The State of Black Tie: Your Observations - Page 67
The President wore the same ensemble to his first inaugural ball, if I'm not mistaken. I'm certain the choice of a notch-lapel jacket instead of a tailcoat was a deliberate one. As with all things political, no small measure of calculation is involved. In this instance, his counsel must have been that a jacket with a notch lapel would be more relatable to the average American. A proper tailcoat and white-tie attire, on the other hand, might make him appear elitist or out of touch. Unfortunate, because it would have been nice for the President to be properly attired at his own ball, even if his past brushes with white tie might have needed a little help.
Obama wore a peak-lapel tailcoat to the Al Smith Dinner, though a size or two large, with a turndown-collar shirt with black studs; Romney wore wing collar with black studs; Gary Johnson wore - oh wait, he wasn't invited. Screw Al Smith.
No what's insufferably elitist is your belief that you know "the rules" but that everyone else is an unwashed rube who doesn't. See my actual data point below.
I didn't (specify a dress code) and they didn't (show up in khakis) and I don't (run in high social circles).
I live in North Carolina, got married in 2008, did thermographed invitations in Edwardian Script with no dress code but with the ceremony time announced as "half after six o'clock in the evening". The men who owned tuxes wore them, and the rest wore suits. Maybe one sportcoat - I'd have to check the pictures. A few guys did consult with our most "fashion-forward" friend as to whether tuxes would be appropriate, and she properly told them that the ceremony time and invitation typeface implied that evening wear was welcome.
We specifically omitted a dress code so as to not make the men who didn't own tuxes and didn't want to go to the expense of renting one feel like they were inadequate by having to opt out of "black tie optional".
That's pretty good that you were able to get people to wear a tuxedo to your wedding without explicitly stating so. I think you were only able to pull it off is because of your "fashion-forward" friend and that you do run in higher social circles than you admit/realize. The comment about the Briono tuxedo kind of confirms that for me. Most people I know don't own a tuxedo, would never consider wearing one to a wedding unless they were explicitly told to do so, have never heard of Brioni, and will never own a garment even approaching the price of someting from Brioni.
BTW, at the wedding I went to (which started this diversion), on one occasion I found myself in a small group where I was the only one not in the wedding party and thus not in a tux. It was o.k.
And despite the warning I got, had I showed up in a tux, that would have been o.k., too. It was a wedding. People were happy. Nobody really cared what anyone wore.
That's pretty good that you were able to get people to wear a tuxedo to your wedding without explicitly stating so. I think you were only able to pull it off is because of your "fashion-forward" friend and that you do run in higher social circles than you admit/realize.
Well, Charlotte has a run of five big dressy-but-reasonably-priced Christmas parties within a two-week span that my "gang" has frequented for years, as well as a smattering of other such events geared to young- and young-at-heart professionals, so it makes sense for all of us to own penguin suits.
eBay, Last Call, and Century 21 are your friends :-)
My view is that adults can make their own decisions and you don't have to worry about offending by stipulating black tie as a host. If they don't want to pay to rent a dinner suit and would rather not attend, it's up to them. Just don't be offended if they don't show up.
Anyway . . .
We didn't specify black tie exactly for the reason you point out, that there were some important guests we wanted to make sure could attend for whom renting a dinner suit would have been a burden. Yet, had I specified black tie, I doubt those same individuals would have been offended. The decision came down to how we wanted our wedding to turn out, not whether it would be rude to state "black tie" on our invitations.
In an era when you cannot assume that a man will own a suit at all, this strikes me as almost insufferably elitist.
No what's insufferably elitist is your belief that you know "the rules" but that everyone else is an unwashed rube who doesn't.
Lighten up, Francis. I didn't say any of what you ascribe to me. It's great that you run in circles where men still wear tuxedoes. This may be a function of your locale, not easily translated to other parts of the country. In my experience in Missouri, Texas, and California, I could count the number of non-wedding-party tuxedoes on one hand (this excludes iGent-type events, of course).
BTW, am I supposed to be amused, tweaked, or offended by your changing my screen name? Just let me know so that I can react accordingly.
Right you are. The most glaring offense, to my eye, is the four inches of white waistcoat Romney shows below the front of his tailcoat.