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To all UK Members, Ethical Dilemma -- Please Help! - Page 3

post #31 of 47
Well there's black tie and black tie. I wouldn't be over-awed by attending such an event in London, a lot of them dress appallingly. On the other hand, it might be one of these functions where it really means black tie.

Get some plain black oxfords, and polish them well. They go with any navy or grey suit and you can wear them with black tie and still look correct. These are really the first formal shoes a man should buy.
post #32 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bounder View Post
Anyway, you guys are all fighting the hypothetical. What is worse in the UK, showing up correctly turned out in a dark suit or wearing a tuxedo with borderline-comical shoes? In the U.S., the question is a no-brainer. Given the bizarre permutations of what usually passes for black tie, you could show up wearing flip-flops with your toe-nails painted to match your tie and cummerbund and probably no one would notice. But I know the black-tie-wearing crowd in the UK have higher standards, Gordon Brown notwithstanding. So I'm curious as to which of these is the less-embarrassing course.
Speak to as any people at the do as possible so they know you are from usa - they will be so relieved you are not wearing white jogging shoes and a baseball cap they will scarcely notice anything else.
post #33 of 47
Is your flight there red-eye? If so, board the plane in black tie and show the plebs how travel should be done.
post #34 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by intent View Post
Is your flight there red-eye? If so, board the plane in black tie and show the plebs how travel should be done.

Are you on a good airline that gives everyone complimentary alcoholic beverages on overseas flights? Even better that way to wear Black Tie on board.
post #35 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
By the way, this idea that one must wear black shoes in London during the day five days a week is laughably old fashioned, unless one moves in very restricted circles.
The rule is very much alive, especially in the City. Of course, you can wear brown shoes or, especially if you are an American, cordovan, and no one will say anything, at least not if you are a foreigner. But it marks you as non-PLU. I carry enough of those marks anyway that I try to avoid extra ones when possible.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sanguis Mortuum View Post
I would wear the black cordovan with the tuxedo. Since black tie isn't absolutely required it shouldn't be too much of an issue to bend the rules a bit; it's still the closest to black tie of the two options.
Thanks very much for the input. That's one vote for non-shiny punched captoes!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gutman View Post
Well there's black tie and black tie. I wouldn't be over-awed by attending such an event in London, a lot of them dress appallingly. On the other hand, it might be one of these functions where it really means black tie.
Yes, it really means black tie.
Quote:
Originally Posted by fxh View Post
Speak to as any people at the do as possible so they know you are from usa - they will be so relieved you are not wearing white jogging shoes and a baseball cap they will scarcely notice anything else.
This is actually a plan. The problem is, of course, that even if I did show up wearing jogging shoes and a baseball cap everyone would probably be too polite to mention it -- at least to me. That's why I'm soliciting opinions, especially from UK members. If I were to ask someone associated with the event they would inevitably say, "Oh, either one is fine!" I've spent considerable time in England and I know how hard it can be to decipher the unwritten rules, which are often more important than the written ones. So, anyway, the question is, is it better to appear to be an uneducated rube who tried and failed to wear black tie or is it better to appear to be a sophisticated dresser who knows exactly what he is doing but, for whatever reason, couldn't be bothered?
post #36 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bounder View Post
So, anyway, the question is, is it better to appear to be an uneducated rube who tried and failed to wear black tie or is it better to appear to be a sophisticated dresser who knows exactly what he is doing but, for whatever reason, couldn't be bothered?

That's not really a question, now is it?
post #37 of 47
The choice of whether to steal or buy the shoes would make it an ethical dilemma.
post #38 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gutman View Post
Get some plain black oxfords, and polish them well. They go with any navy or grey suit and you can wear them with black tie and still look correct. These are really the first formal shoes a man should buy.

This is one thing I've heard both sides of -- is it okay to wear black calf balmoral cap-toes with a tux, as long as they're sharp-looking and well-polished? Or is patent a must?

I'm trying to build a minimal suiting wardrobe which would include only one pair of black shoes, is this possible?
post #39 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by sho'nuff View Post
this has nothing to do with ethics.

He must call the archibishop of Canterbury...He is a great theologian.
post #40 of 47
ok, real suggestion: why not go to Ede & Ravenscroft and pick up a DB vest in dove gray, and wear that under your charcoal staple suit? it'll bump up for formality significantly. and it looks great.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bounder View Post
The rule is very much alive, especially in the City. Of course, you can wear brown shoes or, especially if you are an American, cordovan, and no one will say anything, at least not if you are a foreigner. But it marks you as non-PLU. I carry enough of those marks anyway that I try to avoid extra ones when possible.
i call bullshit the one thing that has struck me about London is how terribly people dress project for you: go down one day to Leadenhall Market at lunchtime and count the following: - awful pinstripe suits - pencil-thick lapels - single-breasted suit jackets, unbuttoned - double-breasted suit jackets, unbuttoned (particularly ghastly) - corrected-grain shoes - unshined shoes i don't think businesswear gets more serious, it's at the footsteps of the Lloyd's building for fuck's sake so long as you wear black shoes of some persuasion and don't do any of the above i think you're going to be just fine
post #41 of 47
Does anyone else feel like a pair of cord longwings would look nice with black tie?
post #42 of 47
Quote:
Originally Posted by Usul View Post
Does anyone else feel like a pair of cord longwings would look nice with black tie?
Thom Browne, is that you?
post #43 of 47
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lasbar View Post
He must call the archibishop of Canterbury...He is a great theologian.
Harumph. You were one of the sartorial Yodas I was counting on to shower me with wisdom in this time of doubt and crisis. Anyway, I doubt the Archbishop ever really gets to wear black tie. . . . Does he? Because that would actually be kind of cool.
Quote:
Originally Posted by majesticj View Post
i call bullshit the one thing that has struck me about London is how terribly people dress project for you: go down one day to Leadenhall Market at lunchtime and count the following: - awful pinstripe suits - pencil-thick lapels - single-breasted suit jackets, unbuttoned - double-breasted suit jackets, unbuttoned (particularly ghastly) - corrected-grain shoes - unshined shoes i don't think businesswear gets more serious, it's at the footsteps of the Lloyd's building for fuck's sake
But all of the unshined, corrected-grain shoes were black, right? You are not the first person to comment on this. Here's a quote from a very insightful, even brilliant, post from another thread. For example, there are certain recognized styles for suits e.g., Neopolitan, English, etc. Even different Savile Row houses have distinctive styles. Over the last several years, I've noticed a new style developing in London which I call "Gormless." It consists of a suit, often black, that appears to have been extensively tailored to make it fit as poorly as possible. The Gormless look is accented by a polypropylene tie and shoes that have been run through a dryer along with a couple of rocks. These people dress with all the joie de vivre of medieval peasants. The Gormless look makes one long for the elegant stylings of Hugo Boss and Kenneth Cole, I kid you not. http://www.styleforum.net/showpost.p...5&postcount=81 Anyway in the City, the powers that be, or those that want to be, do indeed wear black shoes. Some foreigners, such as the French, might not, but they are so obviously not PLU that brown shoes are the least of their problems. Once again, there is no rule in the City that you must wear black shoes but if you don't, you are sending a signal that many people will pick up on, especially in certain circles.
post #44 of 47
You're absolutely right about the City..

There was a massive influx of German,French,Italians and many other nationalities working for the banking industry and the City style has evolved more in the last decade or 20 years than ever before...

My brother-in-law is a senior currency trader for a big London bank and his clothes are just appaling...
Black shoes matched with Italian or Hugo Boss suits and Marks&Spencer shirts...

The guy is on a massive wage and his sartorial flair is close to none...

His colleagues are exactly the same..

I remember meeting a few guys when waiting for a fitting...Most guys were American customers with a few European ...
That was strange..
post #45 of 47
Don't get so wound up about such an irrelevance: the organisers have recognised that lounge suit is now acceptable and leave it at that. Their call, now follow it and don't be so pious about 'tradition'. Above all you are travelling and so it is less reasonable to have the now demoted dress.
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