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Black Tie questions

privateer

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This is my first black tie event. I don't really know that I will be at many others in the future so I'm not sure about purchasing a tux vs. wearing my black suit. I would prefer not to spend the money on something like a tuxedo since I am unsure if I will wear it often. I have 2 questions.

1) I don't know what everyone else will be wearing (eg suits vs tux). One person I know is renting a tux. If I go with a black suit, what do I wear with it? White french cuff shirt with non-button down collar and a black bow-tie?

2) What are some of the less expensive options for a decent tuxedo. I might not wear this often at all so something that will hopefully not go out of style, and something that won't deteriorate with non use.

I'm not very well versed in dressing formally - I wear suits on occasion, but only worn a tuxedo twice before (rented both times). I'm in my mid twenties if that effects anyone's answer.
 

amplifiedheat

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If you go with a black suit, best not to pass it off as a tuxedo with a black bow tie. French cuffs are, however, solid.

If you do want to buy, Jos A Bank has peak or shawl for $200. (Another sale, naturally.) The Signature, which is a step up in quality, is $400.
 

tinkle60

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Depends who else is going to the event. A colleague of mine went to an industry blacktie event last year (mostly SMEs I think) and half the guys on his table were just wearing business suits with black ties...

Better to be overdressed than under dressed though.
 

ter1413

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Originally Posted by JohnGalt
if you wear a black suit, people WILL mistake you for the wait staff.

fixed...
 

privateer

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Originally Posted by amplifiedheat
If you go with a black suit, best not to pass it off as a tuxedo with a black bow tie. French cuffs are, however, solid. If you do want to buy, Jos A Bank has peak or shawl for $200. (Another sale, naturally.) The Signature, which is a step up in quality, is $400.
From what I know of their quality etc, is there any reason to step up to the $400 level? Also - my waist is about 31" and my coat is 42R, if that changes any recommendations. This means I usually buy suit seperates, not sure if tuxedos are sold that way too. You guys seem to recommend eBay too...or is that not a good idea. I have plenty of time to figure this out, I just don't know designers and how to find something that will fit me well enough that I can tailor (as opposed to it being too big to tailor)
 

privateer

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Iif I get a tux, any reason to get peak or shawl besides personal preference in how they look
 

ysc

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Originally Posted by privateer
Iif I get a tux, any reason to get peak or shawl besides personal preference in how they look
Peak is traditionally seen as more formal, but either is perfectly suitable for any black tie event, so whichever you prefer.
 

Captain Winky

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Originally Posted by privateer
From what I know of their quality etc, is there any reason to step up to the $400 level?

Also - my waist is about 31" and my coat is 42R, if that changes any recommendations. This means I usually buy suit seperates, not sure if tuxedos are sold that way too.

You guys seem to recommend eBay too...or is that not a good idea. I have plenty of time to figure this out, I just don't know designers and how to find something that will fit me well enough that I can tailor (as opposed to it being too big to tailor)


Go with the regular, non-signature. The only upgrade I've noticed on the sig is grosgrain instead of satin. The advantage of the regular is that they come as separates and are available with flat-front trousers (with a 42 jacket and 31 waist, it sounds like this will look better on you). I'd size down to a 40 or 41 and a 31.
 

amplifiedheat

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Originally Posted by Captain Winky
Go with the regular, non-signature. The only upgrade I've noticed on the sig is grosgrain instead of satin. The advantage of the regular is that they come as separates and are available with flat-front trousers (with a 42 jacket and 31 waist, it sounds like this will look better on you). I'd size down to a 40 or 41 and a 31.

I wouldn't advocate flat fronts, but I would certainly try on a smaller size to see if it fits. Separates do seem clearly indicated.
 

intent

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Does the invitation say "Black Tie required"? If not, just wear a nice suit and tie.
 

Sazerac

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If it's not going to be a financial hardship, I'd say buy one. Fact is, you will need one sooner or later. And it's sort of one of those rites of passage. Like:

Yes, I do have a stamp in my passport that's not from Canada.

Yes, I do own a classical music album that's not Vivaldi's Four Seasons.

Yes, I do have a tuxedo hanging in a garment bag in the closet.

As far as the pants go, with such a drop between chest and waist, it sounds like you may have an athletic build, which would make you a good candidate for no-pleat pants. (I got hell on these forums once for recommending no pleats on formal pants, but I stand by my original thoughts.)
 

privateer

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I do have an athletic build, and from what I've seen, flat front looks great on athletic build. Do people say to use pleats because they are more traditional? I size my coat down to a 41 with my suits for the reasons you guys have posted above. Its not perfect, but since I don't care to spend money on something custom measured for me, it does the trick.

The event is black tie, not black tie optional.

1. Canada doesn't stamp US passports, but I have several stamps.
2. I own several classical albums that do not include Vivaldi.
3. Maybe I'll own a tux.

On the pants, what sort of a break or cuff do you guys recommend? Joseph A Bank is so cheap that I might just do it. I'll have to get a tux shirt and studs too I guess.
 

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