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Looking for advice/feedback on wedding tuxedo

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I've been on here for a long time, but I haven't posted in quite a while. I purchased a made to measure tuxedo for my July wedding today and I was hoping I could get some feedback/advice since I still have time to make changes and I want to make sure I get it right. I'm going for a fairly classic, formal look. Obviously the most important purpose for the tux is my wedding, but it's something I hope to wear a couple of times a year (most likely during wedding season in the summer) for quite some time.

Here's a summary of what I picked out:

Jacket: Midnight blue with black satin peak lapels, one button, working buttonhole on left lapel, slit pockets. I need to check on the vent; I want to get it ventless if possible, but I'll settle for double vents.

Trousers: Midnight blue. I need to check on the band for the seam; I want it to be black satin to match the lapels. I'll be wearing them with black suspenders (which I haven't purchased yet).

Shirt: Plain white without pleats or detailing of any kind. Studs and square French cuffs. Turndown, medium spread collar.

I haven't purchased anything else yet, but I'm thinking I'll do a black satin cummerbund, silver/mother of pearl studs and cufflinks, white silk pocket square and midnight blue socks to match the trousers. On my wedding day, I'll likely wear a white boutonniere.

For shoes, I'll likely purchase something in black patent leather. I have a pair of black Allen Edmonds Park Avenues that I could shine up nicely and wear, but it seems silly not to finish off the look properly. I was thinking these ones from Suitsupply might be a decent, reasonably-priced option (http://us.suitsupply.com/en_US/shoes/tuxedo-shoe-black/FW131510.html?cgid=Shoes).

What do you all think of this look? I was really torn between peak and shawl lapels, but I get the sense that peak lapels are seen as more formal/classic. I also read in a few places that a cummerbund looks better with shawl lapels, but the store I purchased the tux from (Harry Rosen) didn't have anything resembling a proper waistcoat; they all looked like vests for three-piece suits, which I don't like. I'd be open to going without a waist covering, but I'm not sure if that's a good idea (although it does seem like it could make for a cleaner overall look, which I like).

Any advice/feedback/thoughts? Also, any ideas on where to look for reasonably priced, decent quality accessories (i.e. studs, pocket square, etc.) and shoes (if not Suitsupply)?

Thanks! biggrin.gif
post #2 of 39

Congratulations on the wedding! It sounds like you've got a reasonably good start on the rig, 

 

I believe a waistcoat is typically associated with peak lapels and a cummerbund with shawl, but that's primarily because the points on the bottom of the waistcoat echo the peak lapels, and the curve on the cummerbund does the same with the shawl. It's a subtle point, and you won't be out of place with a cummerbund and peak lapels. With black tie properly done, your jacket doesn't come undone or off, so it won't be glaringly obvious anyway. Also, you say you want classic formal and you've gone single breasted, so a waist covering of one or the other is required. Low-front waistcoats are a rare thing. I ended up with the Brooks Brothers barathea backless one for mine, despite the reviews saying it is too short. It comes with a loop to attach to the trouser hook/loop, which keeps it in place. Not sure where you are in Alberta, but there is a BB store in Calgary where you could try it - they'll bring one in for you if they don't have it there. Exchange, shipping and duties when ordering it from the US will be killer, and you could likely have one made for close the same price as you'd end up paying if you ordered it. HR in Toronto quoted me between 300-400 to make one.

 

If you're having the tuxedo done MTM, it should not be a problem spec'ing the band on the trousers to be the same as the lapels.This should be standard anyway, and done without your asking, but won't hurt to confirm. Suspenders shouldn't make a difference - see point above about jacket. Make sure the pants have a high enough rise that comes up to your proper waist (belly-button -ish, or just below), not sitting at your hips like most contemporary pants.

 

A shirt with pleats or a marcella (pique) bib and collar (and often cuffs) are proper classic black tie. A plain shirt is really just a business shirt, and I'm not sure how easy it will be to find one which will take studs. The marcella is quite a nice look - don't sell it short.

 

I like the silver/MOP studs - it's what I got, and is a bit more subtle. I went with links with matching metal, but no MOP (they don't have to be a matched set, but the metals should match).

 

I would suggest a linen pocket square. I have both silk and linen, and the linen holds its form and stays in place better.

 

For shoes, I'm not a fan of patent, preferring a plain-toe or wholecut oxford in calf instead. That's just my preference though, and shouldn't sway you.

 

I spent a bunch of time reading the Black Tie Guide before picking out the pieces for my tuxedo. It's a pretty solid classic black tie reference.

post #3 of 39
Thread Starter 
Thanks!

I think I'm going to switch from peak to shawl on the lapels. I kind of wanted shawl all along, but let the sales associate talk me out of it. I have a fairly broad, muscular build and he seemed to think it wouldn't be ideal for my body type, but he also tried to convince me to go with notch lapels which I was knew was dead wrong. Since getting a nice waistcoat that matches would be a challenge (and potentially too hot for a July wedding anyway), I think my best bet is to do the shawl lapels/cummerbund combo. The patterns for the waistcoat that the sales associate showed me all looked too much like vests for my taste.

When you say the band on the trousers, are you talking about the ones running down the seams on the legs, or the waistband? The rise should be to around the belly button like you said, so no issues there.

I'm wavering on the plain shirt; the one I ordered will definitely have studs, but after doing more reading (including the Black Tie Guide, which is excellent), I think your advice is spot on. Would this Suitsupply shirt (http://us.suitsupply.com/en_US/eveningwear_package/white-tuxedo-shirt/H598S.html?cgid=Eveningwear_Package) be along the lines of what you're talking about?
post #4 of 39

Congratulations on your wedding!

I`m doing almost the exact same look for my wedding in september :-)

Regarding your shoes. I had the same thought: patent or not... I´ll go with patent cause it looks more formal and it looks perfect with a tux.

 

But: I inspected the Suit Supply patent shoes in the store in Düsseldorf, Germany. My opinion: there are nicer patent shoes out there. The SS patent shoes look "cheapish" in reality. But if you can then try them out yourself. This is just my opinion :-)

B

post #5 of 39
For the pants, I was referring to the ribbon down the leg. The waistband is sometimes done to match the lapels, but it doesn't matter one way or another if you have a cummerbund.

I'm only looking on my phone, and can't get a close look at the shirt from that link, but from what I can see it's in the ballpark.
post #6 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by benetron View Post

Congratulations on your wedding!
I`m doing almost the exact same look for my wedding in september :-)
Regarding your shoes. I had the same thought: patent or not... I´ll go with patent cause it looks more formal and it looks perfect with a tux.

But: I inspected the Suit Supply patent shoes in the store in Düsseldorf, Germany. My opinion: there are nicer patent shoes out there. The SS patent shoes look "cheapish" in reality. But if you can then try them out yourself. This is just my opinion :-)
B
Thanks for the heads up!
post #7 of 39
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by RaggedyDandy View Post

For the pants, I was referring to the ribbon down the leg. The waistband is sometimes done to match the lapels, but it doesn't matter one way or another if you have a cummerbund.

I'm only looking on my phone, and can't get a close look at the shirt from that link, but from what I can see it's in the ballpark.
Awesome, thanks:)
post #8 of 39
Thread Starter 
I'm starting to have second thoughts. Our ceremony starts at 1:30 and our reception will start with a cocktail hour at 5:00 followed by dinner at 6:00. A lot of people hate the idea of wearing a tuxedo to a daytime ceremony, even when the reception will be during the evening.

I'm wondering if I should do a dark navy suit (maybe even the same fabric that I picked for the tuxedo) with peak lapels and possibly a black bow tie instead of the full-on tux. What do you guys think? Will it look totally stupid to wear a proper tuxedo for a summer daytime ceremony, or is the fact that the reception will be in the evening enough of an excuse to get away with it?
post #9 of 39
A dark navy peak lapelled suit in a fabric with sheen, like wool barathea or sharkskin, will look a heck of a lot like a tuxedo. Many well-dressed men have gone for just such a garment instead of buying a tuxedo, because it gives you a formal suit that can go from work to funerals to black tie events with perfect propriety (wear a black bowtie to the latter, just as you would with the tux).. But you already bought the MTM tux, right? If so, I'd just wear it. It's perfectly fine to wear one to your afternoon wedding if the reception will be after 6. Obviously, do give a thought to the expected temperature. It looks much better to keep the jacket of a tan linen suit on in hot weather than to run around in shirtsleeves because your black barathea jacket is too hot.

Stitch-cap oxfords in black box calf, like a Park Avenue, are perfectly appropriate at black-tie evenst,so long as they're well polished.
post #10 of 39
Thread Starter 
I ordered the tuxedo and another suit yesterday, but I don't think the order goes through until tomorrow, so I'm thinking about putting a stop on it and changing both. The suit I picked was a lighter blue (not super light, but lighter than navy). It's a basic two-button that I bought for work/general use. If I switch to a dark blue suit instead of a tux, I'll likely switch the suit to a grey of some kind.
post #11 of 39
Ultimately , this is between you and your bride. But if I were planning a first wedding on a warm afternoon, I'd rather go for a navy suit with a bit of flair but no so much that you couldn't wear it to dinner or the opera next year. Lightweight mohair blend, perhaps. I wouldn't recommend the black bowtie. It could make people wonder if you're making some kind of statement about redefining black tie, or your dinner jacket got caught at the cleaners, or you couldn't afford one. A "wedding tie" in silver, on the other hand, or maybe a houndstooth in navy on white will be pretty spiffy.

My own wedding suit was my best RAF blue, although that was a before-lunch ceremony on the top deck on a yacht on the Hudson. Festive but not exactly formal. And I had a navy tie with white stripes.
post #12 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by Concordia View Post

I wouldn't recommend the black bowtie. It could make people wonder if you're making some kind of statement about redefining black tie, or your dinner jacket got caught at the cleaners, or you couldn't afford one.

Disagree. It's 2016, and well-dressed men have been wearing peak lapel suits in midnight, navy, or even marine blue with a black bowtie to black-tie events for 80 years. Yes, the suit should have more sheen than a standard business suit: mohair, sharkskin/pick-and-pick, barathea. Will Boehlke wore his mohair blue DB suit to the opera once with a black bow. Can't find the ASW photo now, but it looked good. I've done the same.
post #13 of 39
Thread Starter 
If I did go with a navy suit, what kind of tie would you recommend? I'm not exactly sure what people are referring to when they say "wedding tie".

One of the main attractions of the tuxedo was that I'd stand out from the crowd (including the groomsmen). I'm not quite sure how to accomplish that if I'm wearing a regular suit (or something pretty close to it). That's why I thought of the bow tie possibility. I wear ties to work pretty regularly, but I've actually never worn a bow tie.

If I did take the suit approach, I'd probably get the trousers made with suspender buttons and go that route to add a bit of formality. Any issues there?
post #14 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by primetimeseano View Post

If I did go with a navy suit, what kind of tie would you recommend? I'm not exactly sure what people are referring to when they say "wedding tie".

One of the main attractions of the tuxedo was that I'd stand out from the crowd (including the groomsmen). I'm not quite sure how to accomplish that if I'm wearing a regular suit (or something pretty close to it). That's why I thought of the bow tie possibility. I wear ties to work pretty regularly, but I've actually never worn a bow tie.

If I did take the suit approach, I'd probably get the trousers made with suspender buttons and go that route to add a bit of formality. Any issues there?

Well, if the suit is the kind of semi-tuxedo I was talking about, then I disagree with Concordia and recommend a black bowtie. I've done it, and it looks good.

A wedding tie (formal day tie) is a four-in-hand or bowtie in silk that looks silver from a distance, but either has a fine pattern, or is in a heavily textured silver like grenadine. Here are some examples:

http://www.samhober.com/formal-wedding-silk-ties/formal-wedding-silk-tie-5.html

The uber-classic wedding tie is a B&W shepherd's check:
http://www.kentwang.com/ties/shepherds-check-black.html

Here is the Duke of Windsor wearing a shepherd's check at his wedding. Note the super-high armhole on his morning coat:
post #15 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by primetimeseano View Post

If I did go with a navy suit, what kind of tie would you recommend? I'm not exactly sure what people are referring to when they say "wedding tie".

http://www.samhober.com/formal-wedding-silk-ties/
http://www.samhober.com/sheperds-check-and-prince-of-wales-silk-ties/
https://www.hangerproject.com/shepherds-check-silk-neckties.html
http://www.samhober.com/formal-wedding-stripe-silk-ties/

I don't like all of these, but they are "wedding ties." You may find something just as appropriate for your place and season and mood that isn't silver or black and white. Just make sure you don't quite look like you're itching to go to the office later in the day. Unless you have guests who are really into the semiotics of all this, the tune is more important than the words.

Quote:
One of the main attractions of the tuxedo was that I'd stand out from the crowd (including the groomsmen). I'm not quite sure how to accomplish that if I'm wearing a regular suit (or something pretty close to it). That's why I thought of the bow tie possibility. I wear ties to work pretty regularly, but I've actually never worn a bow tie.

Different strokes. That is common in North America, but I like the idea of a wedding being a celebration with friends, rather than a show-business affair where guests have only to watch. Colored or patterned bow ties can work, of course. But if you've decided against dinner dress during the afternoon, I'd avoid a black one, unless you will indeed look your best that way. [I'm sure there are guys who can make it look like they always do that for important festive occasions in daylight.]

Quote:
If I did take the suit approach, I'd probably get the trousers made with suspender buttons and go that route to add a bit of formality. Any issues there?

Your trousers will hang better and will tolerate the properly long rise more easily-- with or without pleats. If you plan to keep your jacket on, that is the way to go. Even more true with the dinner jacket, of course. No belt loops, of course!
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