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Tartan dinner jacket-formality

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
The main question is "how formal is a tartan dinner jacket? Is it less formal than a plain one or just as formal?"
Now let me expand. I'm a practical man. Therefore, i hate suits(aka matched jacket and trousers). Usually, when I am supposed to wear a suit, I go with charcoal trousers w/ navy blazer and no one is the wiser. But now I really have to attend a black tie event. I'm thinking I should buy a tartan dinner jacket and tuxedo pants.
But is a tartan dinner jacket less formal than a plain one? I would have no problem with buying a darker one(like a black watch dinner jacket). Maybe light ones are less formal, but how about dark ones?
post #2 of 37
If you're Scottish then you can wear Scottish Highland Dress, which consists of a black Prince Charlie jacket or similar along with a tartan kilt. Personally I would avoid a tartan jacket though.
post #3 of 37
A Tartan dinner jacket is definitely less formal than a traditional black or midnight blue. To differentiate it from a sport coat it should have a shawl collar and should be of the darker plaids. Definitely an advanced move. If you don't own a midnight blue tux you should start there first. http://www.blacktieguide.com/Classic...ternatives.htm Also, I don't know why a "practical man" would "therefore" hate suits. Suits are a classic wardrobe staple and saying you hate them is ridiculous. That you hate suits indicates you are not ready for such an advanced sartorial move as a tartan dinner jacket.
post #4 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by harvey_birdman View Post

Also, I don't know why a "practical man" would "therefore" hate suits. Suits are a classic wardrobe staple and saying you hate them is ridiculous. That you hate suits indicates you are not ready for such an advanced sartorial move as a tartan dinner jacket.

I disagree. I think a suit is not as practical as a sport coat with odd trousers. The suit, most of the time, can only be worn together, limiting you "looks". A sportcoat can be worn with a few different trousers therefore making it more practical. I think thats what he was getting at with the Tartan dinner jacket, something he can wear for more than formal black tie occations.

To answer the OP...if its a black tie event gauge how you feel the rest of the crowd would be dressed. If its optional, you'd probably look great, and more "formally" dressed than those in a suit, but not as formal as someone in a full tux. If its a real formal thing though, I'd say play it safe.
post #5 of 37
A tartan dinner jacket should only be worn to a formal event. If the OP is talking about a tartan sport coat with notch lapels then it is definitely not appropriate for a formal event.
post #6 of 37
Quote:
Usually, when I am supposed to wear a suit, I go with charcoal trousers w/ navy blazer and no one is the wiser.

I would like to see this reality distortion field you have created, and potentially purchase it
post #7 of 37
A tartan dinner jacket should only be worn if you are living in the 70's.
post #8 of 37
Thread Starter 
I'm not talking about a red tartan jacket. I;m talking about a black one, very subtle. I am not a noob, I pulled advanced moves before. And now to explain myself and what I mean by "I'm a practical man. Therefore, i hate suits". If lets say my trousers get ripped, lost, stained, so on I can't wear the jacket anymore(at least, not according to conventional tastes). Not to mention that a suit isn't very versatile. A blazer you can wear to anything but formal events. A suit you rarely get to wear. These days people wear suits like they used to wear tuxedos before(occasionally). Hate is a strong word, I just prefer not to buy suits, I wouldn't mind magically owning one, it would be just great. I've worn rented tuxedos before, but I think with the money I spent on renting those second grade tuxedos(w/ notched lapels and pre-tied bow-ties, most of them) I could have bought a nice tux. In the link you provided, the tartan jacket is presented as a viable semi-classic alternative. Mind you, except for the fact that I avoid suits, I'm quite conservative when it comes to clothing. I don't mind black cummerbunds and bow-ties, in fact, I think that's how it should be done.
post #9 of 37
I've worn one when the invitation stated "Black tie or garden party dress". I'd like to do this one for non-black tie Xmas parties: http://www.josbank.com/menswear/shop...1_10050_100503 (Although a shall collar would be far superior.) I also have a "satiny" black "wood grain" brocade shall collar one that is dark enough to be used a smoking or dinner jacket. I've worn it so much I've worn out the cuffs on it. So basically: If it is dark enough it can pass for black tie. Otherwise, use it for "garden party" dress.
post #10 of 37
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by makewayhomer View Post
I would like to see this reality distortion field you have created, and potentially purchase it

Charcoal trousers and navy blazer is a classic combination, what do you see wrong with it?
Quote:
Originally Posted by harvey_birdman View Post
A tartan dinner jacket should only be worn to a formal event. If the OP is talking about a tartan sport coat with notch lapels then it is definitely not appropriate for a formal event.

No, I'm only going to wear it to formal events, shawl collar would be great. I think I just like the fact that I can wear other tuxedo pants with it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Master Squirrel View Post
I've worn one when the invitation stated "Black tie or garden party dress".

I'd like to do this one for Xmas: http://www.josbank.com/menswear/shop...1_10050_100503 (Although a shall collar would be far superior.)

I also have a "satiny" black "wood grain" brocade shall collar one that is dark enough to be used a smoking or dinner jacket. I've worn it so much I've worn out the cuffs on it.

So basically: If it is dark enough it can pass for black tie. Otherwise, use it for "garden party" dress.

Thanks.

As I previously stated, I want a dark one. I am actually aiming to buy this one: http://www.brooksbrothers.com/IWCatP...=&sectionsize= As you can see, the pattern is almost not there.
post #11 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen View Post
Charcoal trousers and navy blazer is a classic combination, what do you see wrong with it?

He was probably referring to the fact that you mention people don't seem to be able to tell the difference between that and a suit. There's nothing inherantly wrong with it, unless you're meant to be wearing a suit, in which case there is something wrong because it isn't a suit.

Personally I think tartan (and velvet) dinner jackets are just worn by people who want to stand out for the sake of standing out. A formal event is not the place for that. It should be your charm and wit that makes you stand out, not the plaid of your jacket. If you're the host and the event is taking place in your house(/mansion/castle/palace) then you can, if you want, wear a velvet smoking jacket. Otherwise, stick to black (or off-white if, and only if, the event takes place in the tropics).
post #12 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by culverwood View Post
A tartan dinner jacket should only be worn if you are living in the 70's.

Harrumph and pish-posh.

At an event with lots of strangers, I would go with black or midnight.

But, for smaller, convivial gatherings with friends and family, particularly at someone's home, anything goes with a dinner jacket.

Here's my plaid SB shawl, which is worn exactly that way:



All the variations of fabrics used for smoking jackets can be a base, but wilder things can also be nifty.


- B
post #13 of 37
post #14 of 37
^^ Eyeglasses are too inconspicuous for StyleForvm.


- B
post #15 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by voxsartoria View Post
Harrumph and pish-posh.



Here's my plaid SB shawl



Egads and fap! Is that NWOT, and can I get measurements?
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