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"Black Tie Casual" - Page 6

post #76 of 97
Thread Starter 
Yea, you could definitely do that. Black velvet is kind of a suboptimal solution, midnight blue is much much better IMHO, much more so than for a complete dinner suit. There are traditionally no black smoking jackets.

Here's from blacktieguide, with a quote from Manton even:


The cardinal rules for alternative jackets is that they are appropriate only for less formal occasions, such as a private party at home or at a private club, and that all other aspects of one’s ensemble comply with the rules for proper black tie. Even then, advises menswear author Nicholas Antongiavanni, they “should be approached with caution for they do not command universal respect.”

Smoking Jacket

As the inspiration for the original dinner jacket, the smoking jacket remains a popular alternative to the traditional black-tie coat. Although fashioned in many different styles it is always constructed of colored velvet in dark hues usually of green, violet, burgundy or blue. The most authentic types of smoking jacket can be either double-breasted or single-breasted and have frog closures in place of buttons as well as a self-faced shawl collar. Classic variations popular in the 1930s were velvet hybrids that featured standard buttons and had self-faced peaked lapels on the double-breasted models or silk-covered shawl collars and cuffs on the single-breasteds.

More contemporary iterations are simply tuxedo jackets in every detail except for the velvet fabric. English haberdashers often include these designs in the smoking jacket category while North Americans are more likely to refer to them velvet dinner jackets. The American moniker may better describe the garment's appearance but the British terminology reflects its suitability for informal lounging rather than formal dining. These pseudo dinner jackets are discussed further on in Contemporary Jackets.
post #77 of 97
I wore a black unlined linen blazer, grey wool trousers, and wing collar white shirt with no tie to a wedding a few weeks ago. I hope the fact that no one commented means that the ensemble didn't scream for attention.

then again, the people at that wedding wore running shoes, ginghams, chinos, and carry around laptop bags..
post #78 of 97
My go to pieces for these types of situations are:

Black wool, SB, textured self stripe, notched, 5 button cuffs
Black velvet, SB, one button, peak lapels, silk trim on lapels

very lightweight egyptian cotton, white t-shirt, crew neck, SS - for summer
thick, waffle knit, LS, crew neck t-shirt, ivory/ off-white coloured (I like that it gives you cuffs without being a full on shirt).

Black denim (the most fitted pair of trousers I own)

Black chelsea boots
black wholecuts
black punch cap oxfords
Jeffrey West derbies (beater shoes for heavy drinking)
black/white snakeskin loafers stirpot.gif

I'll snap a pic next time the occasion calls for a "casual black tie" outfit.
post #79 of 97
Just (re) discovered this interesting thread unbrel. Credit to you for forging a new path.

For those of us who don't like open neck shirts what options do we have? I hate that Tom Ford look of the black jacket and tall collared shirt unbuttoned half way to waist. (More points deducted for five-head and stubble!). You haven't mentioned much in the way of neckwear. A bow tie would probably be too much in the formal camp. A black grenadine? An ascot or neckerchief is a bit too louchey, no?

There used to be a snooker player on the old BBC TV show 'Pot Black' who wore something like a snipped bow tie or maybe it was a normal bow tie tucked under his collar points. I think Tom Cruise wore something like it with a midnight blue tux in one of the MI films. I think I've also seen a black velvet ribbon type thing, sometimes fixed with some kind of pearl stud at the throat. Any other suggestions? (Just spit balling here of course, nothing definitive!)
post #80 of 97
Thread Starter 
The problem is that once you put on any sort of neckwear, you get the "why are you so dressed up?" question. I can understand the aesthetic reasons for wanting to forgo the open neck, but unfortunately it has this consequence.

If you're comfortable with that, then the world is your oyster. You can wear a satin solid long tie, along with any number of evening long ties, and of course an evening bow tie. At that point, you're off on your own. Although velvet is sufficiently casual to work as a bow tie even with "classy" blue jeans. Please take pics if you do this.
post #81 of 97

If you want to avoid the open neck shirt but don't want to wear a tie, a nice option, especially in winter, is a turtleneck - there was a nice article on this topic on Suitable wardrobe recently

post #82 of 97
actually I was thinking about this the other day.

a collarless button up shirt might be perfect for such things.

Generally I detest these shirts, but here it probably offers a really good compromise.
post #83 of 97
Well we should keep an eye on the upcoming awards season as some clueless knob like Morgan Freeman is bound to try something 'creative' for the red carpet, for which these type of outfits are wholly inappropriate IMO.
post #84 of 97
also, here's a really good example of tux over tshirt. He doesn't look overdressed even standing next to someone in just a shirt and jeans

This is what I mean by collarless shirt. I think they're also called "mandarin" collar. I think I'd opt for a covered placket and no pocket to wear with a tux jacket

post #85 of 97
I see only two things in that photo, and a tux, shirt, or jeans ain't them!
Originally Posted by hendrix View Post

also, here's a really good example of tux over tshirt. He doesn't look overdressed even standing next to someone in just a shirt and jeans

post #86 of 97

Great idea. Been doing this for over forty years.


And just like business casual, there are times black tie casual might include a tie.


I mix and match the following:


various bowties, including "Colonel Sanders", batwing, etc.


black peak SB dinner jacket formal pants

midnight peak DB dinner jacket

ivory shawl DB dinner jacket

black and white SB notch cashmere herringbone SB SC

navy and black SB notch cashmere herring bone SB SC

green purple and black DB blazer


black formal pants, always worn with dinner jacket sans tie

midnight formal pants always worn with midnight or ivory dinner jackets, but no tie

black pin dot trousers

midnight dress trousers

summer weight white flannels


pleated turndown formal shirts

pique turndown formal shirts

flyfront cotton or silk turndown formal shirts

the above three are never worn with studs, only mother of pearl buttons, when "casual"

pink, cream, or ecru FC medium spread broadcloth

cream or pink silk shirts


black or midnight cummerbunds worn optionally with SB jackets, usually only with bowties.


black or midnight whole cuts, quarterbrogue punchcaps, loafers, formal pumps or slippers.


Example 1:


black tie with matching cummerbund

black and white cashmere herringbone sc

pleated turndown FC with links, and mother of pearl buttons, but no studs

black pindot trousers

formal pumps [not seen]




[Please excuse the crease from having the shirt boxed for travel]


Example Two:


green purple, and black striped DB blazer

midnight trousers [not formal, I think]

pique FC flyfront with medium spread

quarter brogue punch caps



Example Three:


matching black SB peak dinner jacket and formal trousers

flyfront FC cream silk formal shirt

no tie

formal slippers


[pics not on this computer]


Example Four:


Ivory DB dinner jacket

midnight formal pants

pink FC flyfront broadcloth

black apron tassels


[pics not on this computer]


Example Five:


midnight DB dinner jacket

white flannels

white FC medium spread broadcloth or other

black penny loafers probably without socks



Sorry for the terrible pics, but they are just to provide food for thought.


I have been thinking about adding a smoking jacket to the rotation, but I haven't found one I really like.

post #87 of 97
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the post, recondite. Although that first pic looked more exciting at first glance than it turned out to be. At first I thought you were getting a two on one rubdown.

What are your views on wearing a pique front shirt without a tie? No rules whatsoever or you reserve that for specific occasions and sometimes where a normal business shirt?

That cream silk shirt sounds interesting. Did you get that from Emma Willis? I've seen them in her shop online. If you got it bespoke, how did you source the fabric? Does it wear very hot?

The last pic with the DB I particularly like.
post #88 of 97
Thread Starter 
Originally Posted by hendrix View Post

actually I was thinking about this the other day.

a collarless button up shirt might be perfect for such things.

Generally I detest these shirts, but here it probably offers a really good compromise.

These can look good, but you've got to be pretty careful IMHO. I know a guy that wears them a bunch, but he's quite thin and good-looking. For those of us not so blessed, having the collar to frame the face helps quite a bit.
post #89 of 97
Oh, I really like that grey SC with the black bowtie, cummerbund and trousers. That's what's on my mind when I hear "black tie casual"!
post #90 of 97
I love velvet jackets for casual black tie. Something about the deep lustre of velvet really appeals to me for evening wear.
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