looks (switched out the plastic buttons for black satin to match the facings). I wanted to add satin turnback facings to the cuff's but I have not found a tailor in Baltimore or DC that is able to do the work, but even without that addition the tux is pretty smart.

I am wearing my satin self-tie bowtie, white silk braces (which won't be seen anyway), tailored fly-front, french cuff shirt, cuff links that belonged to my late Uncle that are silver, with black onxy and mother of pearl (they were his lucky cuff links), and pair of highly polished black calf Ferragamo Newland cap-toe bals, a white pocket square, and possibly a red remembrance poppy (we are also honoring a number of people who lost their lives in Iraq).

I chose the fly-front shirt because this is the last time we are giving away the scholarship in my Uncle's name and wearing his lucky cuff links is my private way of honoring him in a way that only my Aunt, who gave them to me, would really notice. I could not find a matching stud set so I figured it best to cover the buttons as I hate the exposed look on mother of pearl buttons.

My biggest issue is cumberbund choice....I don't want to wear a waist coat because of the heat and the fact that I feel a cumberbund is a better option for shawl collar. I could use my black cumberbund that I already own but I was thinking of a silver or gray satin model as another option. Please do not suggest maroon (I hate that look). I have seen it said that "matching sets" are a faux pas, even in plain black tie and cumberbunds but, I feel the midnight blue suit offsets the other black satin enough that this a rule that I could get away with bending a bit, even more so with a white pocket square.

I rarely look to celebrities for black-tie correctness, but Daniel Craig wore an amazing midnight Tom Ford tuxedo to the Oscars in 2009, aside from the chunky Omega divers watch he did everything correctly it seemed, and I believe he had a gray cumberbund. If I wear to venture into the colored realm it would only be for a gray or silver as I want to look very subtle yet well pulled together.

I feel I have most of this outfit ticked in the right boxes, but what would some of you do for the cumberbund?
post #2 of 27
Personally I'd stick to black, but then I never even go to black tie events so my opinion probably isn't worth much.
post #3 of 27
Try to keep your award presentation speech under 25 minutes.
post #4 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZON_JR View Post
Try to keep your award presentation speech under 25 minutes.

Clever given the length of my post, touche I felt I should give the full set of details because if I just said midnight tux, black facings, black tie....gray or black cumberbund? I know a million questions would be asked about every other detail of the outfit so everyone could add their two cents/and pick it all apart. I have seen enough of the "I need to know more about what you are wearing" comments to know that most SF posters like to chew on the minutiae of peoples black tie attire.
post #5 of 27
I would get a proper BLACK tuxedo as befits the occasion. the cummerbund should also be black.
post #6 of 27
It's been my impression that midnight blue is just as acceptable as black for a tux, or dinner jacket, and of equal formality. All of the references that I've looked up also concur.
post #7 of 27
Midnight blue is "blacker than black." I say the only negative is the fact that the tuxedo is a shawl lapel, which is slightly less formal than the peak lapel. Either way you slice it, I think you have an appropriate outfit. Enjoy the event.
post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny24 View Post
what would some of you do for the cumberbund?

Do you need to wear one?
post #9 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by GBR View Post
I would get a proper BLACK tuxedo as befits the occasion. the cummerbund should also be black.
I plan on buying a black peak lapel one button number as well as an off white dinner jacket (for summer) sometime very soon as I am going to be entering the world of lobbying and also grad and law school in the near future so I will be attending black tie dinners in DC on a regular basis. I am doing this more for rotation because the black is able to be worn over and over, without standing out while the midnight blue (which is classier than black IMO), will be reserved for really special events.
Quote:
Originally Posted by stant62 View Post
Midnight blue is "blacker than black." I say the only negative is the fact that the tuxedo is a shawl lapel, which is slightly less formal than the peak lapel. Either way you slice it, I think you have an appropriate outfit. Enjoy the event.
If I would have had the tuxedo done MTM then I would have gone peak but because it is a vintage model I had to live with it as a shawl. While it is slightly less formal I think it makes it a bit more unique while still being understated, I was very lucky that this 60 year old tux had perfect facings which I was more worried about than the lapel shape. Thanks...I am sure it will be a wonderful time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by TRINI View Post
Do you need to wear one?
If I didn't, then that would be going for the Casino Royale look, which I am not trying to do. So,yes, I feel I do because of the correct form for black tie requires a waist covering. It has been said that with a well fly front shirt you would not have to worry about exposing non-studed buttons if the jacket was open which is true, or if the shirt is well tailored (it is) and if you are as fit and trim as Craig in Casino Royale (which I am) you can get away with it, but I still wouldn't do it because I like classic looks for black tie. Personally I think a tuxedo without a waist coat or cumberbund looks like it is missing something, kinda like a tuxedo shirt with a god awful band collar.
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by GBR View Post
I would get a proper BLACK tuxedo as befits the occasion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bkstone View Post
+1

Are you guys channeling Bowtielover?

A midnight blue tuxedo is perfectly "proper." If you don't believe, me, ask Manton. He wrote the book on this . . . really.

Yes, get a black cummerbund. I've never seen a midnight blue one, but you'd never find an exact match anyway even if they existed. Just go with black. It will look fine. Your tie will be black, too.

The colored cummerbunds -- and ties -- are painfully lame. Anything in a black tie ensemble that shouts "Look at me!" is completely counter to the aesthetic.

As for the stud set, they don't absolutely have to match your cufflinks, especially when you have a really good reason for them not to. You do. IMO, wearing those cufflinks with non-matching shirt studs will make your outfit all that much better for a variety of reasons. I kind of hate the word, but I can't think of a better one. It would be "charming." I'd go for it, if I were you.
post #11 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bounder View Post
Are you guys channeling Bowtielover? A midnight blue tuxedo is perfectly "proper." If you don't believe, me, ask Manton. He wrote the book on this . . . really. Yes, get a black cummerbund. I've never seen a midnight blue one, but you'd never find an exact match anyway even if they existed. Just go with black. It will look fine. Your tie will be black, too. The colored cummerbunds -- and ties -- are painfully lame. Anything in a black tie ensemble that shouts "Look at me!" is completely counter to the aesthetic. As for the stud set, they don't absolutely have to match your cufflinks, especially when you have a really good reason for them not to. You do. IMO, wearing those cufflinks with non-matching shirt studs will make your outfit all that much better for a variety of reasons. I kind of hate the word, but I can't think of a better one. It would be "charming." I'd go for it, if I were you.
I like your idea of mixing the stud sets with good reason and I may do that next time I have a reason wear the links with my normal tuxedo shirt, but I liked how the whole outfit came together with the covered front shirt and just the cuff links when it was being worked on by my tailor. I have a black cumberbund and bow tie already which match the jacket facings, I would never venture outside of black for the bow tie, unless I had a MTM midnight blue dinner suit with midnight blue facings and a tie cut from the same color satin. As for the cumberbund I would never do a prom style or one in "color" other than a deep gray or light gray (or midnight blue like the above mentioned tie). The reason I brought it up is this portion of http://www.blacktieguide.com/Classic...ternatives.htm says that it is perfectly fine to inject tasteful color via the cumberbund (grey, maroon, midnight) and that even "matching" black satin looks too pre-packaged. I was torn on it because I feel like the gray would suit the navy well while being tasteful and muted but the fact that the tux is midnight might be as far as colorful can go with out line crossing. Thanks for your input.
post #12 of 27
Midnight blue is perfectly fine; it's the only color one I own and use. The shawl lapel also is not a big deal, because having been to a few DC black-tie events, I can tell you a lot of people will be wearing ill-fitting jackets with notch lapels and more than 1-button.
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny24 View Post
Hello all,
I am new to the forum as a poster but I have been lurking for good while now, and this is my first thread.
I am attending a black tie dinner in DC in two weeks, the guest list is highly exclusive and President Clinton is the guest of honor...

Just a technicality perhaps, but important;
protocol allows only for the person currently serving the post (Obama) to be addressed directly as 'Mr. President' (or subjectively as 'The President Of The United States Of America')
Bill Clinton's title now is 'Former U.S. President' or 'The Former President Of The United States Of America'.
When addressing him directly, please do so as 'Mr. Clinton'
Should you introduce him to guests, please do so as,
'Ladies and gentlemen, the Former President Of The United States Of America, Bill Clinton.'
If possible, compliment Mr. Clinton on his shoes and inquire as to what brand does he wear.
Better yet, (he will be flanked by personal security) ask permission for a photo together,
but get those shoes in the photo.
Hope your evening is most pleasurable.
post #14 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Man Of Lint View Post
Just a technicality perhaps, but important;
protocol allows only for the person currently serving the post (Obama) to be addressed directly as 'Mr. President' (or subjectively as 'The President Of The United States Of America')
Bill Clinton's title now is 'Former U.S. President' or 'The Former President Of The United States Of America'.
When addressing him directly, please do so as 'Mr. Clinton'
Should you introduce him to guests, please do so as,
'Ladies and gentlemen, the Former President Of The United States Of America, Bill Clinton.'
If possible, compliment Mr. Clinton on his shoes and inquire as to what brand does he wear.
Better yet, (he will be flanked by personal security) ask permission for a photo together,
but get those shoes in the photo.
Hope your evening is most pleasurable.

He is President Clinton, just not Mr. President.
post #15 of 27
There is no black-tie event at which a shawl collar is not appropriate. I mean, peak lapels were once adopted for propriety in front of women, but that was pre-war. We're talking over a century. I would keep the cummerbund black--there's no sense in messing with this formula. I checked the photos, and I'm pretty sure Daniel Craig was wearing a black cummerbund. Black satin is so reflective that it tends to photograph as greyish.
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