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White Tie and Tails In the Modern Era

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by AshtonMD, Sep 21, 2016.

  1. AshtonMD

    AshtonMD Active Member

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    Hello all,

    I'm new to the Styleforum community, but hope still to learn quite a lot.

    My question today is what are your opinions about wearing proper White Tie outside of designated White Tie events?

    Now to clarify a little bit, I'm not saying wearing a set of tails to a private occasion where the hosts specifically requested black tie. And nor am I asking about wearing tails to a weekend bbq.

    But in the case of going to a public place, such as a play, opera, or a special occasion with one's marriage mate, what would be your thoughts on wearing proper white tie? Personally, I can't see a thing wrong with that, as long as the person(s) your going with are dressed up properly as well.

    For example, a few friends decide to go see a play, and decide to dress it up, most wearing black tie. In that context, would white tie be inappropriate, even though it's keeping in line with theme of "dressing it up"?

    Anyways, just wanted to get your thoughts on how to wear white tie in the modern era - thanks for your time everyone!
     
  2. starro

    starro Well-Known Member

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    Be prepared to stand out in a big way, and to have a lot of eye balls on you. If you're fine with that, I don't see why not.

    As to the friends in black tie scenario you brought up, the point of a dress code is rooted in respect, egalitarianism, nobody upstages the host. So if your friends know you'll be in tails for a certain event, and they're fine (why wouldn't they be), then I don't see much of a problem.
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. AshtonMD

    AshtonMD Active Member

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    Standing out isn't a real problem to me, as I'm almost six and a half feet tall, i usually stand out anyway. And that makes sense thank you Starro.
     
  4. starro

    starro Well-Known Member

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    Just curious, do you have a bespoke white tie rig? 'Cause I'm sure you know those things have to fit just right. If so, it's very cool (and entirely understandable you'd want to wear it as much as possible).
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Marsay

    Marsay Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely fine for Halloween, a cosplay performance or a particularly rarefied 'key party'.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. Andy57

    Andy57 Well-Known Member

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    If you have the rig, I say wear it. White tie is dinner wear, after all. Wear it to dinner. People will stare, some might be bemused or baffled, like the member I've quoted below. Some might be offended, even. I say the heck with them (actually I said something a little more pungent, but I wrote what I wrote).

    As Jack Donaghy might say: "What are we, farmers?"

     
    1 person likes this.
  7. chobochobo

    chobochobo Well-Known Member

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    Seriously, you need to ask this question? By all means, go to the opera etc in your outfit, but if you have to ask, then you won't be able to pull it off.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. GBR

    GBR Well-Known Member

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    This is a total nonsense. It shows you to be a fool, insults your hosts or others at the same event as it clearly says 'I am better than you' AND 'you cannot even dress properly'. You are the fool and you are not dressed correctly. Dress codes and normal attire for this and for that to help attendees present themselves appropriately.
     
  9. AshtonMD

    AshtonMD Active Member

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    Well Starro,i wish I could afford it, but sadly I can't. However, I was able to pick up a vintage set that fits nearly perfect (just the pants needed to be lengthened - the curse of long legs lol). Judging from the styling and the weight of the material, I would think it's a late 50s/early 60s set, but I'm not 100% certain. White tie is my favourite dress code, so I woul actually wear it without problems.

    Thanks Andy57 - I thought so too.

    Well to be honest, I have already wore my tails to a wedding Chohochobo - but the bride and groom were old friends of mine who loved Downton Abbey, and wanted me to wear it. And to be honest, it was a most amazing experience lol.
     
  10. AshtonMD

    AshtonMD Active Member

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    I do agree with you GBR that if you were invited to a black tie event, and you wore tails, it'd be rude. But my question was more geared towards public venues where there are many people, and no clear host. Or when celebrating a special occasion such as a wedding anniversary. Sorry if you felt it was inappropriate.
     
  11. chobochobo

    chobochobo Well-Known Member

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    I have nothing against you wearing tails to anywhere you want, including the 7-11. My view is that if you have to ask if it's ok, then you probably can't pull it off and you'll end up feeling self conscious throughout. So, it's up to you, are you really one of those who have to ask?
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. Marsay

    Marsay Well-Known Member

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    Buying your first pair of unfinished trousers (i.e., ones that don't need to be lengthened - charcoal or mid-grey are safe bets) would be a stronger opening gambit, but play it how you feel it.
     
    1 person likes this.
  13. jamiemcp

    jamiemcp Well-Known Member

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    Would you go to the opera wearing a onsie or a clown outfit? because what you are proposing is basically the same. I think the only time it might be acceptable is to the Vienna new years day concert.

    I do own a white tie rig (I inherited it) and I've worn it precisely 3 times. Twice to very posh diner parties and once to a fancy dress party.

    It's an anachronism, which has basically died out. Apart from a few state occasions I can't see it being worn much.
     
  14. poorsod

    poorsod Well-Known Member

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    You should visit Vienna during ball season because you get to wear white tie quite often. I was there for two weeks this year and wore tails 3 times. There are student tickets available if you are young enough.

    Opera ball
    [​IMG]

    TC ball
    [​IMG]



    Outside of balls, I've been wearing top hat and tails to Gatsby parties.
     
    1 person likes this.
  15. Tibor

    Tibor Well-Known Member

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    Traditionally speaking "White Tie" is appropriate anytime Black Tie was required but not the reverse. In modern times as long as you understand the mentality of your host you should be able to discern whether it makes sense or not. Disregard some of the comments on this post as they are simply a reflection of the poster. Enjoy yourself and wear what feels true, life is very, very short.
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. AshtonMD

    AshtonMD Active Member

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    The hem on the trousers that came with the tails was just long enough for me to squeak past, after I lowered them. But I do like your idea thanks Marsay!
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2016
  17. AshtonMD

    AshtonMD Active Member

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    Yeah good point Chobochobo - i think I'll rock the tails a bit more in future, thanks!
     
  18. AshtonMD

    AshtonMD Active Member

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    Thanks for your input Tibor - true words.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2016
  19. AshtonMD

    AshtonMD Active Member

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    That's an interesting point jamiemcp - but I think White Tie, in terms cosmetic appearance when executed properly, is very similar in looks to Black tie, albeit more elegant. I think the clown suit may stand out more than a set of tails, especially when one is surrounded by friends in proper tuxedos, and/or ladies in fine eveni gowns. But you've also worn the full rig more than I have, so you do have far more experience than I do.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2016
  20. AshtonMD

    AshtonMD Active Member

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    Poorsod, that looks amazing! Thanks for sharing those fantastic pics!!!!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2016

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