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The State of Black Tie: Your Observations - Page 126

post #1876 of 3458
Quote:
Originally Posted by othertravel View Post

Thank you. Would a cumberbund be necessary in your opinion? Or would you put it in the "value added/optional" category?

Just reread your post. So if I'm wearing that type of shirt, then a waist covering (either cumberbund or waist coat) isn't necessary, correct?

Always wear a waist covering with your dinner suit. It looks better especially if your trousers are a modern lower rise.
post #1877 of 3458
Quote:
Originally Posted by marcodalondra View Post


Always wear a waist covering with your dinner suit. It looks better especially if your trousers are a modern lower rise.

This is clearly a matter of opinion, and a topic on which opinions vary greatly.

 

I'm a believer in the position that a waist covering is a rather silly-looking holdover from past styles and can (and should) be done away with. Others believe that it's a critical part of black tie. Both positions have some merit.

 

Note that waist coverings are actually quite rare these days, which seems to indicate that what's regarded as correct black tie has evolved away from requiring a waist covering. Since its creation, black tie has evolved, and this is just another part of that process. (In the US, it also looks like peak lapels are now part of history since they're now a small and ever-decreasing fraction of tuxedo sales here. Etc.)

 

On the other hand, if you define correct black tie as being in accordance with a set of guidelines that have some (although perhaps somewhat arbitrarily-defined) tradition to support them, then you'll want to go with a waist covering.

 

So there's really no single right answer. It's really a matter of your personal taste. (James Bond wasn't fond of waist coverings at all, but don't let that affect your choice.)

post #1878 of 3458
Quote:
Originally Posted by lwmarti View Post
 

This is clearly a matter of opinion, and a topic on which opinions vary greatly.

 

I'm a believer in the position that a waist covering is a rather silly-looking holdover from past styles and can (and should) be done away with. Others believe that it's a critical part of black tie. Both positions have some merit.

 

Note that waist coverings are actually quite rare these days, which seems to indicate that what's regarded as correct black tie has evolved away from requiring a waist covering. Since its creation, black tie has evolved, and this is just another part of that process. (In the US, it also looks like peak lapels are now part of history since they're now a small and ever-decreasing fraction of tuxedo sales here. Etc.)

 

On the other hand, if you define correct black tie as being in accordance with a set of guidelines that have some (although perhaps somewhat arbitrarily-defined) tradition to support them, then you'll want to go with a waist covering.

 

So there's really no single right answer. It's really a matter of your personal taste. (James Bond wasn't fond of waist coverings at all, but don't let that affect your choice.)

Remember about 10 years ago when it seemed like everyone was wearing long ties with their tuxedos, and it seemed as if the bow-tie was regarded as a rather silly looking holdover from past styles that could be done away with?

 

In my opinion, wear whatever you want, there is going to be some guy there in a black suit, a long tie, and square toed shoes who thinks he is wearing black-tie. 

 

But if you are concerned with being proper, the wearing of a waist covering is unassailable, no one will ever tell you it is incorrect. Going without one is debatable, and if you are one who cares what opinions others hold of how you dress, most people will assume that you don't have one, not that you elected to leave it at home because you thought it looked better without.

 

 

J

post #1879 of 3458
I would suggest that it's more than mere adherence to tradition but that there is a good esthetic purpose for a waist covering, that being to avoid showing white below where your jacket buttons and to cover up the "working" parts of the clothing.
post #1880 of 3458
Quote:
Originally Posted by J011yroger View Post

 

But if you are concerned with being proper, the wearing of a waist covering is unassailable, no one will ever tell you it is incorrect. Going without one is debatable, and if you are one who cares what opinions others hold of how you dress, most people will assume that you don't have one, not that you elected to leave it at home because you thought it looked better without.

Again, this is another matter of opinion. I know exactly one person (real-life, mind you, not anonymous people on internet forums) who wears a waist covering for black tie, so if you showed up without a waist covering, the assumption that you decided to not wear one would be the default. And wearing a waist covering would draw roughly the sort of comments that wearing a suit to an office that's business casual would.

 

At every black tie event that I've been to in recent years, the number of people who were wearing a waist covering was very small. Very, very small. So I'd say that a waist covering is more likely to look a bit unusual these days. Not that that's necessarily bad, of course. It's just different.

 

And try not to forget that the opinions of people on internet forums dedicated to discussing men's clothing probably aren't representative of the rest of the world.

post #1881 of 3458

Without a waist covering, the patch of white that can be visible at the navel draws the eye downward, whereas covering it wit a cummerbund or waistcoat avoids this.  Suits, including Tuxedos, are designed to draw the eye to the face, and the patch of white can be a distraction, and periodically break the full effect.  If you go without a waist covering, it is advised that you always button your jacket when standing, and avoid putting your hands in your pockets.

post #1882 of 3458
Thanks for indulging a black-tie noob. And I guess patent leather is a must as well?
post #1883 of 3458
Quote:
Originally Posted by othertravel View Post

Thanks for indulging a black-tie noob. And I guess patent leather is a must as well?

 

That's another matter of opinion.  I like patent leather, but I also appreciate a calf Oxford with Black Tie.  Patent is congruent with the shine of the lapel facings and trouser seam stripe.  Therefore, one could easily argue that calf is more appropriate to grosgrain facings, as they do not have the sheen of satin facings.  Others will argue that calf is actually more in keeping with Black Tie's spirit of minimalism, and patent is a bit too flashy.  

 

Patent derbies are a silly thing to buy, as they are an informal style of shoe, but patent leather is only wearable with formal wear.  Calf derbies are non-ideal, but you wouldn't raise many eyebrows wearing them.  Lots of men just wear whatever black dress shoes they have that they can get a nice shine on.  You could go with them this time, and up your game next time if you want to spread out the investment.

 

Anyway, if you want t be correct, you can wear either calf or patent Oxfords or  whole cuts, or patent opera pumps or formal loafers.  I wear black formal loafers, but would probably wear my cap toe calf Oxfords if there was a high chance of people stepping on my shoes, or a nasty sticky floor.

post #1884 of 3458
Quote:
Originally Posted by othertravel View Post

Thanks for indulging a black-tie noob. And I guess patent leather is a must as well?

Not so much.

J
post #1885 of 3458
Quote:
Originally Posted by lwmarti View Post

Again, this is another matter of opinion. I know exactly one person (real-life, mind you, not anonymous people on internet forums) who wears a waist covering for black tie, so if you showed up without a waist covering, the assumption that you decided to not wear one would be the default. And wearing a waist covering would draw roughly the sort of comments that wearing a suit to an office that's business casual would.

At every black tie event that I've been to in recent years, the number of people who were wearing a waist covering was very small. Very, very small. So I'd say that a waist covering is more likely to look a bit unusual these days. Not that that's necessarily bad, of course. It's just different.

And try not to forget that the opinions of people on internet forums dedicated to discussing men's clothing probably aren't representative of the rest of the world.

Just to get a feel of where you are coming from, one guy you know wears a waist covering out of how many who own tuxedos?

Also, what types of events are you attending?

J
post #1886 of 3458
Quote:
Originally Posted by lwmarti View Post

Again, this is another matter of opinion.

Even if it is a matter of opinion, some opinions are more valid than others. A waist covering has a very practical purpose that has already been discussed to excess. This has been documented elsewhere in this thread, on blacktieguide, etc. It also is something that has been observed when looking at people who were regarded to be some of the best dressers over a long period of time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lwmarti View Post

I know exactly one person (real-life, mind you, not anonymous people on internet forums) who wears a waist covering for black tie, so if you showed up without a waist covering, the assumption that you decided to not wear one would be the default. And wearing a waist covering would draw roughly the sort of comments that wearing a suit to an office that's business casual would.

Huh? Are you seriously equating wearing a cummerbund with a tuxedo when others forego it with wearing a suit to an office where everyone else is wearing trousers and some sort of collared shirt? That seems a bit extreme.
Quote:
Originally Posted by lwmarti View Post

At every black tie event that I've been to in recent years, the number of people who were wearing a waist covering was very small. Very, very small. So I'd say that a waist covering is more likely to look a bit unusual these days. Not that that's necessarily bad, of course. It's just different.

We're all products of our experience but I would not say this is true. Most people in my experience have a waist covering, though many are garish and somehow incorrect.

I've also seen people show up with long ties, 3 button tuxedos, vests that go way too high up on the torso (which btw would be far more noticeable than a correctly worn and subtle cummerbund / waistcoat that mostly covers the area between the jacket button and the waist of the trouser), loafers, etc.
post #1887 of 3458
Can anybody recommend a set of reasonably priced stud/cuff link sets? Could be antique (I.e. used).
post #1888 of 3458
Quote:
Originally Posted by othertravel View Post

Can anybody recommend a set of reasonably priced stud/cuff link sets? Could be antique (I.e. used).

 

Try eBay, and vintage stores, of course.  Other than that, there are some discount online retailers like myowntuxedo.com and overstock.com where you might find something.  Black Tie Guide has a list of budget retailers in their buying section.

post #1889 of 3458
I don't care what other people are doing. No waist covering looks sloppy. This is probably why it's so popular.





In my experience, a lot of guys nowadays just wear plain dress shirts (like Clooney in the 2nd photo), even ones with pockets. Why bother with dry cleaning and ironing when you can just wear your favorite polyester blend non-iron dress shirt with the comfort-fit collar? Most guys don't wear suspenders, either, because suspenders are for dorks, so their pants sag and puddle around their ankles (as below). Do you think this is OK just because it's become commonplace?

SAG-Awards-Men.jpg
post #1890 of 3458
IMO no waist covering is better than a poor waist covering - hideous silver satin waistcoat, or high buttoning like what James Earl Jones is wearing on those Sprint commercials.

Last time I wore black tie was a New Year party in the Hyatt. I never unbuttoned my jacket so no one could have known if I had a waist covering or not.

The 'turkey triangle' of white cloth beneath the buttoning point is either due to a poorly cut jacket and/or low cut trousers, and/or hands in pockets, which is a no-no.

@ VV good illustrative points but I would add that puddling of trousers around ankles is probably more to do with them needing proper hemming than whether or not braces are being worn. Hoisting up your trousers with braces has a limit when the crotch meets your crotch, after which any further puddling is due to too much length!
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