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Feedback for my Dinner Jacket Ensemble

VitaminVater

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So I will be spending the next year at the University of Cambridge. There will be a couple black-tie events (mostly formals and dinners) related to my college and the scholarship I got, so I want to look my best for these. This the first tux I’m buying and will only buying once so I decided to go with black and as traditional as possible so I can wear it to multiple events.
Also, I would like to stick to styles most popular/common to the UK compared to the US. However I’m having trouble reconciling online advice on this so I would appreciate your feedback.
I don’t know if this has any bearing on style choice but I’m tall (~6’3”), average build, light-tan complexion, jet black hair, and slightly rounded face.

The stuff I still need some help on has question marks next to it.

Dinner Jacket Ensemble
1. Jacket
a. Color: black
b. Lapels: peaked
c. Facing: grosgrain?
d. Single-button
e. No vents
2. Trouser
a. No belt loops
b. Flat-front
3. Shirt
a. Collar: wing or turndown?
b. Bib: pique if wing collar, pleated if turndown?
c. Plackets: Which of these 4 styles is appropriate?
d. Sleeves: French Cuffs?
4. Tie
a. Style?
i. Butterfly
ii. Semi-butterfly* Would this one be best for me?
iii. Straight-end
iv. Pointed
5. Cummerbund or waistcoat?
6. Cufflinks- black
7. Suspenders
 
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chobochobo

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I don't know what it's like in Cambridge, but you'll probably be wearing subfusc or just normal suits to most dinners including High Table, rather than Black Tie.
 

VitaminVater

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I don't know what it's like in Cambridge, but you'll probably be wearing subfusc or just normal suits to most dinners including High Table, rather than Black Tie.
Well they specified black-tie on their events so I was going off of that. I'll look more into it!
 
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chobochobo

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Oh, I don't doubt there'll be Black tie events but I'm saying that some other events may require something else, so you may have to plan for that In the end subfusc is just a dark suit with a white bow tie and wing collar shirt.
 

VitaminVater

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Oh, I don't doubt there'll be Black tie events but I'm saying that some other events may require something else, so you may have to plan for that In the end subfusc is just a dark suit with a white bow tie and wing collar shirt.
Hmm I've got a charcoal suit, you think that'll do?

Also, any comments on my proposed dinner jacket ensemble?
 

chobochobo

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Your ensemble including all its options will be fine. No one will notice whatever variation you pick, seriously.
 

R.O. Thornhill

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Things may have changed in the decades since I was at Cambridge, but I doubt if for the better as far as the quality of formal wear - so ultimately Chobochobo's advice is correct - no one will care or notice

I would offer only two or three practical points of advice

1. At Cambridge you may well wear black tie more often than at any other time in your life (I wore mine at least weekly - but that was down to the various societies I was active in; others maybe wore one a couple of time per term) so it absolutely makes sense to buy one

2. But whatever you do, don't over-invest and think this will be your long-term dinner suit. Mine took such a beating that it was retired immediately after I left.

3. Keep it simple - turndown collar rather than wing (strictly speaking wing is for white tie in the U.K. and someone will comment), cummerbund not waistcoat, and so on

And have fun, Cambridge is a magical place

R-O-T
 

GBR

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At Cambridge it will be nigh essential to have evening dress. ignore comments from Hong Kong, our senior Universities, Cambridge, Oxford, Durham and one or two others it is expected. A dark lounge suit would not cut it, if you were not refused admission you would feel stupid. Chobochobo is absolutely wrong. NB I speak from experience:

So that said:

Your suggestions for the evening dress it self are fine, but


  1. no flaps to the pockets or having them picked out in silk or whatever, plain is the only way
  2. : plain is the only way. If you are having it made, think about the likely temperature at many functions and have a lighter weight cloth. Whilst a heavy barathea is perhaps more traditional, this is one aspect where some deviation is allowable. Few rooms are unheated these days.
  3. Think about pockets, you do not want to be taking a myriad things with you so restrict them to prevent temptation. the coat of an evening dress should appear entirely smooth without unsightly bulges,



  1. Turn down collar with black tie is traditional though that said you will see quite a few wing collars given the lack of understanding by many suppliers and indeed their customers.
  2. Bib style could be any you describe,
  3. Placket, either covered or the last style. You will see both but I do personally think that there is no hard and fast rule.


  1. Cummerbund NOT waist coat
  2. Shirt must have what Americans call 'French Cuffs'. Frequently people use black studs, I usually use a pair of gold cuff links that my late mother gave to me when I turned 21 (many years ago) which have huge sentimental value and even if some are offended I feel them to be appropriate at any formal occasion.
 
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chobochobo

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Excuse me, I didn't say that he didn't need a DJ. I simply said not all occasions call for a DJ and sometimes he'll need a suit or subfusc. And I do speak from experience also.
 

VitaminVater

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Thank you for the advice @GBR and @R.O. Thornhill ! (Likewise @chobochobo , I realized you meant I would need a dark suit as an additional piece to my wardrobe), especially about the fabric and the frequency of usage as it was something I had not wholly considered.

Glad to hear a cummerbund is recommended since I prefer them, is there a specific reason why these trump waistcoats?

I think I'll go with the Tuxedo front (plain) look for the plackets. For the bib, it doesn't matter if I go with the pique on the turndown collar? I had read it's better to match soft/hard fabrics and that turndown collars would match better with a soft pleated front. Is this all that strict? I kind of like the look of pique and would want to wear with a turndown collar.

Finally, considering what R.O. Thornhill mentioned, would it be better then to not stress about quality/longevity for this first DJ?
My initial budget was under $500 (for just the jacket+trousers) but it's getting hard to find high quality DJs at that price, additionally I was thinking of going all out when I eventually get my second DJ (midnight blue, shawl lapels).

When I was first searching, I found Indochino.com to be a worthwhile option since it stayed under my budget and could offer a DJ that wasn't some business suit rip-off. However, some threads on SF spoke highly against it so I discarded it as an option. Should I bring it back now that I perhaps shouldn't stress on its quality?
 
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