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Dinner Suit - Opinions for a new member

wavey.dave

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Hello

I've been lurking in the forum for a while, and I've been overwhelmed by how knowledgeable a lot of you guys are (and by the same token, just how much I *didn't* know about style).

I've recently started subtly changing my wardrobe, having pretty much spent the better part of my 36 years on earth in jeans and trainers (sneakers). Its a slow process (which has been slowed further by my wife's recent shopping spree in Milan, but that's a different matter!).

Anyway, to the point of my first SF post (which starts with something I'm sure you guys have heard a lot!!).

I'm going on a cruise in about 6 weeks, and I need to sort out a dinner suit. Previously I rented one, but the fit etc was mostly poor. This time I wanted to buy one, but I don't have the time (or money as explained in paragraph 2 above) to go bespoke. I'm also currently losing a bit of weight (got another 18 pounds to get to my target), so this also adds to my reluctance to spend too much (otherwise I'll need to get it altered again, which seems pointless for a recently MtM or bespoke item).

This pretty much leaves me with OTR as my only choice. I'll only wear the dinner suit on the cruise for the time being. As a result, I had in mind the TM Lewin Mayfair (HERE), I know its not a patch on what most of you guys would go for, but its a tide me over.

Anyway (finally getting to the point), I've been reading the Black Tie Guide, and it mentions things like wearing braces (suspenders in American parlance), a pocket square etc. I quite like the idea of being a bit more dressy. However, due to the cheap nature of my dinner suit, would this make me appear pretentious? Should I really try to keep it minimalistic so as not to draw attention to myself (not that I'm a show off anyway - I've always lacked a bit confidence and tried to blend in, but reading this forum has inspired me!).

Apologies for the (much longer than I had intended) post, and if you managed to get this far, thanks for reading.
 

dragon8

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Originally Posted by wavey.dave
Hello

I've been lurking in the forum for a while, and I've been overwhelmed by how knowledgeable a lot of you guys are (and by the same token, just how much I *didn't* know about style).

I've recently started subtly changing my wardrobe, having pretty much spent the better part of my 36 years on earth in jeans and trainers (sneakers). Its a slow process (which has been slowed further by my wife's recent shopping spree in Milan, but that's a different matter!).

Anyway, to the point of my first SF post (which starts with something I'm sure you guys have heard a lot!!).

I'm going on a cruise in about 6 weeks, and I need to sort out a dinner suit. Previously I rented one, but the fit etc was mostly poor. This time I wanted to buy one, but I don't have the time (or money as explained in paragraph 2 above) to go bespoke. I'm also currently losing a bit of weight (got another 18 pounds to get to my target), so this also adds to my reluctance to spend too much (otherwise I'll need to get it altered again, which seems pointless for a recently MtM or bespoke item).

This pretty much leaves me with OTR as my only choice. I'll only wear the dinner suit on the cruise for the time being. As a result, I had in mind the TM Lewin Mayfair (HERE), I know its not a patch on what most of you guys would go for, but its a tide me over.

Anyway (finally getting to the point), I've been reading the Black Tie Guide, and it mentions things like wearing braces (suspenders in American parlance), a pocket square etc. I quite like the idea of being a bit more dressy. However, due to the cheap nature of my dinner suit, would this make me appear pretentious? Should I really try to keep it minimalistic so as not to draw attention to myself (not that I'm a show off anyway - I've always lacked a bit confidence and tried to blend in, but reading this forum has inspired me!).

Apologies for the (much longer than I had intended) post, and if you managed to get this far, thanks for reading.



Well I'd still rent since you have some weight to lose. No need to spend a few hundred when you can rent.

If you defintely want to buy one i'd go to Jos Banks since they usually have them on sale for $199.

Congrats on the weight loss!!!
 

a tailor

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as per usual you are waiting till the last minute to consider this as most guys do.
first you are losing weight. that kaboshes having one made. theres no time anyway.
go ahead and rent your tux for now.
when you have lost the amount of weight you ar aiming for, have a proper one made.
but i bet you will wait till the last minute again.
 

Michael Ay329

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Skip the pocket square

The picture you linked looks sufficient. Simple one button Peak lapel black dinner suit

My colleague also went on a cruise last year, bought, not rented his suit (at the last minute with alterations made a few days before he left on the cruise)...and he's happy he bought one...not rented

It does not look like your future will require the use of a dinner jacket often...so I would invest wisely in the OTR model that fits your body and wallet best...dont' bespeak it at this point in your life (even when you get back from the cruise)
 

wavey.dave

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Many thanks for your replies, its much appreciated. Just to clarify, the reason I've left it late is because I've been losing weight, and I'd kind of hoped I'd be nearer my ideal by now so that I could consider MtM or bespoke. Unfortunately I didn't get as low (thanks to Christmas!) as I'd hoped. After some pretty time consuming googling, I came across THIS. Its a 1970s bespoke jacket that's in immaculate condition (according to the seller). I'd need to team it up with some new trousers. What would be the opinion of the members on here - is it decent (only thing I'm not sure of is the brocaderie on the lapels). Its almost perfect measurements for me (on paper at least, but there's a full return, and its only £35). As I'm quite new to this, I don't really know something decent from something poor. Thanks for your help.
 

dragon8

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I'd pass on it. It looks dated to me.
 

TimelesStyle

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While you don't have time for MTM, nor do you want to do that till you reach your final weight, I don't think that 18lbs is more than you can adjust for with tailoring later, especially if it's all right around the waist/seat.

I would definitely buy, since a rental for the whole week will cost you more, given what some retailers charge. Are you in the States or the UK (wasn't sure since you quoted a price in GBP)? If here, Jos. Bank will do (may need some tailoring and removal of pocket flaps). In the UK, both TM Lewin and Charles Tyrwhitt have dinner suits on their respective websites for under GBP 300.
 

Michael Ay329

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Savvy Row sells solid vintage dinner jackets (as linked)

Grab the opportunity and see how it fits as the jacket looks good
 

NORE

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Get the suit in your original post. They accept returns. You should also be able to tell the area the final weight loss will most likely come from and can get the suit tailored accordingly. It may give you a further push to reach your goal.

When the suit arrives, try it on and you should be able to tell immediately whether to keep it and get it tailored or not.
 

Merlino

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There are a few things concerning the linked vintage jacket that caught my eyes:

-it has notch lapels. Now I appreciate that a lot of dinner jackets these days come with notch lapels, but they SHOULD have peak lapels.
-its pockets have flaps. A dinner jacket's pockets shouldn't.
-Its fastening button isn't covered by fabric like it should.

I'd pass and buy the suit in the OP, if only because of TimelessStyle's remark about renting for a week being more expensive than buying. At least it would be around here.
 

Matt S

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Originally Posted by Merlino
-Its fastening button isn't covered by fabric like it should.

Covered buttons aren't necessary on a dinner jacket. As long as the buttons are black anything is fine.
 

cptjeff

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Originally Posted by Merlino
There are a few things concerning the linked vintage jacket that caught my eyes:

-it has notch lapels. Now I appreciate that a lot of dinner jackets these days come with notch lapels, but they SHOULD have peak lapels.
-its pockets have flaps. A dinner jacket's pockets shouldn't.
-Its fastening button isn't covered by fabric like it should.

I'd pass and buy the suit in the OP, if only because of TimelessStyle's remark about renting for a week being more expensive than buying. At least it would be around here.


Historically there's no rule on the lapel. All three lapel types were commonly found on traditional tuxes. The 'rule' is a modern invention in reaction to 'tuxes' cut from suit patterns. But a notch lapel tux that's actually cut like a tux is fine.

Pockets you're right on. Flaps add bulk and detract from the line. Not to mention they came about as a practical innovation to keep water out of pockets- and the practical innovations in suiting that help to deal with weather and the outdoors are not appropriate for tuxedos.

Buttons, eh, doesn't matter.

All that said, the jacket posted is very, very dated. It's quite 70's, and in formalwear, that is a very, very, very bad thing.

Jos A. Bank would be your best bet. Single breasted, single button, peak lapel will never be out of place. Shawl collar works too. And as is obligatory in these threads, you need to check out http://blacktieguide.com
 

Tano

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Some tips:
Black /Midnight Blue Colour
Single breasted ,single button ventless jacket
Grosgrain satin Peak Lapels
Waistcoat should be low-cut with only 3 or 4 buttons or wear a satin cummerbund
Pants with grosgrain stripe or braid and flat front or forward pleats
White Tux Shirt with double cuffs and a turn-down collar
Black Bowtie
 

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