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Classic custom tuxedo specification advice

Chrisevans19

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Hello,

I am deciding on the precise specification for my first bespoke tuxedo. I have put a lot of research in and am keen to get it right- formal, attention to detail and in keeping with the ‘correct’ etiquette rules for black tie. To set the scene- I am 26 years old, 6’2’’ and 90kg and I am reasonably trim.

My thoughts are as follows-

Jacket-

Midnight blue/black fine barathea wool

9-10 ounce/ 300/340gsm fabric

Ventless/double vented

Shawl lapel- high cut or wide peak lapels

Grosgrain black silk to peak lapel or black satin if shawl lapel

Single button closure in grosgrain/satin

Jetted pockets- self fabric

Four cuff buttons in grosgrain/satin, touching

Buttonhole left lapel with stem holder on reverse

Inside jacket pocket

Silk lining


Waistcoat-

Same material to front. Single breasted.

Deep U cut to hide underneath jacket- hide waistband and shirt

Shawl lapels in grosgrain/satin

Curved tips/pointed if peak lapel

Three stud closure to match shirt studs

Two self faces jetted pockets

Tab to link with button inside of waistband


Cummerbund-

Matching jacket/wool colour with jacket Faille silk/satin

Four pleats

Slight dip in centre

Concealed pocket on reverse

‘Belt’ clasp closure on back

Tab to connect with button on trouser waistband


Trousers-

Midnight blue barathea wool to match

Grosgrain silk stripe to outside seam

No pleats

Catch closure with zip

Side adjusters

Diagonal cut pockets

Button fasteners for braces

Silk lining

Hemmed for slight break

Buttons on waistband to attach shirt and cummerbund/waistcoat


Shirt-

Sheer white cotton

Marcella bib down to 3rd/4th stud, buttons below

Marcella cuffs and collar

Turndown collar- slightly spread

Mother of pearl studs

Tab to attach to trouser band


Bow tie-

Back grosgrain to match lapels

Classic ‘fish’ shape


I am of course aware that a waistcoat and cummerbund are not worn together, I just want to get both made for flexibility.

Should the bow tie colour always be black? Are midnight blue lapels to match a midnight blue wool incorrect? If not, should the bow tie then also be blue? Do the grosgrains/Faille of both the lapels and cummerbund tend to clash?

Am I missing any other important details? Should I be going along different lines for any elements?

Many thanks for your thoughts/criticisms.
 

johng70

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I have to ask - at 26, where do you go that you will get the use out of a bespoke tuxedo? What tuxedo do you currently wear to all these functions? Have you been 90kg since you were 18? If you're going to monthly functions, it could be a good investment. But, if you're going to 1 function a year, spending $3000 (or whatever you plan on spending) I only ask because, if you're going to start investing in bespoke suits and tuxedos you should really have a VERY stable body size.
 

Chrisevans19

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My fiancée and I have maybe 4 black tie work events a year that we go to. Which I know isn’t a huge amount.

I currently wear a cheap tuxedo from next- it was about £80. It works but doesn’t fit well and just looks a bit cheap.

Fair point re body size- my weight has been stable for the past 3 years or so. Hopefully it won’t increase further.

I plan on getting it made in Vietnam when I am holiday there- I have had things made there before and the tailors are extremely good- they will put you together a handmade bespoke two piece suite in 100% wool or a cashmere blend with silk lining for around £300-350. You can go down to £150 if you choose cheaper wool blends. As many fittings as you need until it’s perfect. At that sort of money it changes the equation for me somewhat.
 

Stuart Midgley

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I had a very similar tuxedo made with the classic U-shaped vest as you are planning. Very few people have them these days and I do think they look very good when matched with a proper black tie marcella-fronted shirt. I get a lot of compliments on the outfit every time I wear it, which surprised me a bit at first. Interestingly people don't seem to know what is specifically different about it compared to all the other men - they just generally say the whole outfit looks good. I find I am often the only person wearing one, amongst a sea of off-the-rack cummerbunds.

I went for black rather than midnight blue as I figured I'm only going to have one tuxedo, it will have to last me a lot of years, and black is correct for every occasion. I can see that midnight blue might be great for slightly less formal black tie events - a lively wedding reception with lots of dancing and amusing post-dinner speeches for instance, or the annual end-of-season dinner and knees-up for a rugby/sailing/mountain climbing club etc. But I'm not sure I'd feel so comfortable in midnight blue at an important formal event for industry, academia or government. That was my thinking anyway, fwiw. If I was wearing a midnight blue tux I would have an identical midnight blue tie though.

I did choose a mohair blend cloth however, and under artificial light it shimmers just slightly, which I think looks very nice and adds to the overall look. I also think grosgrain really does look better than satin for peak lapels. Personal preference, but I really like the discrete texture of the ribbing and the more restrained but textured sparkle compared to shiny flat satin. (Satin for shawl lapel jackets though, I would think).

As you're having it made, ensure they give you a generous fabric reserve in all parts. My suits and trousers have about a spare inch of cloth on each side of the main seams. I hope I never have to use it but it's there if required.

EDIT - I forgot to say, my tailor (on his own initiative) gave me a link closure with two matched button holes, one on each side. You can then use the link side-to-side to go full-1920s style or you can put the link front-to-back, pull one button hole over the other and button in conventional modern style. I usually go retro and it looks great, but sometimes, if I don't want to stand out quite so much, I go with the more modern style.
 
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