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Formalwear question - what is appropriate now

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I am about to update my formalwear and wanted to get input on what is appropriate now in NYC for formal events with respect to collar style of suit, shirt style, bow or non-bow, cumberbund or vest or neither, etc.
post #2 of 16
Everything goes these days, but the classics remain classic. I assume by formal you mean black tie, tux, dinner jacket, etc. (interchangable terms). The topic has been done to death here. Boiled down:

SB or DB peak or shawl, black or midnight blue (really a bespoke option only). Grosgrain or satin lapel facings and stripe along trouser outer edge.

Wing (impractical and the RTW options all suck) or fold collar shirt, with either a pleated or a pique front (harder to find). Black self tied bow tie.

If SB coat, vest or cummerbund. If vest, low front 3-button formal vest, made from self (i.e., the body of the suit) cloth, or (to be approached with caution) white pique (with wing collar shirt only) or some fancy silk (dark red shantung can look nice). If DB coat, no vest or cummerbund.

Black socks, preferably silk. Black patent leather plain toe laceups or calf opera pumps with grosgrain bows.

If you do all that, you will probably find yourself in a minority comprising at most 30% of the guests at the average black tie event in Manhattan. Or, I should say, a plurality, because there will be so much variety among the other male guests that no single other grouping will look even close to consistent.
post #3 of 16
I'v heard people say you should have a detachable collar with a dinner jacket, what exactally is the point of a detachable collar? Why not just buy a shirt with the type of collar you like?
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
For a while everyone seemed to be wearing straight black ties with Tuxedos. Has this style run its course?
post #5 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by twister212
For a while everyone seemed to be wearing straight black ties with Tuxedos. Has this style run its course?

If by everyone you mean those few people who get free clothes to wear at the Oscars, probably not. Some people are unwilling to put in the hour of effort required to learn to tie a bow tie.
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by twister212
For a while everyone seemed to be wearing straight black ties with Tuxedos. Has this style run its course?
No, if anything it will gain steam. Hollywood seems to be quite fond of it.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by drake
I'v heard people say you should have a detachable collar with a dinner jacket, what exactally is the point of a detachable collar? Why not just buy a shirt with the type of collar you like?

If you want to wear a wing collar, only the detachable kind has the required height and stiffness to look proper. Unfortunately, attaching the collar is a pain.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by drake
I'v heard people say you should have a detachable collar with a dinner jacket, what exactally is the point of a detachable collar? Why not just buy a shirt with the type of collar you like?

Before everyone had washing machines and clean water the wealthy would wear white shirts as a status symbol to show that they had enough money to have them washed regularly since dirt and grime is so easy to see on white. Sooner or later they began to wear other colors as they became fashionable, but still kept the collar, and sometimes the cuffs white to show they had enough money for washing.

People took this idea and began making shirts with detachable collars since it was easy and inexpensive to wash a single collar rather than the whole shirt, and so the detachable collar was born.
post #9 of 16
Since their don't seem to be many options for RTW detachable wing collars I assume people have them made bespoke? If that is the case why can't you just have the attached collar made to the required height and stiffness?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Will
If you want to wear a wing collar, only the detachable kind has the required height and stiffness to look proper. Unfortunately, attaching the collar is a pain.
post #10 of 16
I get that part, I just don't get what the point of a detachable collar in formal wear is today.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Reggs
Before everyone had washing machines and clean water the wealthy would wear white shirts as a status symbol to show that they had enough money to have them washed regularly since dirt and grime is so easy to see on white. Sooner or later they began to wear other colors as they became fashionable, but still kept the collar, and sometimes the cuffs white to show they had enough money for washing. People took this idea and began making shirts with detachable collars since it was easy and inexpensive to wash a single collar rather than the whole shirt, and so the detachable collar was born.
post #11 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by drake
Since their don't seem to be many options for RTW detachable wing collars I assume people have them made bespoke?
A few London shops still carry them but, for the most part, yes.

Quote:
If that is the case why can't you just have the attached collar to the required height and stiffness?
Because they are made of different materials, with different interlining, behave differently, and need to be cleaned separately using different processes.
post #12 of 16
Okay, I see the reasoning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton
A few London shops still carry them but, for the most part, yes.


Because they are made of different materials, with different interlining, behave differently, and need to be cleaned separately using different processes.
post #13 of 16
I hesistate to do so , but I would add to Manton's original post that if single breasted, it should only be one button.
post #14 of 16
The necktie with formal wear has been around now, for quite some time. For those whose faces absolutely cannot cope with a bow, I suppose it's okay. I don't look good in bow ties, but with a tux, I wear one anyway. Now, here's a man who could wear a bow tie, and look chic:


Zachary Scott, hisses high style, as Monte Beragon: Mildred Pierce
post #15 of 16
Detachable wing collars aren't that hard to come by as implied.
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