Bright formal shirts

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by the brambles, Oct 18, 2011.

  1. the brambles

    the brambles Member

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    I've been getting into bright colored formal shirts recently such as purple/red/orange rather than the normal white/grey. Some people say that men should try different colors whilst others prefer the classic colors. What is your opinion?
     
  2. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    White only. Part of the purpose of black tie is to look uniform and let the women be the peacocks.

    Anyway, even if you were to wear colored shirts, how many could you possibly need? I have a hard time fathoming the sense behind collecting shirts for black tie when I only wear black tie once or so a year.
     
  3. acridsheep

    acridsheep Senior member

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    I am more apt to wear a brightly colored shirt when I am not wearing a tie (say, with simply a sport coat/blazer and optional pocket square). With suits and ties, I prefer a lighter, more flexible color (whites, pale blues, etc).

    I guess that means the more formal, the less varied I am with shirt colors. If by "formal" you mean "black tie," then white only, please.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011
  4. The Suit Guy

    The Suit Guy Member

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    Completely agreed on both points. If you have a tuxedo on with anything other than a white shirt, and sometimes a black shirt if you want to be the "different" one, it would most likely just look awkward.

    By formal, you do mean black tie, right?
     
  5. the brambles

    the brambles Member

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    By formal I meant shirts that you would wear with a tie rather than a casual shirt. I wasn't really thinking of a black tie event when I would always wear white.
     
  6. FlyingMonkey

    FlyingMonkey Senior member

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    Quote:
    OT for second...

    Maybe the way it has become, but it isn't the way it has always been nor necessarily should it. Just look at the history of the tuxedo for a start... there's no reason why a gentleman should not wear a midnight blue or a red variety or use some different kind of material, like velvet. Sometimes we're too conservative and afraid to make any kind of statement and surely, eveningwear is one area at least where we can allow the peacock in us to flourish just a little?

    I mean, check out the embroidered navy blue silk velvet smoking jacket from Anderson and Sheppard (you have to scroll down)... now, that's what I'm talking about.

    Apologies to the threadstarter for the OT intervention.
     
  7. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    It's well understood that black tie started as a sort of improvised casualization of white tie, but black tie rules have nonetheless substantially solidified since. Accordingly, black tie dress has become a standard unto itself. A colored smoking jacket would not be appropriate at many, if not most, 'black tie' events. I wouldn't wear one to a black tie wedding or any other highly public or ritualized black tie occasion. You can safely wear one to a black tie house party, but even then you would doubtlessly be in the minority. Anyway, even if you include smoking jackets as a viable alternative to the more orthodox dinner jacket options, black tie as so defined remains a highly regimented dress standard. There are a few absolutely correct choices, many, many absolutely wrong onces, and a small handful that are honestly debatable. With that in mind, I think it's difficult to question that a strong spirit of uniformity underlies black tie dress for men.
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011
  8. northantslad

    northantslad Member

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    I think the starter of this topic is talking about shirts for work and meals out, that sort of thing, not black tie functions.

    I wear bright shirts to work because I don't like to look like everybody else and a bit of color can do no harm to anybody. I don't know why some people think that it is OK for women but not right for men. I always dress smartly, surely this should be enough.
     
  9. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    Maybe so, but the OP was hardly clear about that, and the resulting black tie discussion is far more interesting.


    The harm is that it can easily be ugly. Men typically wear shirts essentially as foundational garment--under a jacket or suit, and dressed with a tie, cufflinks, etc. As such, context demands a shirt to be the quiet component of an outfit. It's not that a loud or bright shirt will always fail, but it very often will if you otherwise comport with the class format of men's dress.

    Women can wear brighter colors because they don't so often dress in suits and earthy odd jackets (when they do, they should avoid distractingly bright shirts as well).
     
  10. Viral

    Viral Senior member

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    In most countries outside of the US, "formal" means business-type clothes.

    For example, the dress code at work would be called "formal", meaning shirt & tie.

    Capiche???
     
  11. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    Are you just making that up?

    In the U.S., 'formal' only means "shirt & tie" at some middle school dances. Even in a business setting where suits are worn, the standard of dress is most consistently referred to as 'business formal'. I myself have always used 'formal' in the U.S. to mean black or white tie. The English mean specifically white tie when they say 'formal'. What are the other English-speaking countries you're thinking of? Canada?
     
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2011
  12. northantslad

    northantslad Member

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    This is correct. In Europe people would say that they wear formal wear to work - it just means smart clothes.
     

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