Edited by jrd617 - 9/17/13 at 12:53am
The State of Black Tie: Your Observations - Page 99
Styleforum Top Picks
Well, you showed her!
I swear that I don't have a staff of comedy writers making these scenarios up. It's a real life question for this thread.
In a couple of weeks, I'll be attending a 4 day annual business conference in a large city in Texas at an upscale (but not luxury) hotel. I am mainly there in support of my wife and I have minimal involvement in the business but I expect to gain knowledge from the daily breakout seminars that should prove to be of assistance to her in the future.
Although there is no dress code for the most part, I feel confident in what I will choose to wear each day with one exception where I know what I WANT to wear but am unsure if I should.
After the last session on the final day, there will be a "Black Tie Dinner" which is by invitation only, running from 7:30 PM until 9:30 PM. We are NOT invited to this dinner. However, at 8:30 PM until midnight, there will be a Main Event type party to wrap up the week that we WILL be attending. The Black Tie attendees get dumped into this event at the end of their dinner at 9:30 still dressed, of course, in black tie. I have seen pictures of previous years' events and there's a goodly number of folks who ave no idea how to dress for the main soiree along with a large number who apparently do. There are also pics that demonstrate that not everyone has a clear grasp of black tie. Whatever.
My instinct is to go with a dark suit, navy or charcoal and thus identify myself as one of the grownups. I am wondering, however, if I showed up in black tie, would I look like a pretender, trying to appear as if I had been to the invitation only dinner? I mean, other folks will be in black tie and I get so few chances (actually, none in the last 2 years) that I'd hate to miss an opportunity. I do not know if anyone who is not a black tie dinner attendee wears black tie or not. Therefore, for the first hour or so, I risk being the only one in the room in black tie until the dinner is over.
I don't want to call negative attention to my spouse but I would really enjoy the chance to wear the good stuff.
What would YOU do?
Show up at the Main Event fashionably late at 9:30 in black tie.
Any suggestions for a quality OTR tux in a 36S with a somewhat athletic build? Unfortunately my smaller stature limits my options - Brooks Brothers, for example, just doesn't make a suit or tux to fit someone my size or build. I'm in NYC if it helps. I'm attending a wedding in October for which I need this, and I will wear it in my own wedding next year (as well as more events).
I visited Suitsupply because they actually make a proper tux, but their MTM service utilizes Italians, who refuse to lift themselves out of a recession and apparently take the whole of August off, so it wouldn't be ready until late October. They no longer make or stock a tux in 36S despite their suits being available in this size. I need this for early October. So on to RTW...
I visited Saks and my options right now are Armani and RLBL, which are more than I'd like to spend (about $2K give or take). BB's pricing is right but doesn't make things in my size or cut. Hugo Boss makes a proper tux in my size but the consensus (and what I've seen in the one Boss suit I own) is that their stuff sucks, as good as their cuts are. J.Crew makes a shawl lapel jacket in my size and their suits fit me well, but it has vents (which I'd close) flap pockets (which I'd tuck in, I guess) and plastic buttons. Ebay is a wasteland of Shaquille O'Neal-sized and styled polyester; nothing used in my size either.
Any advice? I'd consider renting for this wedding and investing in the Suitsupply MTM one for my own, but I know how bad rental tuxes can be as well.
If you haven't bought one yet, this is by far the best bang for the buck:
I have one of their suits and it's as nice as suits retailing for 3-4x the price. Only thing which isn't really my taste is the double vented jacket (I prefer unvented for a tux) but that's fixable.
Oh, and depending on your exact build, you may want to try a 36r and/or 38s too, as they run a bit on the shorter and slimmer side.
A question on some of the finer points of black tie for you folks. Apologies if this isn't the thread for it, but it seems to be the most active one discussing formal wear. I have a reasonably standard tuxedo with grosgrain facings. Am I limited to black as far as waistcoat/bow tie are concerned? For context, I am a 20 year old medical student with a few "black tie" events in the coming weeks, however the majority of men going to these are likely to show up in grey suits/ghastly teal colored shirts from express (begging the question if I am going to be over-dressed).
^ If the event says "black tie," I would wear a tuxedo. You should stick to a black bow tie and either a black waistcoat or black cummerbund. Might as well do it right. I'd rather seem overdressed and honor the requested dress code than the alternative. If you don't want to wear a tuxedo, I'd stick to a dark suit, white shirt and conservative tie.
Two further questions - can anyone recommend a decent (hopefully not terribly expensive, as I'm still on a student budget) place to purchase an appropriate tie/vest/cummerbund? In addition, should I be attempting to find grosgrain ones as well, to match the facings, or will any type of black do? Apologies for the possibly ignorant beginner questions, I'm eager to learn and trying to get it right the first time.
Yes. You'll be correctly dressed.
Use Clermont Direct on the Internet or eBay. Yes, stick with grosgrain.
Then do some reading on the the Black Tie Guide .com
If u can find it, it's nice to match your facings material. Try nordstrom, they will have decent quality accessories for a decent price point. They should have John w nordstrom, David Donahue (spelling?), and possibly few other brands in the 100-150 price point for a set of bowtie/waist cover. I would atleast rec u purchase ur bowtie/cover as a set, only to insure the matching of the materials sheen.
But if you do purchase as a set, make sure it's not a pre-tied bow, as many sets have this.
Before going with grosgrain, make sure the tie is easy enough to tie. Grosgrain is thicker and I've found grosgrain bows difficult to tie at times. Better to go with satin and have it tie right than the alternative. Plus I don't see many grosgrain waistcoats or cummerbunds.