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The State of Black Tie: Your Observations - Page 7

post #91 of 3327
I'm sure there's a lot of misconceptions about going to the opera, that it's elitist, for the rich, one has to dress to the nines and is strictly black-tie, etc. IMO opera is for everyone, dress standards should never be an obstacle to prevent one from enjoying it.

In fact it's often much cheaper to go and see something like La Bohème than it is go to a Lady Gaga concert.
post #92 of 3327

One thing worth remembering about black tie is that it has never had rules the same way that white tie does. Because black tie is technically considered semi-formal, people have always played around with it. Notched lapels, while not my cup of tea, have been around on dinner jackets forever. White or ivory jackets are common in the summer. Tartan jackets show up around the holidays. Dapper American trads will wear Gucci bit loafers with their dinner clothes, or if they're especially bold, they may even wear an OCBD instead of a formal shirt. I don't oppose such creativity in semi-formal wear. After all, it's a party: you're supposed to be able to have some fun.

 

I'm a 29 year old law student, but I've had occasion to wear black tie at least 4 or 5 times per year since I graduated from college. My tux is a HSF Golden Trumpeter. It has narrow, peak lapels with grosgrain facing, two buttons, and a center vent. The pants have double pleats and a long rise. It's a fine garment, and it's perfectly tailored, but I'm definitely in the market for something else. I'd rather have a much softer shoulder and flat fronts. I'm thinking midnight navy mohair. Any suggestions on someone to make it would be appreciated.

post #93 of 3327
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeDT View Post

IMO opera is for everyone, dress standards should never be an obstacle to prevent one from enjoying it.

I agree with you here, and clearly so does the Met - their comments on attire are clearly meant not to scare people off. I must say though, people tend to dress up for the Met and it is a very grand space. It would take quite a secure person to wear shorts there and not feel out of place.
post #94 of 3327
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjphillips View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeDT View Post

IMO opera is for everyone, dress standards should never be an obstacle to prevent one from enjoying it.

I agree with you here, and clearly so does the Met - their comments on attire are clearly meant not to scare people off. I must say though, people tend to dress up for the Met and it is a very grand space. It would take quite a secure person to wear shorts there and not feel out of place.

I've been a couple times wearing a suit, which is certainly fine. If I had been wearing SC+trou or been tieless I'd have felt a little underdressed, though not woefully so. No jacket and you're kind of out of place though. At least if you have some style sense, which you clearly do, given that you're here.
post #95 of 3327
So the state of canonical black tie is bad, but IMO it's not proportionally worse than the state of 'normal' suits in our time anyway.
post #96 of 3327
Quote:
Originally Posted by apropos View Post

So the state of canonical black tie is bad, but IMO it's not proportionally worse than the state of 'normal' suits in our time anyway.

Disagree. There are plenty of people in the world who wear suits to work every day and do it well. What's more, this number seems to be increasing. How many people in the US wear black tie more than once a month that aren't symphony musicians or waiters/other service people? I'd hate to hazard a guess, but it's not a lot of people. Such that it's possible that in 20 years black tie (by which I mean a tuxedo, correctly or even close to correctly styled) will be as common as white tie is today. There is no danger in my view that in 20 years suits will be as common as black tie is today.
post #97 of 3327
Your standards for what constitutes suits "done well" must be incredibly low then.
post #98 of 3327
Quote:
Originally Posted by apropos View Post

Your standards for what constitutes suits "done well" must be incredibly low then.

I odn't mean 1%-er. I mean they look presentable. You walk into a typical law office at a big firm or investment banking firm or whatever, you're going to see a bunch of dudes looking at least pretty good in suits.
post #99 of 3327
Anyway it's useless to get into a discussion about how well people wear suits today as this discussion has no end or purpose. But I think you'll agree, the suit is not going to die anytime soon, and is more alive now than it was 10 years ago?
post #100 of 3327
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

I was talking about people your and my ages in general, not you particularly. Ask your buddies whether they'd rather look "old-fashioned" or "cool" and see how many prefer the former.

I think it depends on the baseline of what is "old fashioned". I suspect we are starting to see movement away from the "old fashioned" casual-is-hip-attire of the past 40 years to the "old-old-fashioned" of the mid 20th century which now seems to be "cool". Only time will tell for certain.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

Shoes were a random assortment. It appeared as if men simply picked whatever black business shoes they happen to own. A lot of ugly square-toed loafers. Lots of cap toes, brogues and derbies. I saw maybe four or five other men in patent leather. No evening slippers to be seen.

I've been to 4 black tie galas this year, more if you include black-tie optional events. I agree with you that the shoes are the weakest link in the correct male formal attire. In many, all the details are correct except for the shoes. Those dressed the most correct also tend to be the elderly (70 to 80 year olds) but I have also seen many in the 20s-30s dressed similarly correct. I have however also seen an 80 year old man wear sneakers with a tux, though I'm not sure if that choice is related to arthritis or fashion. More cummerbunds than vests. More bowties than straight ties.

I also saw many wearing studs, not sure if they are the majority though. As an aside, Mikimoto has beautiful black pearl stud and cufflink set for ~ $8k. Harry Winston has garish diamond entrusted black pearl stud and link set for some large $$$ which I do not recall.

I think one of the reasons for variability in "correct" dress is because few have read or even know about the "rules". I didn't know the rules at the beginning and used Manton's book to design my black tie attire (1-button SB peak grosgrain lapel with vest in black barathea, shirt with pique front, cuffs and detachable collar). I too broke the rules by wearing a patent derby instead of an oxford or pump, though I find it reassuring that, according to fritzl, the derby is worn in Europe.
post #101 of 3327
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonny58 View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Metropolitan Opera FAQ 
What is the dress code?
There is no dress code at the Met. People dress more formally for Galas or openings of new productions, but this is optional. We recommend comfortable clothing appropriate for a professional setting.
We will be seeing La Boheme at the Metropolitan Opera on a Thursday night (not an opening night) and would like to dress appropriately but at the higher end of the scale. I am confused though given the varied thoughts above. confused.gif
The two answers below are pretty good
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjphillips View Post

A sportcoat with trousers (would avoid jeans) or a nice suit should be fine. Don't be afraid to be a bit of dandy if you are inclined because it's hard to stick out there. Weekends are more formal than weekday performances.
Quote:
Originally Posted by unbelragazzo View Post

I've been a couple times wearing a suit, which is certainly fine. If I had been wearing SC+trou or been tieless I'd have felt a little underdressed, though not woefully so. No jacket and you're kind of out of place though. At least if you have some style sense, which you clearly do, given that you're here.

I agree that weekdays can be slightly less formal than weekdays - I don't think I've seen black tie during the week but there is usually a smattering scattered about on Saturday nights. The prevailing dress standard also varies with the seating level (seems less formal in the Dress and Family Circle but people dress there as well) Dress seems a little more formal in the lounges. Apart from varying degrees of formality, there can also be a lot of flamboyant wear, so if you have been looking for an occasion to wear your peacock feather vest and gold lame pants or even a Tom Ford suit, this may be your chance (the Met is the only place I have seen a couple in matching Tom Ford suits).
Special occasions have their own dress code: Warning: Spoiler! (Click to show)
Quote:
The Met will celebrate the premiere of this production with a gala benefit sponsored by Yves Saint Laurent. Join us for a cocktail reception on the balcony and a black-tie dinner on the Mercedes T. Bass Grand Tier before the performance. During the first intermission, enjoy dessert and a champagne toast.

In any case, I wouldn't get hung up on the dress "code". A suit will be fine, as will city coat and tie. So will other things as long as you look like you dressed for the occasion. The Met goes through a lot of trouble to put on a good show and the audience contributes to the atmosphere.
post #102 of 3327
Quote:
Originally Posted by poorsod View Post

I think it depends on the baseline of what is "old fashioned". I suspect we are starting to see movement away from the "old fashioned" casual-is-hip-attire of the past 40 years to the "old-old-fashioned" of the mid 20th century which now seems to be "cool". Only time will tell for certain.
I've been to 4 black tie galas this year, more if you include black-tie optional events. I agree with you that the shoes are the weakest link in the correct male formal attire. In many, all the details are correct except for the shoes. .

You mean something like these?
270
Now to me they do look old fashioned and rather feminine IMO. If I where required to wear black-tie for a bash somewhere, I wouldn't want to be wearing something like that. I bet 007 doesn't wear them, not when he might have to chase criminals in his tux.

Probably like when people do white-tie, they probably do most things except the top hat and shiny cane.
425
Because they're too old fashioned. They look good with Fred Astaire though in the 1930s.
Edited by MikeDT - 11/22/11 at 7:36pm
post #103 of 3327
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeDT View Post

You mean something like these?
270
Now to me they do look old fashioned and rather feminine IMO. If I where required to wear black-tie for a bash somewhere, I wouldn't want to be wearing something like that.

No, I meant patent leather shoes rather than just any black shoe. I might have seen a tux with pumps once, but maybe it was in a picture on the interwebz.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeDT View Post

Probably like when people do white-tie, they probably do most things except the top hat and shiny cane.
425
Because they're too old fashioned.

I am looking for an excuse to make a set of tails one of these days. There are maybe 5-6 white tie events in NYC per year. Or perhaps I will have to make it to the Vienna Opera ball.
post #104 of 3327
Thread Starter 
Has a StyleForum Prom been suggested before?
post #105 of 3327
Seems obvious to me that the problem with Black Tie is that it's impossible to maintain any kind of standard when most people will never attend a Black Tie event in their life. I think the overall decline in formality has more or less killed formal events for all but the most nostalgic institutions.

EDIT:
Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by bourbonbasted View Post

You buy and I'll try! icon_gu_b_slayer[1].gif

As quasi-Maid of Honor, I was obliged to dance all night. I stayed pretty cool in my mohair jacket and voile shirt. It would have been even cooler had I ordered the jacket quarter-lined.

Does quarter lined run the risk of white shirt showing through black jacket?
Edited by pvrhye - 11/22/11 at 9:51pm
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