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maomao1980

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Chris "Italia"

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Wear the tie... if that's the case...


I mean, we all love ties, don't we?
 

gorgekko

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A lounge suit is merely a regular business suit (which should be dark in colour) and yes, that means you should wear a tie.
 

Sator

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Originally Posted by maomao1980
dress code for a dinner I'm going to. Does it just mean don't wear a tie?


The modern "business suit" is basically just a lounge suit - worn of course with a tie. It was probably called that because it was originally a casual form of dress for the country and seaside. It was only good for lounging around in. You no more went to work in it back then than you would today wearing a track suit.

Originally the morning coat was just slightly dressier than a lounge suit - but not by much. At least morning dress was accetable for casual city wear. The frock coat was the Victorian equivalent of what a gentleman wore to a formal job interview during the day. A tail coat was 'full dress' for the evening.

There is this sorry trend today to regarding the lounge suit - the Victorian track suit - as being some sort of 'formal' dress these days. Often it gets substituted for situations that traditionally would have demanded full dress.

Me - I regard it as scarcely more formal than a track suit. And why the heck would you invite guests to wear their normal work clothes to a social event anyway?

Rant over
 

gorgekko

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You're absolutely right, let's go back to wearing tail coats.

An invitation calling for lounge suits is, by definition, a "semi" formal event, not a formal one.
 

Connemara

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Originally Posted by gorgekko
You're absolutely right, let's go back to wearing tail coats.

An invitation calling for lounge suits is, by definition, a "semi" formal event, not a formal one.


No...technically, semi-formal calls for black tie and formal calls for white tie.
 

metaphysician

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Originally Posted by Connemara
No...technically, semi-formal calls for black tie and formal calls for white tie.

Notice: "semi" formal, not semi-formal.

Originally Posted by gorgekko
An invitation calling for lounge suits is, by definition, a "semi" formal event, not a formal one.
 

Sator

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Because the lounge suit is a "Victorian track suit" an alternative way of wording an invitation to wear them for an event is to announce the dress code as being "informal". From time to time you get people posting asking how it is that suits can possibly be "informal", but daytime formal wear is still morning dress for daytime events and white tie for evening events.

In summary:

1. Evening formal (full dress in older parlance)= tail coat
2. Daytime formal (full dress)= morning coat
3. Evening semi-formal= dinner jacket ("Tuxedo")
4. Daytime semi-formal= stroller (a lounge suit version of a morning coat lacking tails)
5. Informal= "Victorian track suit"

Those interested in the history of dress might find it interesting to read my Wikipedia article on frock coats. I wrote 98% of the introduction and first section.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frock_coat

You will see that lounge suits have slowly climbed up the scale of formality in the same way the frock coat did, starting as casual dress and slowly creeping up towards becoming ultra-formal wear. If morning dress is allowed to die out, then the same thing will happen to the Victorian track suit and it too will turn into ultra-formal wear for only the ultra-pretentious.
 

Percy Trimmer

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In the UK 'Lounge Suit' is often used on invitations as an alternative to 'Black Tie' giving an option for those who do not own a dinner jacket or do not wish to wear one for political or religious reasons (for instance).

In such circumstances 'lounge suit' might be interpreted as meaning your 'best suit', but it would be unwise to wear anything other than a dark one. If you have a choice of dark suits I would avoid wearing one that was obviously a 'business' suit (e.g. pinstripes) and go for one that you might also wear at a wedding.

'Lounge suit' certainly means you wear a tie and a 'proper' shirt. In the UK you always need to be careful about wearing white shirts in case you are taken for an employee at the venue.

I detect a difference of nuance between British and American English with words like 'casual' and 'informal'.

Trimmer
 

maomao1980

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Originally Posted by Percy Trimmer
In the UK 'Lounge Suit' is often used on invitations as an alternative to 'Black Tie' giving an option for those who do not own a dinner jacket or do not wish to wear one for political or religious reasons (for instance).

In such circumstances 'lounge suit' might be interpreted as meaning your 'best suit', but it would be unwise to wear anything other than a dark one. If you have a choice of dark suits I would avoid wearing one that was obviously a 'business' suit (e.g. pinstripes) and go for one that you might also wear at a wedding.

'Lounge suit' certainly means you wear a tie and a 'proper' shirt. In the UK you always need to be careful about wearing white shirts in case you are taken for an employee at the venue.

I detect a difference of nuance between British and American English with words like 'casual' and 'informal'.

Trimmer



Since I'm in HK, I guess it's safe for me to take the British interpretation and, wear a tie. Thanks all.
 

Sator

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Originally Posted by maomao1980
Since I'm in HK, I guess it's safe for me to take the British interpretation and, wear a tie. Thanks all.

Yes you should always wear a tie, the question is what sort of tie - a black bow tie to go with your dinner jacket or a long one to go with a standard lounge suit. Keep in mind that here in Australia "lounge suit" means just that - a lounge suit. Similarly in New Zealand if an invitation meant black tie it would say black tie. A dinner jacket used to be called a "dress lounge" in the UK but that term fell out of usage in the Victorian Era. I suspect this term "lounge suit" to denote "dinner jacket optional" is a modern regional peculiarity unique to the UK.
 

Sator

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Originally Posted by Percy Trimmer

I detect a difference of nuance between British and American English with words like 'casual' and 'informal'.

Trimmer


Most Americans and Australians use the term "formal" when describing any tailored clothing. However, 'informal" dress is the correct designation for a lounge suit.

I have heard about the use of the term "lounge suit" to denote black tie in the UK. I suspect it may be historical and related to the fact that dinner jackets are a form of a "dress lounge".
 

Sator

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Originally Posted by Percy Trimmer

I detect a difference of nuance between British and American English with words like 'casual' and 'informal'.

Trimmer


Most Americans and Australians use the term "formal" when describing any tailored clothing. However, 'informal" dress is the correct designation for a lounge suit.

I have heard about the use of the term "lounge suit" to denote black tie in the UK. I suspect it may be historical and related to the fact that dinner jackets are a form of a "dress lounge".
 

The Doctor

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If in doubt, wear a tie.

You can always take it off and slip it in to your pocket. Just judge the mood when you arrive.
 

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