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Tuxedo and Pocket Square to match Prom Date

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Will Carothers, Feb 2, 2013.

  1. Will Carothers

    Will Carothers Member

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    Hello everyone, just joined and i have a question:

    I'm a sophomore guy who just got asked by a senior to prom (yay). I know how dorky it is, but after seeing Skyfall, I've been itching to wear a midnight blue shawl collar tuxedo. The problem is my date and I aren't sure if her white dress with gold lace will "clash" with the blue of the tux. It's my opinion that a blue tux with black cummerbund and bow tie with a gold pocket square would compliment her gown very well (maybe even give her a corsage of dark blue flowers).

    I do not want to be the guy who goes to prom and looks like a fool, so do you all think that the combination i suggested would look alright, or should i just keep it simple and stick with a black tux?
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. GothamRed

    GothamRed Well-Known Member

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    1. First off, good work and congrats, mi amigo, but damn, how early does this process start now?

    2. Not dorky, as [well fitting] midnight shawl collar tux = attaboy. Treat it the same as [again and always, well fitting] black. I know you mean [the dorky comment is about] the fact that it's from Skyfall, but I don't care, same answer.

    3. Here is where we get real. [​IMG] There are numerous threads here that deal with black tie, wedding and special occasion attire, etc. Read and study them. Srs. However, for now I am going to sum them all up here in ONE piece of salient advice that you should remember for the rest of your life, but 'specially now that you as a sophomore are taking a senior to prom [don't you dare think it's the other way around]: you are the frame to her art. That means, inter alia, you do not wear a goddamned gold pocket square - you wear white. Your tuxedo facing matches your bow tie. Your tuxedo fits. Hell, don't even tell her what you're wearing ahead of time, just show up and blow her mind...as...

    she can wear chartreuse green, magenta, hell even white with gold lace ([​IMG]) yet you keep it simple and let her stand out, such that there is no need to "coordinate" as the obvious chemistry you two well dressed folks will ooze is more to the point and, if you keep it simple, you will not only only "coordinate," but complement her - and that's the point.

    Godspeed.
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2013
  3. aravenel

    aravenel Well-Known Member

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    www.blacktieguide.com

    Read it, understand it, embrace it.

    Midnight blue is great, just make sure it's a true midnight blue and not one of these lighter navy blue tuxes that have become trendy lately. No good. Unfortunately, it's pretty hard to find a midnight blue tux outside of having one made, which I am sure is outside your budget, and frankly, even if it wasn't, I wouldn't recommend to a HS sophomore anyways. You are not likely done growing yet, so dumping bunch of money into a tux is probably not a great idea.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
  4. Veremund

    Veremund Well-Known Member

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    Remember this for the rest of your life: men do not dress to match or coordinate with their women. Her shoes should match, not her date.

    Your idea for a tux sounds awesome. I'm 37, so I wouldn't wear a gold pocket square, but you're young, so be wild!
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
  5. AmericanGent

    AmericanGent Well-Known Member

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    I will never discourage a young man from dressing well, but I neither would I suggest rented formal wear so this is tricky.

    -Like mentioned above you will not likely find a true midnight blue number through a rental firm. Wait until you are older to get into a proper midnight blue dinner jacket.

    -It is unwise for you or your parents to spend money on an expensive item like a tux when you will not fit into it next year.

    So my thought are:
    • Think in the long term. Look for a nice wool tuxedo that is very very classic. You will have pictures taken at the prom. These are forever. You do not want yours or your date's family and friends looking at this picture 15 years from now laughing at you because you look like a tool in a stupid blue tuxedo.
    • Go classic black tuxedo or dinner jacket with peak lapels, waistcoat (vest) unless wearing double breast (true tuxedo), white fold-down collar with a black bow tie, black studs.
    Like the other guys said- you are the frame- compliment her. A well fitted classic black tuxedo will be perfect.

    Have a good time and remember- be a gentleman:
    • Be perfectly groomed- trim nose and ear hair, clean shaven, clean and trim fingernails. Have your hair cut a few days before the event.
    • Offer your left arm to you date when walking, walk nearest the street when on a sidewalk (if necessary switch to the right arm).
    • Open all doors for all women.
    • Carry a clean white handkerchief in your inner left pocket for a lady in case of a spill or tears.
    • Carry a small tin of mints.
    • Ask before you go in for a kiss.
     
  6. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Well-Known Member

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    Ask before kissing?? Wtf?
     
  7. msulinski

    msulinski Well-Known Member

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    A midnight blue shawl collar tuxedo is perfectly fine and classic. He will still look good in the pictures 10-20 years from now.

    I agree with your point about spending a ton of money on a tuxedo that won't fit in 1 year.
     
  8. Will Carothers

    Will Carothers Member

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    I agree that purchasing one would not be a good idea, but I've look around at some local rental shops, and about 3 of them carry a slim fit midnight blue tux to rent, i was really just wanting to ask if (since i can get access to one) if it was a good idea...

    Thanks,
    Will
     
  9. aravenel

    aravenel Well-Known Member

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    As long as they are classic and a true midnight blue (i.e. one baby step lighter than black), then sure, it's a classic look.
     
  10. msulinski

    msulinski Well-Known Member

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    Do you have a link to the tuxedo available for rental?

    The problem I have with rentals is that they never fit right. When buying a suit or tuxedo, you generally get some alterations done (at least sleeve and trouser length). You (probably) can't do this with a rental.
     
  11. aravenel

    aravenel Well-Known Member

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    True, but in this case, I think a rental is a good idea. He will likely never wear the tux again before he outgrows it.

    Some rental places will do a real quick hem for you if you ask. Obviously nothing permanent, but enough to keep it from dragging on the ground or covering your hands. Last time I had to rent (for a wedding... sigh) I asked about it and they were happy to accomodate.
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. msulinski

    msulinski Well-Known Member

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    Good point. I didn't realize some places allowed for a hem. I would urge the OP to ask the rental place for that option.
     
  13. Veremund

    Veremund Well-Known Member

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    Nothing permanent about it at all. Simply a matter of picking the stitches, the work of a moment for a tailor.

    I got my tuxedo off eBay for less than twenty bucks. OP could go that route, depending on cost of rental, and would even save money.

     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
  14. Will Carothers

    Will Carothers Member

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    I might look to ebay, but being only 16 and with no job yet, i doubt I could convince a parent to buy one at any cost. If i were to purchase off of Ebay, what are some good brands/ sellers to look out for. Ive been doing some more digging, and i found a fairly nice tux by Ralph Lauren for rent. It is single button, slim fit, and had peak lapels, only problem is that it is double vented, but to me as long as its not single vented i'll be fine (and how many high schoolers would even notice right?)

    Another thing that is a little off topic... I'm a little overweight (190 lbs & 5'11" with a 34 waist and 39-42 chest... also have a large behind) and i was wondering which vent style would look best on a tux or suit for that matter. I know that the single end looks atrocious with how it flairs. Also, because i do have a little bit of gut, should i maybe go with a cummerbund to keep it "held in" and more streamlined?
     
  15. Will Carothers

    Will Carothers Member

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    Not sure why but I'm not sure if my last reply posted. I found what i think is a nice peak lapeled black tuxedo.(http://www.jimsformalwear.com/lauren-ralph-lauren-saville-tuxedo.htm) Although it does seem to have 2 buttons and side vents, it seems to be nice and well fitted for a rent. Also, given that I am in high school, I doubt many besides myself will notice that it isn't completely correct. My date does want us to coordinate, but i stood my ground and we agreed on this or another similarly styled tux with a black cummerbund or vest with a self tie black bow tie (i had to give in and do a gold pocket square).

    As an additional note... i am a little overweight (195lbs 5'11, 35 inch waist, size 40 jacket, and with a larger behind) so would you suggest a vest or cummerbund? i've heard cummerbunds can suppress the waist, but i thought the "V" shape of the vest might elongate torso shape.

    PS: I also found a tuxedo in the same fit and cut except that the lapels are shawl lapels. I personally like the shawl look, but it seems like it might make my torso look rounder... any suggestions?
     
  16. Veremund

    Veremund Well-Known Member

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    That tux looks cool. Don't worry about the second button, just be sure not to fasten it! :) And don't worry about the double vents. I think double vents are very rakish, even if non-vented is deemed more correct. It might be more elegant, but you're young and cool, so rakish is a very good thing for you.

    If you have a bit of a tummy, then the peak lapels will serve you better. You're right about what rounded shawl lapels do to more portly blokes. Makes them even rounder. And now is a good time to learn a piece of advice that will serve you well forever more. Just because we like something or think it looks good on a hanger, that does not mean it will look good ON us. I love the loom of ticket pockets on jackets and trouser turn-ups, but they make me look even shorter than I already am, so I don't wear them. We must be honest about our bodies and dress to play up our strengths and camouflage our weaknesses.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2013
  17. Veremund

    Veremund Well-Known Member

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    Also, don't forget to have a thin line of white pocket square peeking out of your breast pocket. It will draw more attention to your chest, and away from your tummy.
     
  18. msulinski

    msulinski Well-Known Member

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    You can always get the vents closed up by a tailor. This is a simple procedure, and they just become part of the side seam.

    As for vest vs. cummerbund, I'm not sure if your body type matters much, especially if you keep your jacket closed. I do think a vest looks better with a peak-lapel jacket, but a vest that matches your tuxedo is not an easy thing to come by. You would want an appropriately low-cut vest, not one of these high monstrosities. You should really not be able to see the vest when the jacket is buttoned. These kinds of vest are hard to find. Since you would not be able to match the wool of your tuxedo in the vest, you would want to go all-silk. The silk should be similar to your lapel facing (either satin finish or grosgrain). Finding a cummerbund is much easier.
     
  19. VinnyMac

    VinnyMac Well-Known Member

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    ...good idea OP. Use both a white and a gold hanky, or fine one that's white with gold a outline. Post fit pics of you in the tux. Have fun.
     
  20. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Well-Known Member

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    Congrats on the prom. Most importantly, have fun. A few points.

    - For a rental tux, I'd go with a cummerbund over a vest. The simple reason is that finding a vest that fits correctly from a rental place and is not a disaster in some way (e.g. backless, way too visible, etc.) is going to be almost impossible.
    - For shawl vs. peak, I think peak lapels may be a bit more flattering for your build, but ultimately, go with what you like best. Your comfort and confidence in the tuxedo are going to matter way more than your lapel shape.
    - A tuxedo should ideally have one button and be ventless. That said, it's a rental that you're only wearing once. If you can find a model that is ventless and one button that has the other features you want, definitely go for that instead, but don't kill yourself. Given the number of vest / cummerbund sets in crazy colors, clip-on bow ties, awful shoes even by rental tux standards, an extra button and side vents are going to be a relative non-issue. In any event, side vents are better than a center vent.
    - Good for you for having a self-tie bow tie vs. a clip-on.
    - I'd prefer white to gold for the pocket square, but as far as matching your date is concerned, a pocket square that matches isn't terrible. You've successfully talked a 17 year old girl out of dressing you in a clip-on gold bow tie and cummerbund / vest. Good for you. Most people probably won't even have a pocket square.
     

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