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Dinner Jacket questions...

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by charlie1234, Jun 20, 2013.

  1. charlie1234

    charlie1234 Active Member

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    Hello,

    I am attending Oxford in the fall, and will be in need of a dinner jacket. I can't find one that I really like and was looking for your suggestions. I am staying in a small town in the United States for the summer and don't have access to try things on, and will have to buy online. I know my measurements and all, I have purchased suits, had suits made, etc... The problem I am having finding an OTR dinner jacket, there are very few that meet basic qualifications (single breasted, un-vented, slit pockets, pointed lapel or shawl collar, single button, midnight blue/black).

    I will need to wear the dinner jacket bi-weekly for some formal dinner parties... so I am nervous getting a fused jacket. I have a very good tailor, that makes beautiful bespoke dinner jackets, that will tailor/alter what I buy... I just couldn't afford his $3,000 bespoke start-price. My budget is under $1,500.

    This is the one I like the cut of best, http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/boss-bl...tualcategoryid=0&fashionColor=&resultback=417 Hugo Boss shawl collar. Unfortunately, HB tends to be poorly constructed, fused, etc.

    I also think this one sounds nice... but I am not a fan of the very wide pointed lapels. I would prefer them to be a bit trimmer. http://www.ehaberdasher.com/servlet/the-15494/Benjamin-Sartorial-Tuxedo-cln--38S/Detail Does anyone have experience with Benjamin Sartorial suits, I am nervous of such an inexpensive canvassed dinner jacket.

    Any help would be appreciated!

    -Charlie

    p.s. If you have a strong opinion on a pointed lapel or a shawl collar, and a reason, please post it. I can't decide which to get... many of the shawl collars are poorly cut, but when well cut I think look better. I am very fit, and have worked as a model... I presume I would look fine in either one, but would be happy to hear your opinion!
     
  2. mbt22

    mbt22 Member

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    May 14, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    Relax! You don't say what you're going to be doing at Oxford - undergraduate/graduate/post-doc/fellowship. Certainly at the other place (Cambridge), probably 90%+ of dinner suits were cheap (<£200) high street or charity shop for staff and students alike. Certainly for undergraduates, an expensive dinner suit will probably be wrecked by the end of a degree.

    Where are you going to be dining in black tie twice a week? If you're thinking about 'formal hall', they are normally lounge suit and gown at most.

    Matt
     
  3. charlie1234

    charlie1234 Active Member

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    Hello,

    I was told by a friend who graduated last year (St. Johns, I'm going to St. Edmund Hall) that I was supposed to wear black tie with gown at formal hall. If that is not true, please advise.

    I still need a dinner suit as I am going to three different Gala's/balls, and a formal New Years Eve party in Germany next year.

    I purchased the Hugo Boss one and sent it back. It was rubbish. Very very bad material, my tailor was insisting it was fake.

    I'm thinking about trying suitsupply, and getting the vents closed by my tailor.

    Any other places to try?

    Thanks!
     
  4. facet

    facet Senior member

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    I do have one of Benjamin's Granoro suits and I have been extremely happy with it; from a price point perspective, I wouldn't give it a second thought.

    I couldn't give you an opinion either way with respect to shawl vs peak lapels as I think both can look very nice when done correctly.
     
  5. mbt22

    mbt22 Member

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    Formal hall is optional, and just gowns if you go I believe. Email or ring the college to check, they're all pretty helpful. Again, the vast majority of dinner suits will be sub $300. Formal hall is not fine dining, it's friends having a meal or a group blind date. Usually with drinking games.
     
  6. charlie1234

    charlie1234 Active Member

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    Jun 20, 2013
    Hello,

    Thank you for the advice on formal hall! I have contacted my college and learned my friend was either pulling my leg or confused. My welcome packet still suggests "a nice suit and/or dinner suit" as an item to bring to uni. I still have the party in Germany and would rather not rent.

    I have purchased the JCrew "Ludlow Tuxedo" with a shawl collar. If it fits/looks decent I can get my tailor to rip off the flap pockets, close the vents, and put on covered buttons.

    Cheers!
     
  7. charlie1234

    charlie1234 Active Member

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    Hello,

    So I have gotten the Ludlow dinner suit in midnight blue. The silk lapel facings are also midnight blue. It is very hard to tell, as it looks 100% black in the light. I feel it might look odd with a black tie though. Should I return it, and just get a black one? I was under the impression that with a midnight blue dinner jacket that the lapels were supposed to be black silk not blue silk...

    Thank you!
     
  8. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Either one is "correct'. Really, just a matter of preference
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2013
  9. charlie1234

    charlie1234 Active Member

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    Ok, brilliant, thank-you. In that cast though should I try to find a bowtie that is also midnight blue, or would black be acceptable? Same for the cummerbund.
     
  10. dopey

    dopey Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    There is a certain kind of person that gets their tie and cummerbund made of the same silk as the facing. That isn't me. My DJ is MB and the facings are a midnight silk in a sort of wave pattern. I generally use a midnight grosgrain tie, but sometimes use a midnight satin or black satin. In other words, it doesn't make that much difference to me. It does seem to me that mis-matched shades work better in grosgrain than satin silk, so if you don't find a satin midnight bow that you like, maybe try black grosgrain before black satin.
    I ignored the cummerbund for two reasons. First, I have always worn a white satin cummerbund, primarily because I like it and have been wearing the same one for more than 25 years. And second, I recently switched to a DB DJ, so I don't wear one anymore. But I suggest that if you can't find a good midnight satin match, wear grosgrain black for both the bow and the cummerbund. Keep in mind, though, that is just a suggestion -- any black or midnight version will be ok and while it would be helpful to have the accessories match each other if they don't match the DJ, even that is not critical.
     
  11. comrade

    comrade Senior member

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    I recommend a vest instead of a cummerbund.
     
  12. charlie1234

    charlie1234 Active Member

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    I do prefer waistcoats usually, but I feel with a shawl collar cummerbunds look better. I would get a waistcoat if it was a point lapel!
     
  13. Ich_Dien

    Ich_Dien Senior member

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    Best to make the waistcoat backless as well for the heat.
     
  14. Eustace Tilley

    Eustace Tilley Senior member

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    Backless sounds great in theory, but is really not that practical. Despite what the 'rules' say, it's often inevitable that the coat comes off over the course of the night. A backless vest looks poor by itself, with the wrinkled shirt bunched in the back. Frankly, a light ermazine in the back doesn't make the vest much hotter anyway.
     
  15. charlie1234

    charlie1234 Active Member

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    I'm assuming it was sarcasm as he dislikes cummerbunds.
     
  16. Ich_Dien

    Ich_Dien Senior member

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    You're not allowed to take your jacket off in formal hall or the majority of things for that matter unless a private event...and through my experience I'd definitely go backless if I had to do it all again. With your gown on the heat builds up - don't get a 1st in your first year then you don't have to bother with a bigger gown at formal hall afterward!
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2013
  17. Eustace Tilley

    Eustace Tilley Senior member

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    If he's spending a considerable sum of money, the intention should be to make the garment as versatile as possible. While formal halls at Oxford may frown upon the coat-less look, I imagine the OP would like to use his black-tie rig at private functions as well. A lined vest is far more versatile than the backless version.

    While some may pooh-pooh the idea of ever discarding the coat (against the rules, poor manners etc.), in practical terms, it's inevitable (especially over the course of a long night / event).
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2013
  18. Grammaton Cleric

    Grammaton Cleric Senior member

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    +1
     
  19. charlie1234

    charlie1234 Active Member

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    I have another question about the midnight/navy dinner suit.

    It has plastic buttons I want to replace with satin covered ones, but I can't find midnight/navy satin covered buttons.. does anyone know a place?

    Or do you think black covered buttons would "pop" too much, I'm thinking it would... in which case I might have to send the dinner jacket back and order a black one!
     
  20. Dempsy444

    Dempsy444 Senior member

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    I've never cared for shawl myself. I prefer a peak lapel. Ralph Lauren black label makes a nice tux for about $2K as does Canali. I'm not sure if either is fused. Maybe you could get either on sale.
     

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