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.
Originally Posted by Sanguis Mortuum
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!
Originally Posted by Gutman
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.
Originally Posted by fxh
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?