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black shirt + tie - Page 4
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This is probably the best way to wear a black shirt, except if it were at night. During the daytime it's just terrible IMHO.
That's fine. Mid gray suit and a black shirt maintains contrast, frames your face and body nicely. You really begin to have problems when you add the tie. The general rule is that the tie should be darker than the shirt, and I've never seen a pairing that contradicts it (BTW, this isn't just a black shirt thing- the dark blue shirt/yellow tie pairing looks similarly moronic to me). You can't go darker than the shirt when the shirt is black, which means that the only option is black. Which is just way too matchy.
Menswear is about color, texture and line. Contrasts are important to highlight those lines; the lines frame your body. The V of the front of a jacket emphasizes the chest and shoulders and minimizes the stomach. It opens to the face, which is supported by a collar that (ideally) counterbalances extremities in facial shape. A long point collar for a round face, a nice spread for a long one. The tie adds color and compliments the line of the jacket.
When you wear a tie brighter than the shirt, the tie dominates. And you don't want it to, since outside of the context of a shirt and jacket, the shape is really pretty awkward. You can't avoid that when you wear one with a black shirt. But if you skip the tie, the open V of the unbuttoned top of the shirt does succeed in framing the face, which is why that look has caught on, despite the protestations of those who still object to the formality mismatch in some combinations (worsted suit & no tie, for example).
OP was going on about women's clothing being more varied at some point. Yes, womenswear is somewhat more varied, at least on the surface. But there's a theme there too. Womenswear is all designed to emphasize hips, breasts and curves. The female form lends itself to that. A male frame demands emphasizing a V shape on the torso. You design for your best assets.
I think you're missing the point of semi-formal/formal dress. Being a gentleman, one of the ideas is to blend classically in the background as not to take away from what the lady is wearing, not to be a peacock looking for all the attention yourself.
On to the original post, one of the most frequent faux pas I see in dressing involve dark shirts - something like a grey suit with a black shirt and silver tie - and think that is acceptible business wear. Looks absolutely horrid. The best I can think is - "At least they are trying - better than the ubiquitous chinos and golf shirt."
You make it sound like men's formal dress' main purpose is to show off the trophy wife...
Have you spent time browsing the WAYWT Mens Clothing thread? There are TONS of options. There are some guys that post on there that always look great, and I am not just talking about fit. I would have gotten into mens clothing when I was in prep school but I would have been out of place. Mens casual clothing also has tons of options. Maybe I am not understanding what exactly you are looking for but I think there are plenty of options, but who knows Im no big timer here so I might be wrong. lol
I have seen plenty of women that can not dress...
I don't see these tons of options that you speak of when dressing formally. I see the same basic clothes (suit, shirt, tie) in endless color combos. I get that there's a lot of playroom with the colors but the basic garments are always the same and they have stayed the same for more than a 100 years which is what I mean when I say I don't see many options. Of course this could be the fact that I'm new at this and I still have a world to discover which is why I'm here in SF.
Anyway I'm warming up to it so I won't be needing the invention-reinvention of new garments as of now
So following the rules is actually more unique than not following them? Quite ironic but now that you mention I suppose you're right. The few people that wear suits here at the office look like they have clothes that are a few sizes too big for them. I suppose people either hate the suits and never wear them or don't care for the suits and wear them half-assed. So to go back to the OT, no black shirts and tie for me. A rule has been learned.
I guess this eureka moment of mine is like watching the umpteenth baby walk for the first time.
- black shirt + tie
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