Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Caustic Man, Jan 23, 2016.
That placement in the formal/casual hierarchy seems right to me, though I've not been to a ballet for many years. Daytime symphony in Chicago? I'd say you can wear anything. I'd probably wear a casual-fabric suit (flannel for cold weather; linen for warm weather) in city colors. A lot of the older gents will wear navy suits in wool worsted, a lot of the youngsters (and not a few of the oldsters) will wear whatever they think is hip.
A number of the older gents will be wearing what SF calls business suits. Up to you. My own preference would be for a casual suit. Blazer and slacks is certainly a good option, as would be black jacket and light gray trousers: a modernization of the stroller:
Daytime symphony is a good setting to wear a bowtie, since it's an artsy event.
There's really not much to it. Just a black or 90% black coat (what some call Oxford or Cambridge gray), and light gray trousers. In a pinch, a dark charcoal coat will do. Looks good with a light pink shirt and a silvery tie. I wore one in DB to a daytime performance at the Metropolitan Opera. People notice that it's somehow more formal than a navy worsted suit, but not so much that it looks out of place at a big gathering where other men are wearing charcoal suits.
Thing is, there are certain details I would have to find. Peak lapels, single breasted, gray/black pinstripe trousers, light gray contrasting waist coat, and so on. It wouldn't be so simple for me. lol
You can do a DB coat like the gent in the AA cartoon above. And I think a SB coat with no vest would look fine. In the 30s and 40s, men like Churchill wore them with notch-lapeled coats and a vest in the same fabric as the coat. There's all kinds of options with the stroller/black lounge. As for trousers, you don't need to wear morning stripe or sponge bag trousers. Solid light gray looks fine too, and will probably be a bit less conspicuous.
I know I don't need to, I WANT to.
I don't think a stroller would be read as a stroller, it would be read as an orphaned suit jacket – even if you perfected the peak lapel SB with jetted pockets and patterned trousers. You'd look like a half-baked dandy. Maybe if it were black, it would pass as a black blazer, but I don't think gray would work the way it once did.
That said, you could do a quite dressy navy blazer, gray pattterned trousers, black oxfords, and a formal tie, and it would be very elegant. I'd do DB, if you have it.
I suppose I should say that I'm remarkably unconcerned with that. Especially since I get "Nice suit" from nearly everyone when I wear a sport coat and trousers.
The first suggestion of an "off duty" suit or blazer and greys.
Almost nobody on the planet today knows what a black lounge is. So yes, it won't be read as such. At the same time, it does not at all look like an orphaned suit coat. People have seen enough 1930s-era films displaying black lounge that it rings a visual bell. Sure, a standard shade of charcoal might look orphaned, but a 90% black coat doesn't.
I agree. Since most people seem to have no qualms with wearing orphaned suit jackets anyway, I doubt it would seem out of place no matter what the case. However, a morning jacket with the appropriate striped trousers and light colored vest would strike a good image whether you know a lot about menswear or not.
You'd lose points with the people informed enough to know that you don't normally wear a plain charcoal jacket without matching trousers, but who don't know what a stroller is.
I have to admit, I don't see the appeal of a stroller. I have a strong enough inclination towards the dandyish side of things, but the stroller seems to me to combine the impracticality and potential social weirdness of dandyism without most of the fun. And, I admit, it does strike me as marginally less elegant than a three-piece town suit. I guess I associate three non-matching pieces with the more casual rigs where it has survived. For the high level of formality you'd be hitting, I think the relatively more minimal look of a three-piece suit is a bit better.
The DB version would probably be fine, but again, you still run into the issue of black being awfully dark for the day time. Navy would be better – but then it's not a stroller anymore.
I mean, clearly you're just going to do what you want anyway – you're asking for advice on the internet, after all.
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