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Winter White Dinner Jacket

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by JohnR, Oct 25, 2004.

  1. JohnR

    JohnR Member

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    I live in Iowa and have an event on Nov. 6th that I would like to wear my winter white dinner jacket for.  I have done considerable reasearch and can't seem to find when you should or shouldn't wear it.  Is this date to late?  It is a tux optional party, but those of us that have them like to wear them.  Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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    Since you asked about the "rules," I will tell you what the rules say. White dinner jackets are for summer only in colder climates, but can be worn year round in the tropics and other warm climates. Â Those who want an unusual dinner jacket for winter wear in cold climates should go with velvet (black or midnight blue or even bottle green or deep burgundy) or perhaps a black watch plaid. Â Those are the "rules" as they exsited among the American and European upper classes from (say) the late 1920s through the mid-1960s. That said, if you want to wear your white dinner jacket, wear it. Â If you like to wear it, wear it. Â If you were going to some black tie museum benefit in New York or Boston, and you were worried about fitting in, I would recommend against. Â If you are going to a party among friends, wear what you want.
     
  3. dah328

    dah328 Well-Known Member

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    Well, Flusser says they can be worn "July through August or year-round in the South or warmer climates." I think they're also more acceptable for daytime rather than evening events.

    Regards,

    dan
     
  4. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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    Techinically, according the rules, dinner jackets (evening semi-formal wear) are not to be worn before sundown or 6 pm, whichever comes first. This is true of all climates.

    Daytime formal wear is the morning (or swallow-tailed, or cutaway) coat. Daytime semi-formal wear is the stroller.
     
  5. dah328

    dah328 Well-Known Member

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    True.  I should probably stick to quoting Flusser rather than rely on my memory.

    Regards,

    dan
     
  6. 2Stripes

    2Stripes New Member

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    Spot on.
     
  7. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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    One more point. According to a strict interpretation of the rules, velvet dinner jackets are acceptable only for hosts entertaining in their own home. Flusser's latest book, however, shows a couple of pictures of men wearing them in public (including one photo of Gianni Agnelli, if I recall correctly).
     
  8. globetrotter

    globetrotter Well-Known Member

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    my feeling is that black tie is about subtlety - everyone looks almost exactly alike except for subtle differences in fabric, perhaps cufflinks or studs, etc. Maybe as far as the difference between shawl and peaked, or grossgrain and silk, db or sb.

    I, myself, wouldn't wear a white dinner jacket in the winter in a northern climate. and I wouldn't wear a velvet jacket or a smocking jacket out for black tie, either.
     
  9. Will

    Will Well-Known Member

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    Velvet is for wear at home or one's London club. Not sure if clubs in other cities qualify. :)

    The photos in Flusser's book are of Douglas Fairbanks Jr. on the steps of his home. Agnelli is wearing a mohair dinner suit, an entirely different fabric that looks great for summer black tie.

    Will
     
  10. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the photo I was thinking of was of Cecil Beaton. I'm not sure that I would recommend emulating him.
     
  11. Will

    Will Well-Known Member

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  12. JohnR

    JohnR Member

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    Thank you everyone for your replies. It is a delema. I've had alot of input and from females as well, and I believe the concensus is that if it were any later than the middle of November it would be tackey but because it's Nov. 6th and the snow hasn't flown yet it's o.k. particularly because it's party and not an event in honor of someone else.

    Thank you all for your help.
     
  13. cuffthis

    cuffthis Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG] This was from New Year's Eve 12/31/03. Since the event was held in Jekyl Island, GA (north of Palm Beach), I guess I was breaking the rules. Dinner jacket is Alan Flusser custom.
     
  14. Rocker

    Rocker Well-Known Member

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    Other than a girlfriend/wife, I would never take the advice of a woman on clothes and even then it would only be AFTER I narrowed the choices for them from which to select.  And, I would never ask a woman - any woman - any advice on sartorial rules/guidelines - they generally have no clue.  My girlfriend just stares at me blankly when I try to explain why I straight lace my blamoral style shoes.  And, John R, having lived in Iowa, I would offer you one other reason not to wear a white dinner jacket in Iowa in November;  It's because, it may be PRETTY cold, and, assuming you wear a dark topcoat, I think white jacket, black trousers under a dark topcoat looks somewhat suspect.
     
  15. imageWIS

    imageWIS Well-Known Member

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    I know in the picture the jacket is not white, I'm using it as an example; I have a RLPL (Chester Barrie) jacket that is exactly like the one pictured (this is an pic from the Oxxford website) but it is 50/50 linen/cashmere herringbone in an off-white color that I wear just as the picture shows: with a vest in a different color and trousers in yet another color. [​IMG] Jon.
     
  16. Will

    Will Well-Known Member

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    It's a fine jacket, but a casual jacket is even more inappropriate at a formal event than an out of season white dinner jacket.

    Most clothing rules do only need to relate to the people you're with. I've driven by weddings where the male part of the party were wearing light blue dinner jackets with colored ruffled shirts. I'm sure they thought they looked appropriate. You might not.

    In the past, an earlier poster reported, white dinner jackets were considered cruise wear or for outdoor events in the summer. That's still the strictest standard.

    Will
     
  17. ROT

    ROT Well-Known Member

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    I've always stuck with the "no white after Labor Day" rule. That having been said, for a party with friends I am not above wearing a colorful bowtie, or red socks, or my velvet slippers or bottle green smoking jacket (around the house.) They know me and very little surprises them anymore. [​IMG]
     

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