Formal Event wear

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by shoreman1782, Dec 6, 2004.

  1. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    The patent leather laceup is a terrific choice, albeit difficult to find (a pair of), especially at discount. Opera pumps with bows makes you look like, well, a guy who would wear shoes with a bow. A sleek, high sheen calfskin laceup is an infinitely better choice.
     


  2. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    I'm with you in that I would never wear business shoes myself (and certainly not wing tips).  But a lot of purists hate patent leather.  Nobody makes a plain black calf shoe without a cap, meant for evening wear.  At least I think no one does.  Maybe EG does. Anyway, if you hate patent leather, and think pumps are silly, then you're left with highly polished plain black caps.  Not my preference, but not an abomination either.
     


  3. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Senior member

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    Originally Posted by zjpj83,06 Dec. 2004, 2:02
    Manton, I'm afraid I disagree. I think formal shoes are indeed essential. Â I know every expert says otherwise, and that you can wear a plain black calfskin shoe with a tuxedo, I disagree. Â I think it looks extremely silly. Â Not to mention the number of times I've seen wingtips and the like. Â If you are going to go to all the trouble of buying one or more tuxedos, buy tuxedo shoes - either patent leather lace-ups or opera pumps with bows. Â Also, don't forget teh correct hosiery - extremely thin silk hose. Â I think anything less completely ruins the outfit. Â When the experts are telling you that you can "get away" with wearing plain black calf lace-ups, that says it all: it looks like you are trying to get away with something. Â The outfit is incomplete. Â Just my opinion, of course.
    I'm with you in that I would never wear business shoes myself (and certainly not wing tips). Â But a lot of purists hate patent leather. Â Nobody makes a plain black calf shoe without a cap, meant for evening wear. Â At least I think no one does. Â Maybe EG does. Anyway, if you hate patent leather, and think pumps are silly, then you're left with highly polished plain black caps. Â Not my preference, but not an abomination either.
    Alden makes a nice alternative. Â I think the black calfskin would look perfectly fine with a tuxedo if given a good shine.
     


  4. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Don't go with a captoe. While caps seem to be the norm for the more conservative brands bandied about here, the norm in the "fashion" brands (perhaps because they were not intended for business dress) are plaintoes. I wear a pair of high shine Pradas with a sort of chisel toe personally, but that's just me. Gotten loads of compliments on them too. The high shine and lack of ornamentation is key.
     


  5. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    Really? Â I have never looked at said archives, so this is news to me. Â By back vent, do you mean center vent? All of the Apparel Arts drawings that I have seen show dinner jackets with no pocket flaps. Â Similarly, the old Esquire captions throw cold water on center vents. Â For my money, those are about the two most authoritative sources that exist. Besides, Harvard kids were known for flagrant violations and outrageous get-ups, like highland plaid dinner jackets and evening shirts with button-down collars. Â You wouldn't countenence that, would you?
     


  6. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    Plain-toes are traditional, and to be preferred, in my opinion.  I would not wear caps either.

    Nonetheless, C&J sells a black patent cap-toe for evening wear, and they can hardly be considered avant guarde.  Are they just out of it?  Caving in to the American market?
     


  7. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    That's what I meant. And apart from the archives, all I've got to go on is what the old guys from the Andover shop (ahem) and J. Press, which has been around since 1918, told me (although they too now sell notch lapel versions). I'll ask to look at the old J. Press catalogues next time I drop by (very seldomly do I do so.) The design doesn't surprise me though. I could easily see old New Englanders giving the fancy lads at Esquire and in NYC the middle finger, in a strange (strange becuase the situations are somewhat reversed) way not unlike how traditionalists here decry flashy Italian designers over good traditional makers and customs.
     


  8. zjpj83

    zjpj83 Senior member

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    LA Guy, why does the Andover Shop make you "ahem"?
     


  9. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    If you look back at old posts, you'll see that I had rather a rather unpleasant experience with them, that one of their clients (?) came to their defense, lines were drawn, and pistols (nearly) so.
     


  10. ViroBono

    ViroBono Senior member

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    Proper evening footwear is really de rigeur, but it is acceptable for the young or impecunious to wear good quality black non-capped shoes which have been highly polished. Cummerbunds should invariably be black, as should waistcoats. The exceptions are tartan cummerbund on Burns' Night, or specific military items worn by those entitled to them. Anything else is rather vulgar. A suggestion for shoes - I have noticed that American servicemen are allowed to wear patent shoes for some reason (aren't they taught to polish shoes properly?). These are the sort of thing: shoes
     


  11. zjpj83

    zjpj83 Senior member

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    Oh, haha, ok, I'm not getting involved [​IMG] I'm an old Andover alum myself, so I spent a fair amount of time there when I was in school. I generally found the people in shop pleasant but I know some of my friends felt uncomfortable, like they were being looked over whenever they walked in.
     


  12. zjpj83

    zjpj83 Senior member

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    I don't like their being and optional part of the uniform either. The decision to add these to the uniform was made in the late 70s, early 80s, when there was no longer a draft, and the Army wasn't in such great shape. Adding these was just one other way to make things a little easier, trying to provide an incentive to join.
     


  13. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    sorry,

    I wouldn't advise to go out and get a pair of evening shoes. highly polished black lace plain toes are fine. I don't have evening shoes myself, and if I do get some in the near future, I think that it is more likely that I will get some velvet slippers.

    I think that is is perfectly acceptable for an american in his early twenties to wear business shoes with his evening clothes.


    another interesting take on this - I remember reading years ago somebody writting that he wore a regular white business shirt and black business shoes with his tux, because he felt it made him look like he wasn't overly excited to be there, that he did this kind of thing so often that he couldn't be bothered to carry around a stud shirt and patent leather shoes. I found that an interesting take.
     


  14. shoreman1782

    shoreman1782 Senior member

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    Thanks all, your discussion provides some good insight for me, the lowly first-time buyer. I still think it'll probably come down to what's available in store wherever I go, my budget doesn't allow for too much specificity of details. If it's between a cruddy tux at $300 or a black canali at $400, the suit will likely win. What're the odds of that, though? Any looks of approval or horror at this? I can probably get it for $400 if I act quick - which I probably won't. I'm sure it'll go back down to $400 after xmas. I like that it's "imported." Ha, from where?
     


  15. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    As far as the styling goes, it is just what the doctor ordered. Can't say about the construction, however.
     


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