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Customizing my Tuxedo

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Hello all,

I have posted on here before, but it's been a while and I couldn't for the life of me remember my info, so I just signed up again.

I have a black tie wedding (I'm a guest, not in it) coming up at the end of June. My Tuxedo is a M2M Zegna, single breasted, one button, peak lapel that I wear with a waistcoat and wing collar. For this wedding however I would like to be cooler (temperature-wise) and have a more modern look, while spending as little money as possible.

Would it be acceptable to do the following:

- Ditch the waistcoat and wear it without a cummerbund (I have never liked them)
- Wear a (very nice) french cuff dress shirt instead of the wing collar tuxedo shirt to avoid buying a new tuxedo shirt without the wing collar.

If I did either of the above, should I:

- Wear a regular black tie instead of the usual black bow tie?
- Wear my usual dress shoes, which are formal slip ons?

Thanks for the help. Let me know if I need to clarify anything.
 

Sanguis Mortuum

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Originally Posted by J. Tobias Beard
- Ditch the waistcoat and wear it without a cummerbund (I have never liked them)

You can certainly wear a cummerbund instead if you want, though I expect a backless formal waistcoat will not be much hotter, so if you don't like cummerbunds I'd say stick to the waistcoat.

Originally Posted by J. Tobias Beard
- Wear a (very nice) french cuff dress shirt instead of the wing collar tuxedo shirt to avoid buying a new tuxedo shirt without the wing collar.

A turn-down collar is acceptable but you need a proper tuxedo shirt with a pleated or pique front, and preferably one which takes studs instead of using buttons.

Originally Posted by J. Tobias Beard
- Wear a regular black tie instead of the usual black bow tie?

No, you must never do this.

Originally Posted by J. Tobias Beard
- Wear my usual dress shoes, which are formal slip ons?

Some highly polished cap-toes may be acceptable instead of the usual patent, but unless these 'formal slip-ons' are opera pumps they are not an option. If they are some form of loafer than they are not 'formal' slip-ons because there is no such thing as a formal loafer.
 
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Thanks for the reply. To clarify:

I was hoping to skip both the waistcoat and the cummerbund.

The shoes are opera pumps.
 

Roger Everett

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Skipping the waistcoat and cummerbund is a more modern look ( see: Daniel Craig {James Bond }in Casino ), as well as skipping the the studs ( although you would need to since they come in sets of 4, and 5th button is covered by waistcoat or cummerbund ). Although if I were you, I would get a tux shirt with lay down collar, a well pressed " good " dress shirt would go ( esp. if it has MOP buttons. A std. tie is wearable if in same type material as lapel on tux, though I would stick to Bow, as a std. tie is generally worn with a waistcoat , to tuck in to. For the shoes -- since you are toneing down from hi med. formal, I think a pair of lace up pattens , a plain toe, or cap toe would fit in better ( highly polished ) is more in order. It is a wedding and not the opening night of the opera or a state dinner.
 

Mac

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Originally Posted by Roger Everett
Skipping the waistcoat and cummerbund is a more modern look ( see: Daniel Craig {James Bond }in Casino ), as well as skipping the the studs ( although you would need to since they come in sets of 4, and 5th button is covered by waistcoat or cummerbund ). Although if I were you, I would get a tux shirt with lay down collar, a well pressed " good " dress shirt would go ( esp. if it has MOP buttons. A std. tie is wearable if in same type material as lapel on tux, though I would stick to Bow, as a std. tie is generally worn with a waistcoat , to tuck in to. For the shoes -- since you are toneing down from hi med. formal, I think a pair of lace up pattens , a plain toe, or cap toe would fit in better ( highly polished ) is more in order. It is a wedding and not the opening night of the opera or a state dinner.

ffffuuuu.gif
facepalm.gif
 

mingus2112

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New poster here! I'll chime in with some observations. Please know that my "opinions" aren't necessarily what I would do in the situation. When I go "black tie," I always wear cummerbund, bowtie, studs, etc.

I think the real questions might be "who's throwing the black tie event?" and "who's invited?" I was invited to a black tie wedding not too long ago. Not black tie OPTIONAL. . .BLACK TIE. At least half of the guests were wearing normal dark suits, 3/4 of the tuxedo wearing bunch were rentals, 3/4 of the rentals were wearing high buttoned and/or non-black vests and only 5 or so out of the remaining people were dressed proper "black tie." The bridal party was wearing notched lapel rentals, plain white single cuffed (but with cufflinks) shirts, no studs, long black ties and clip on suspenders. It seemed that, in this case, "black tie" was only meant to make sure people were wearing jackets. If this is the kind of even you're going to, I think you'd look great in whatever you choose. If you're sure the holders of the event know what black tie means, you should really stick to traditional. Change ONE thing to stand out if you must. (cummerbund, tie, etc. Just one)

And lastly, opera pumps are your "usual dress shoes?"

-James
 
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I realize that this forum trends towards the traditional, as do I actually, so I assumed that the "more modern look" would be frowned upon. I would rather wear a bow tie, actually, and as I have a beautiful stud set, I prefer a real tuxedo shirt.

But, I really don't want to buy a new tux shirt right now. Also, I have never liked cummerbunds for some reason, and was wondering if going with nothing was ever considered acceptable outside of GQ.

However, it seems that the best option is to buy a cummerbund and go with the wing collar and bow tie. The only pair of good formal shoes I have are the pumps.
 
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Originally Posted by mingus2112
New poster here! I'll chime in with some observations. Please know that my "opinions" aren't necessarily what I would do in the situation. When I go "black tie," I always wear cummerbund, bowtie, studs, etc.

I think the real questions might be "who's throwing the black tie event?" and "who's invited?" I was invited to a black tie wedding not too long ago. Not black tie OPTIONAL. . .BLACK TIE. At least half of the guests were wearing normal dark suits, 3/4 of the tuxedo wearing bunch were rentals, 3/4 of the rentals were wearing high buttoned and/or non-black vests and only 5 or so out of the remaining people were dressed proper "black tie." The bridal party was wearing notched lapel rentals, plain white single cuffed (but with cufflinks) shirts, no studs, long black ties and clip on suspenders. It seemed that, in this case, "black tie" was only meant to make sure people were wearing jackets. If this is the kind of even you're going to, I think you'd look great in whatever you choose. If you're sure the holders of the event know what black tie means, you should really stick to traditional. Change ONE thing to stand out if you must. (cummerbund, tie, etc. Just one)

And lastly, opera pumps are your "usual dress shoes?"

-James


The wedding is Black Tie optional, but I don't think there will be many rental tuxs present. It's a pretty well to do family. I'm not looking to stand out, just reduce the formality and increase the comfort of my tux in the easiest way possible.

The opera pumps are not my usual dress shoes, they are what I wear with the tux. But, the only pair of black dress shoes I have are pretty terrible.
 

mingus2112

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From what I understand, black tie OPTIONAL changes EVERYTHING. I would go with what you're comfortable in. Perhaps it's possible to get a regular white shirt that you could put studs in and forget about the cummerbund?

As for traditional, from what i've read [on this forum] that mostly holds true for formalwear, and for good reason. Black-tie has a specific meaning for menswear. If you don't follow the rules (even if you look good), you're not technically following black tie. The "optional" part of that opens it up to breaking more rules. I would say as long as you look good, you look good.

-James
 

mingus2112

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Originally Posted by J. Tobias Beard
The opera pumps are not my usual dress shoes, they are what I wear with the tux. But, the only pair of black dress shoes I have are pretty terrible.

I know you don't want to make a lot (or any) extra purchases, but how about looking for a nice pair of cap toed oxfords? I don't know if you have any Nordstrom Rack stores by you (or stores like it), but I picked up a really nice pair of Bostonian cap toe oxfords for about $35 (they're about $95 in the Bostonian store). If you don't have a nice looking pair of dress shoes, they might be a good investment.

-James
 
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Originally Posted by mingus2112
I know you don't want to make a lot (or any) extra purchases, but how about looking for a nice pair of cap toed oxfords? I don't know if you have any Nordstrom Rack stores by you (or stores like it), but I picked up a really nice pair of Bostonian cap toe oxfords for about $35 (they're about $95 in the Bostonian store). If you don't have a nice looking pair of dress shoes, they might be a good investment.

-James


True. I do have a pair of black Bostonians actually, (are they patent? I don't know. They are shiny), but they are not cap toes.

Would lace ups be better in this case?

Also, I apologize for these brief, non-detailed responses. I'm getting ready for work as I post.
 

cptjeff

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Originally Posted by J. Tobias Beard
True. I do have a pair of black Bostonians actually, (are they patent? I don't know. They are shiny), but they are not cap toes.


They would be corrected grain. Ie, crappy leather, but it wouldn't look out of place at a black tie event, precisely because it's so shiny.
 

y3ahind0

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Originally Posted by J. Tobias Beard

- Ditch the waistcoat and wear it without a cummerbund (I have never liked them)
- Wear a (very nice) french cuff dress shirt instead of the wing collar tuxedo shirt to avoid buying a new tuxedo shirt without the wing collar.
- Wear a regular black tie instead of the usual black bow tie?
- Wear my usual dress shoes, which are formal slip ons?


Dress shoes: patent leather or buffed dress shoes. but, opera pump is fine (not for every one though)

Wing Collar shirt is a classic traditional look. It can be substituted by white french cuff bottom collar shirt.
 

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