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Formal Black and White - To get a Suit or a Tux? - Page 3

post #31 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by tordles View Post
I live in Norway, I go to school at Berkeley, but I see your point. I was mainly replying to MjPhilips´s comment, and using his example the cost of buying a suit vs. renting would be about the same.

Further I completely agree with you, Manton, that going to a formal event, and feeling good about what you wear is a great feeling. Thank you for your input thou

I don't think he advocated renting, just buying a cheap one for now, which I don't entirely disagree with. I say that not even because your body type will change, but because if you go to these types of events often spills are more likely to happen and you don't want to risk ruining something nice. However, if you'll need it once a year and it's a tamer party (I imagine sorority parties are tamer than fraternity but don't really have a basis to compare) then why not.

While I was never involved in Greek life during college, we did have a senior formal for the entire class and for that I got my tux at Jos. A Bank for $150. Wasn't proper by SF standards, but it served its purpose very well and also got me through a couple of weddings until I replaced it this year with a good tux.

Try the RL tux and if you love it then buy it, but I think something like the Z-Zegna might make more sense for now in terms of the cost to how much use you'll get from it ratio. If you do go that route, here's something else to consider: with the shawl version (they make that too) I think you could easily wear the jacket with some nice jeans and a white shirt for casual but sharp nights out if you decide after college to retire the tux and get a better one. Just food for thought.
post #32 of 46
Oh, last general question: Is this a more "conservative" group (yes, it's Berkeley so that's a relative term) or is these people more likely to get creative with their outfits? I hate how Hollywood interpreted "creative black tie" with 3-button tuxes, black shirts, non-black ties, etc. but I think there are some looks you could go with here that are "black and white," and creative, but not a variation on the tradition. Possible examples:

Black suit, textured white shirt, black ascot with white polka dots

Black jeans (think fashion, not grunge), white shirt, black necktie, black velvet blazer/smoking jacket, black ankle boots

Same as above but with tuxedo shirt, with studs, no tie

Sunglasses optional with all of the above.

Yea, I know, not exactly typical of men's clothing, but if this is what crowd the OP will be with, there are ways to get into the spirit of the party and still stand out.
post #33 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by TimelesStyle View Post
Oh, last general question: Is this a more "conservative" group (yes, it's Berkeley so that's a relative term) or is these people more likely to get creative with their outfits?
It is, or was, one of the old guard OGB/NDGW type events that used to define social life at Cal and hang on by a thread. Very traditioal clothes in my day.
post #34 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
It is, or was, one of the old guard OGB/NDGW type events that used to define social life at Cal and hang on by a thread. Very traditioal clothes in my day.

In that case, disregard my post about creative alternatives and pay attention only to my ideas on tuxedos .
post #35 of 46
This may be the first time in my history I say these words but perhaps renting would be the best idea. I don't know what kind of social circles you run in but the average college/university student doesn't need a dinner suit at all, let alone several times a year.

Buying a cheap one (which may be no better than what you can rent) as a bridge to a future point where you can buy a nicer one is merely sinking money into something that you might never be satisfied with and never use -- and I don't know about you but in university I wasn't blessed with a social calender that demanded black tie.
post #36 of 46
You're going to want to buy a tux rather than rent. Greek life means wearing black tie 4-5 times per year. And if you choose to remain in the states, your social circles will remain largely intact post-graduation, especially with regards to formal occasions. You'll still be wearing a tux 3 times each year. However, when you're considering how much to spend and which details to select, keep in mind the fact that a very small number of people will notice, and even fewer will care in any significant way. At a big social event like this, people are there to party, not critique your jacket fit. Your buddies, and the girls you're trying to take down, will be a lot more concerned with the bullshit coming out of your mouth. Most people our age don't know the difference between notch, peak, or shawl lapels. For this reason, you select the details, fit, brand, and quality largely for yourself rather than others. And since you're only wearing this tux a handful of times each year, don't stress about it too much--it's a lot more important to nail the fit on a suit you'll wear twice a week every week for the next 5 years.
post #37 of 46
Last time I went to a black and white party for students, people wore their father's large shirts and black pants. Yours sounds like the real deal though. Don't wear dark blue. It's a black and white party, duh. Black is the perfect colour for night. This isn't dress for the office, which is why this places directs peole away from owning black business clothes.
post #38 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1901 View Post
Greek life means wearing black tie 4-5 times per year.

Really? Not in my day/place.
post #39 of 46
Tordles, First, my congratulations on choosing a tuxedo. You will pull so much better in a tux than with any of the possible alternatives. The trick is to do the details right and then wear it like you own it rather than as a costume. With that in mind, I would suggest you not get a new DJ, especially an expensive one. Wearing black tie in college can be really excellent but it, hopefully, it will be a bit harder on your DJ than wearing it to a charity event primarily populated by people who actually recall DJs being invented. Instead, get a used/vintage one. These will be much cheaper and will still look great providing you have it properly tailored. Plus, as has been pointed out, any DJ you buy will not fit you ten years from now, guaranteed. One of the best decisions I made in college was going to a used clothing store -- where they had bought a huge collection of DJs, apparently surplus from the air force -- and buying a tuxedo. It was a poly-wool blend but it looked, especially relatively, great and was nearly indestructible, which was a very good think considering the abuse I put it through over the next several years. I don't know where, exactly you can find used/vintage tuxedos in SF nowadays, but you might try La Rosa in the Haight. BTW, note that you may well have a really hard time finding a true vintage DJ that will fit you. Back in the 20s and 30s, even the wealthy were much smaller than people are today. Anything larger than a 40 is pretty rare.
post #40 of 46
To clarify, I meant you should buy a cheaper tuxedo, not to rent one. For the same reasons that a college student probably shouldn't have a brand new car - even if (in some cases, especially if) your parents have plenty of money. Plus no one will notice anyway. You'll get more social mileage out of being able to tie a real bowtie or having a cool pair of antique cufflinks. Buy a "real" tuxedo for your first nice wedding, post-grad.
post #41 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Manton View Post
Really? Not in my day/place.
Speaking as someone who now attends college in the South I wear it around 4-6 times not counting my school's Fancy Dress event, a once a year black tie ball. You have your own formal, and whatever sorority formals you get invited to. This year I attended 3 sorority's formals, but many attend more. It may be different in the West Coast, but you described your experience as traditional, and my friend who's a pledge at Sigma Nu at Berkely still has 5 AM PT and late night lineups.
post #42 of 46
Hmm, now I know what I was missing by going to university in Canada and not having any frats to try and join: massive weekend binge alcoholism and black tie events.
post #43 of 46
Thursday is (was) binge drinking night in Berkeley.
post #44 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by Another New Yorker View Post
Speaking as someone who now attends college in Virginia I wear it around 4-6 times not counting my school's Fancy Dress event, a once a year black tie ball. You have your own formal, and whatever sorority formals you get invited to. This year I attended 3 sorority's formals, but many attend more. It may be different in the West Coast, but you described your experience as traditional, and my friend who's a pledge at Sigma Nu at Berkely still has 5 AM PT and late night lineups.

I also went to school in the south and this is the norm. No idea about west coast though. Surprised to hear of lineups in Berkeley. That sort of stuff is barely hanging on in the south, and Berkeley seems like such an....egalitarian place.
post #45 of 46
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjphillips View Post
I also went to school in the south and this is the norm. No idea about west coast though. Surprised to hear of lineups in Berkeley. That sort of stuff is barely hanging on in the south, and Berkeley seems like such an....egalitarian place.

"barely hanging on"

The schools where hazing is fading in the South are the exceptions rather than the rule--more chapters get their charters revoked for it these days but that won't stop us.
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