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Can it be pulled off? Slight formalwear rule bend.....

Johnny24

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I am going to be attending a formal, black tie, or "creative" black tie
event for NYE, it will be mostly 21-35 year olds attending with an open bar, dinner and lots of performers (comedy/music). Generally it will be a festive party and without wanting to risk my midnight blue vintage shawl collar rig, or my vintage velvet SB DJ w/ vintage wool blackwatch tartan trews (my "creative" or laid back holiday black tie rig), I picked up a JAB Sig line, peak DJ with grosgrain lapels. It is not RLPL quality but it ticks the "correct" boxes (grosgrain, peak, SB, besom) and won't induce a murderous rage if it gets wrecked at a wild event; it is more or less my "beater" DJ and it was cheaper than a rental including adding working button cuffs and standard tailoring to it. Either way, I am vexed about my waist covering and shirt combo...I ordered a fixed length, point end, self tie, grosgrain bow from Linda at Mainebows (she is fantastic BTW) at the last minute. A matching cummerbund could not be made in time with her other orders/holiday plans taking up time. I wanted to do true a formal waist coat, at least until my cummerbund can be made, but finding a matching wool is impossible so that leaves with with either grosgrain or white pique......... Proper low buttoning grosgrain waistcoats are also nearly impossible to find on a limited timeline; white pique is a lot easier to locate, but I can't stand the idea of a wing collar shit. I have looked at Flusser and he says nothing about the collar choice with white pique, blacktieguide.com only says pique is "usually' paired with a wing collar, but, many posters who are more knowledgeable than myself say only white/wing due to its link to white tie formality. If I nail all the details....SB, one button, peak, grosgrain lapel, matching self tie bow, and patent pumps with a grosgrain ribbon, can a non-pleated turndown collar shirt work with the white pique vest? I have a shirt with a covered placket in stark white marcella, a slightly off white marcella worn w/studs or a white marcella bib front also w/studs. Thanks, and Happy Holidays.
 

Mark from Plano

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I wouldn't, but that's just me. I have worn the white pique vest, but only with a detachable collar wing collar shirt. My personal opinion is that it's kind of an all-or-nothing look. Have you considered a non-matching cummerbund? Unless both are black, the traditional way to wear a cummerbund was either matching in black or non-matching where the tie is black and the cummerbund isn't. Not to say that this is the one, but as an example Ben Silver has this red cummerbund that would work great for "creative" black tie along with your great new black bow tie. And on sale too. They have others, of course that aren't so "out there". http://www.bensilver.com/Cummerbund-...undy,7876.html Just a suggestion. Ben Silver and Brooks both have black silk waistcoats that are not meant to be matched. Here's one that's pretty cool: http://www.bensilver.com/Jacquard-Wo...coat,8953.html The only faux pas here would be either going with a different colored tie (you're not) or selecting a waist covering (cummerbund or waistcoat) that looks like you were shooting for a match, but missed. Beyond that I'd say you've got some latitude.
 

Johnny24

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I do like the Ben Silver option in the waistcoat, it is pretty cool w/o being
due the low buttons style; it is saying I know the correct form but this is a a little FU to the rules. The Brooks waistcoat I looked at online was a smooth satin (I thought) and I would feel awkward pairing it with grosgrain. I am not sure about the red cummerbund it feel 80's prom to me; I think as far as I would go with a cummerbund or color is grey, RLBL has one in grey but it is smooth satin, nixing that option w/the lapel/tie being grosgrain. My whole thing is wanting to keep as classic as possible when I know a lot of people will be sporting bad suits, and MW rental tuxedos. If I were to bend a rule for some flair, I want to stay with in them as much as possible. The mismatching of pique/turndown has me concerned due to the old world practice of mismatching the attire of "the help" at formal events to distinguish them from the guests. I think if I was going to go "creative" I would do the tartan blackwatch pants, velvet jacket, and smooth satin tie/cb with my pleated front shirt, but I am afraid someone will ruin my jacket with the amount of booze being consumed/spilled and possibly sprayed when the ball drops/fireworks start. There are going to be 1500-2000 people at the event in total, I believe. On a side note, I missed out on a navy velvet NWT, peak, one button smoking jacket from Ben Silver on ebay when my HD crashed the other week. It went for around $190 done an dusted, I am more upset about that than any other ebay miss in past year.
 

buddha123

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Originally Posted by Johnny24
I think if I was going to go "creative" I would do the tartan blackwatch pants, velvet jacket, and smooth satin tie/cb with my pleated front shirt, but I am afraid someone will ruin my jacket with the amount of booze being consumed/spilled and possibly sprayed when the ball drops/fireworks start. There are going to be 1500-2000 people at the event in total, I believe.
Tartan pants and tuxedo top are a great option for creative black tie events. And also, live a little, formalwear was meant to be fun wear...
 

TimelesStyle

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I know how you feel RE: grosgrain vs. satin on the DJ, but as someone who's been looking for a tux for a while, I too checked out JAB and wanted to mention their regular tuxes now on sale for under $200 (less than half the signature model you mention). Only difference I can tell is the grosgrain vs. satin, but hey, if it's a beater, why not. Another advantage is you can get a shawl collar if so desired (which might be cool if you don't have one) and this getup can be ordered as separates (so perhaps less tailoring)?

Anyways, hope it's ok for a noob to offer his $0.02 on something like this...
 

Johnny24

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Originally Posted by buddha123
Tartan pants and tuxedo top are a great option for creative black tie events. And also, live a little, formalwear was meant to be fun wear...
I actually wore the tartan and velvet combo to a small Christmas party two weeks ago. It was a big hit, I was slightly more dressed up than others but the attire has ranged from casual to jacket and ties over the years. The jacket was vintage deadstock, and the pants are Brooks vintage flat front tartans. I picked them up individually with the thought to pair them for under $100.00. The quality of the make is so much higher with them being vintage that is actually makes me sad for the direction most companies are going now (more so with the jacket here, as Brooks is still Brooks IMO). I already had the pleated shirt, braces, calf skin pumps (patent would have too much IMO), and tie/cb, so all in all it was a good deal for what I got. I just don't want to risk the velvet jacket (or my vintage midnight blue number that is mint from the 50's) there with the amount of potential damages in the air (drunk girls get the spills pretty easily). I guess the Ben Silver CB is some what in line with the rules being burgundy, the dots aren't too much more of an FU than the Ben Silver waist coat.
Originally Posted by TimelesStyle
I know how you feel RE: grosgrain vs. satin on the DJ, but as someone who's been looking for a tux for a while, I too checked out JAB and wanted to mention their regular tuxes now on sale for under $200 (less than half the signature model you mention). Only difference I can tell is the grosgrain vs. satin, but hey, if it's a beater, why not. Another advantage is you can get a shawl collar if so desired (which might be cool if you don't have one) and this getup can be ordered as separates (so perhaps less tailoring)? Anyways, hope it's ok for a noob to offer his $0.02 on something like this...
I am not one of those SF'ers that look down their nose at newbies, so feel free to add your opinion. I looked at their separates in store, mostly because I liked the look of the DB jacket and their pants with the satin stripe could be added to the above velvet jacket for a more formal but adventurous look. My vintage midnight blue is a shawl collar with a plain satin facing, so at this point an additional shawl collar is not high on my list, although I actually like the shawl the most out of two correct collar options. My next dinner jacket will be a DB peak model as it is the one I don't have and I don't like DB shawls. With that said here is what I found at JAB: The standard models are not as nice in the wool fabric as the Signature. The Signature line is Super 120's, so it is a little less scratchy compared to the lower end model. Aside from the grosgrain on the lapel, the peak SB Signature has no vent, and besom pockets and the option for working cuffs, which I took. The separates line all have vents, flap pockets (which can be tucked or removed), and satin smooth facing (bar the white coat which is self faced) lapels. The main reason I went Signature is that given the sale they had at the time it was only $20 more than the separates combo before tailoring and it felt like a slightly better product. Either way you are going to have to get some combo of alterations for sleeve length, waist suppression, pant length and so on.....Even the separate line pants need to be hemmed from JAB so tailoring is a must. I usually never do this but I allowed their in store "tailor" to make the alterations, as my guy is super busy right now and the requests were very minor. They cut the buttons into the jacket sleeve well, but I think I am still going to have my guy clean up the hem length a tad, and have a look at back to see if it needs to be smoothed out more after NYE. It turned out a lot better than I thought it would given that when I said I wanted the waist suppressed the "tailor" thought I meant the pants and then when I told her I meant the sides of the jacket were to be taken in she was baffled, then tried to tell me it wasn't needed. JAB is pretty hated on here, but for formal wear I think they are pretty serviceable for the price point when they have big sales. Is it RLPL or Paul Stuart? No, but there is a lot worse in the current world of black tie these days, and if you are looking for a cheap option at least you know you can get something that is pretty correct as long as you don't get a notch collar. As I said, this item was picked up as a beater so I don't wreck my favorite clothing item (the midnight blue), and for about $220 it was a pretty good find.
 

alliswell

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Sharp point about the spills, and the fact that everyone else will look bad. I like the idea of a grey cummerbund. Check out the Rl one in person, or go to Rothmans in Union Square to see what they have, and then pick one. You're going to be better dressed than anyone there anyway.
 

TimelesStyle

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Originally Posted by Johnny24

With that said here is what I found at JAB: The standard models are not as nice in the wool fabric as the Signature. The Signature line is Super 120's, so it is a little less scratchy compared to the lower end model. Aside from the grosgrain on the lapel, the peak SB Signature has no vent, and besom pockets and the option for working cuffs, which I took. The separates line all have vents, flap pockets (which can be tucked or removed), and satin smooth facing (bar the white coat which is self faced) lapels.


All good reasons to go signature. Also, I checked today, the sale is different and the sig model is only $150 more now (a couple days ago the regular jacket could be had for $127, pants for $69).

Question: how deep is the pleat on the trousers? I saw that it's a single pleat, but I'm curious how difficult it would be to remove. Easier than trousers with double pleats, but not sure if it would look right or not.
 

Johnny24

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Originally Posted by TimelesStyle
All good reasons to go signature. Also, I checked today, the sale is different and the sig model is only $150 more now (a couple days ago the regular jacket could be had for $127, pants for $69). Question: how deep is the pleat on the trousers? I saw that it's a single pleat, but I'm curious how difficult it would be to remove. Easier than trousers with double pleats, but not sure if it would look right or not.
Not very deep at all, and with a buttoned jacket and waist covering it is not even something you would notice, I would just leave it. Removing pleats it not easy for an alterations tailor, unless you have a uncommonly great guy or someone who is MTM/bespoke level, I wouldn't risk it, not to mention it is pricey and given the sale at JAB, it could run you 50% or more of the item. I have learned to embrace pleats a bit these days with suits, most of my suits are FF pants but a Polo and Hickey Freeman I own have pleats and they are fine because they are well made. My midnight blue vintage tuxedo is also pleated and while I was much more pleat adverse when I got it, I just said screw it and it sort of opened up my mind. Once the waistband is off the pants I think the number of pleats doesn't really matter for the ease of removal, but I am not a tailor. I suppose the extra material per pleat could add complexity but that would be something Tony the Tailor or one of the other real tailors around here would know for sure.
 

TimelesStyle

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Originally Posted by Johnny24
Not very deep at all, and with a buttoned jacket and waist covering it is not even something you would notice, I would just leave it. Removing pleats it not easy for an alterations tailor, unless you have a uncommonly great guy or someone who is MTM/bespoke level, I wouldn't risk it, not to mention it is pricey and given the sale at JAB, it could run you 50% or more of the item. I have learned to embrace pleats a bit these days with suits, most of my suits are FF pants but a Polo and Hickey Freeman I own have pleats and they are fine because they are well made. My midnight blue vintage tuxedo is also pleated and while I was much more pleat adverse when I got it, I just said screw it and it sort of opened up my mind.

Once the waistband is off the pants I think the number of pleats doesn't really matter for the ease of removal, but I am not a tailor. I suppose the extra material per pleat could add complexity but that would be something Tony the Tailor or one of the other real tailors around here would know for sure.


Thanks. I've never attempted this, so was curious. I've become spoiled because I'm pretty easy to fit OTR and therefore tend to just wait till I find something that fits with little or no modifications. However I am in need of a tux and am pretty sure I'll have to make some compromises somewhere (and a single pleat isn't that bad a place to make a concession).
 

Johnny24

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Originally Posted by alliswell
Sharp point about the spills, and the fact that everyone else will look bad. I like the idea of a grey cummerbund. Check out the Rl one in person, or go to Rothmans in Union Square to see what they have, and then pick one. You're going to be better dressed than anyone there anyway.

Sadly I am not in NYC, I am closer to DC so a trip to Union Square is out of the question right now. More so for the fact that NYC is a nightmare shopping wise right now with tall the extra tourists and the potential blizzard coming to the East Coast tonight/tomorrow than anything else. I was in Union Square a few weeks ago but I had not sorted out my NYE plans at the time, now I wish I had. RL has a store in Chevy Chase MD where I would most likely be able to see the grey CB, although I am still adverse to it with this rig due to the grosgrain mismatch. I was considering the grey CB to be used with my midnight option at one point but I thought it best to stick a black tie and CB due to the blue already being a bit dandy-ish and the smooth satin being more reflective than grosgrain, I didn't want to overstep my bounds.

My interest in the white pique is more based on the fact that is an additional option (and an easy to find one at that) to the peak DJ. I was trying to avoid another CB, as I am having one made at Mainebows to match the fixed length tie in grosgrain, it will just be done after the new year.
 

Johnny24

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Originally Posted by TimelesStyle
Thanks. I've never attempted this, so was curious. I've become spoiled because I'm pretty easy to fit OTR and therefore tend to just wait till I find something that fits with little or no modifications. However I am in need of a tux and am pretty sure I'll have to make some compromises somewhere (and a single pleat isn't that bad a place to make a concession).

I am a pretty easy OTR fit as well, usually all my adjustments are minor (cuff exposure b/c I lean to 1/2 an inch, not 1/4, taking in the jacket waist and the rare shoulder roll) as well, but I have read that pleat removal is somewhat tough for a standard dry cleaner type "tailor". It is usually best left of those with MTM or bespoke skills as it requires the pants to be remade somewhat, and if you value the suit, you better trust the tailor with life and limb before you let him cut it up for a project. The other option is to "dart" the pleats, but that can look awful and I don't know what it requires, I have just seen before and after photos. If the jacket is on, you can't even notice the pleats on a well made pair of pants (suit or tuxedo).

I think the last thing to worry about with compromises in the tux arena is the pleats on the pants. If the tuxedo is somewhat well made, and pleated, the pleats will look fine in terms of the line they create on the pants where they crease, actually they will look sharper than an FF pant, IMO. Unless you get a really bad tuxedo I don't think the pleats will be in the Dockers range of bad tailoring looks. I would nail the details beyond the pleats; proper fit, correct shirt, shoes, waist covering, and tie will be noticed a lot faster than the pleats on your pants.
 

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