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Formal Black and White - To get a Suit or a Tux?

post #1 of 46
Thread Starter 
Hi,

I am invited to a sorority date party called Aces. The theme is, as the title of the thread implies, black and white. In relation to this I have two questions to this forum. Should I get a tuxedo or a nice suit? Also, how formal would you guys think a "black and white" date party is?

To further complicate matters, one friend of mine is going with one of the "aces" (girls that are part of the "secret" aces society), as his date, and he is wearing a tuxedo. Another friend of mine is going in a plain suit.

As stated earlier, I want to get a tux or a suit for this event. I live in Berkeley, which is close to San Francisco, and it would be awesome if you guys could point me to shops in the SF area that can sell me a nice suit or tux?

I have a "normal" body type and fit into most suits.

On beforehand, thank you so much

Best regards
Tordles
post #2 of 46
A fully SF-approved tux: http://www.josbank.com/menswear/shop...1_10050_101786
post #3 of 46
You will get conflicting advice (to the extent that you get any serious advice). I think black suits suck and are useless so irecommend you not get one of those. If you expect, after you graduate, to be living in a metro area and have the kind of life where you have to go to black tie events once a year at least, it might be worth it to buy a tux. However, at your age, the likelihood that it will fit for say 10 years is not great. Not saying you are a fat slob, it's just physiology.

As an alternative, if you can find a very dark blue suit (midnight) get one of those. More useful for other things. In dim light at night it might as well be black. In daylight it looks much nicer than black.

Everything else you need -- white shirt, black grenadine or knit tie, plain black lace shoes -- are staples and you can get them anywhere.

I guess I would go to the Union Sq area and try Wilkes, B&J, Cable Car and also the big Nordy on Market. Not sure what else there is. I haven't shopped there for anything but shoes and ties for a long time.

I assume the party you are talking about is the Ace of Clubs gala, which is not secret and covers more than one sorority. If not, sorry, and shhhhhhhh....

Have fun.
post #4 of 46
Thread Starter 
Manton: No offense taken, however, I think Il be able to stay in shape. I am a work-out-a-holic and usually train once a day. On another note, I like your input on the suit, a dark blue one might be more usefull. What do you think about i.e. Brooks Brothers and Armani etc? Regarding the confusion on aces, you are right, the gala itself is not secret, but who the actual "aces" are, is a secret.
post #5 of 46
I would prefer BB to Armani any day.
post #6 of 46
Thread Starter 
What do you guys think about doing something in the lines of this?



Downey Jr. is wearing a tux, but he is also wearing a shirt that is "less" formal than the "wing-collar", also the suit seems to be, as mentioned earlier, a little lighter than the pitch black formal suits we usually see?

I am aware that that exact suit is custom made by David August, so I am not getting that exact one, but something in the lines of that maybe?

Any inputs? Also, what collar should I get for the jacket?
post #7 of 46
The Iron Man shirt is a fine tux shirt. The fly front (covered buttons) sets it apart from a business shirt.

Also, I would say that some huge % of tux shirts worn today are turn down, not wing, collar.
post #8 of 46
I think that for this you could get whichever you want. The only "rules" I'd say to follow are not to try and turn a black suit into a tux (by wearing it with a tux shirt/bow tie) or to dress down a tux with a regular white shirt or long tie.

The first question is what do you want to spend? The second question is what will you get more use out of later?

If you want an excuse to get a tux, this seems like a good one. If you think a black suit will be more useful, then go with that. While I don't like black suits for business, they are fine for cocktail parties and other semi-formal evening events. If you are a young guy going into a field where suits are rarely needed, then you can think of it as having black trousers for business casual settings and a black jacket to wear with jeans wen going out.

If you want to go the suit route, this one certainly fits the bill:

http://www.brooksbrothers.com/IWCatP...=&sectionsize=

If you really want to spend, check out Ralph Lauren's Black Label line, their plain black suit goes for about $1,600 but it's damn nice. They also sometimes do black suits with a white pinstripe, which could further differentiate you from the "black suit trying to look like a tux" crowd.
post #9 of 46
Thread Starter 
I think this is one of those "looking for an occasion to buy a tux" times you are referring to. And from reading the replies to this thread, it doesn't seem like wearing a tux to this event is "overdressing." In the end, one usually wants to be over-dressed rather than under-dressed as a rule of thumb? I think my spending range goes to about 16-1700´s so I will definitely look to the Ralph Lauren Option, but primarily to the tuxedo option. I already own two suits that I can use for cocktail settings, none of them are however, "black and white," which is why I am in the situation I am. Further, a great part is that I can go to union square in the city, which has plenty of stores I can go try on suits and tuxes to see what is the best fit. Lastly, thank you guys for replying so fast and accurately. It is really nice to get feedback and other peoples opinions. Now the last question remains (shawl or peaked or notched lapel?) Again, thank you all for making this forum such an awesome place!!!
post #10 of 46
No notch on a tux.

Someone may come along and tell you how since it was in a 1906 Sears Catalogue a notch DJ is perfectly OK, but in fact it looks cheap compared to peak or shawl and makes you look like you don't know what you are doing.

I have come to prefer shawl over peak, esp with a fold (rather than wing) collar.
post #11 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by tordles View Post
I think this is one of those "looking for an occasion to buy a tux" times you are referring to. And from reading the replies to this thread, it doesn't seem like wearing a tux to this event is "overdressing." In the end, one usually wants to be over-dressed rather than under-dressed as a rule of thumb?

I think my spending range goes to about 16-1700´s so I will definitely look to the Ralph Lauren Option, but primarily to the tuxedo option. I already own two suits that I can use for cocktail settings, none of them are however, "black and white," which is why I am in the situation I am. Further, a great part is that I can go to union square in the city, which has plenty of stores I can go try on suits and tuxes to see what is the best fit.

Lastly, thank you guys for replying so fast and accurately. It is really nice to get feedback and other peoples opinions.

Now the last question remains (shawl or peaked or notched lapel?)

Again, thank you all for making this forum such an awesome place!!!

I definitely would not go with a notch lapel, as Manton said. My tux is a peak, and if I am only wearing a tux once or twice a year and am only going to own one of them, that is my preference. However, I think a shawl can look great so it's not as though you can go wrong.

If you're looking at RL tuxedos, try Bloomingdales, since they'll give you a discount for opening a charge account. The tux retails for $2,150 last I checked, but it's gorgeous. A less expensive but well-fitting option that you will find there is Z-Zegna, at around $1,200. The quality isn't as good, mainly in so far as its fused vs. canvassed construction, but it is by no means a bad tux, especially for occasional wear, and it has all of the "proper" details.

I would also consider ordering from Paul Stuart. You can call their New York store for guidance, but their Phineas Cole line has some really sharp formal wear, and it's priced a bit under RL.

If you want to do this on a bit more of a budget, try Yoox, the online outlet. Searching for tuxedos will yield zilch, you have to set the search to look for black suits and then go through to see which are tuxedos. One example, the lapels on which aren't 100% classic, is this:

http://www1.yoox.com/item/YOOX/RAFFA...W/sts/sr_men80

Caruso happens to be a very well-regarded suit maker around these parts, though.
post #12 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwarg View Post
This fits terribly, especially in the shoulders. The details are correct, but the fit is crap. Not SF-approved imo
post #13 of 46
^Um, I sort of thought "fit" was an individual matter. In a ready-to-wear garment, what fits one man poorly may be an excellent fit on the next fellow. I don't know how you can generalize "the fit is crap."
post #14 of 46
You sure you're done growing? If you are, and you have the cash, go ahead an buy. But if you're wrong, you're probably out a grand before you ever need that tux again.
post #15 of 46
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimelesStyle View Post

If you're looking at RL tuxedos, try Bloomingdales, since they'll give you a discount for opening a charge account. The tux retails for $2,150 last I checked, but it's gorgeous. A less expensive but well-fitting option that you will find there is Z-Zegna, at around $1,200. The quality isn't as good, mainly in so far as its fused vs. canvassed construction, but it is by no means a bad tux, especially for occasional wear, and it has all of the "proper" details.


Looked at Bloomingdales online catalog and cant find the RL tuxedos there, I will definitely stop by to see if it is possible to get a rebate. And I definitely agree that the RL tuxedos look really sharp and elegant. Anyone know if it is possible to get some kind of rebate in the RL store in the city?
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