• STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

In a bit of a strange spot for a "black tie" wedding

sunny16

Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
So I'm going to a summer wedding and the invite says "Black Tie," but the bride says most won't be wearing tuxes, and that blue would be alright.

My girlfriend, however, is hung up on the words "Black Tie," and is clearly picturing a black suit with a black tie in her head, because she gets wary whenever I suggest choices that stray too far from that (i.e. a lighter-colored suit, or a patterned tie). I would like to avoid buying or wearing a non-tux black suit.

So here's my question. Could I wear a navy grenadine with a dark navy suit, even if the shades are slightly different? Thinking of pairing with a white linen pocket square and white twill or nailhead weave dress shirt.

I'm in love with SuitSupply's "Navy" (dark navy) Lazio, and Sam Hober's Midnight Blue Grenadine Grosso, and I'd really like an excuse to buy them.

I win because I get to buy a great suit and tie, and my girlfriend wins because I stay fairly monochromatic. What do you think?
 

HansderHund

Distinguished Member
Staff member
Spamminator Moderator
Joined
Mar 8, 2011
Messages
4,315
Reaction score
15,416
Maybe I'm missing something, but couldn't you just wear a tuxedo? Is the issue that you don't have one and don't want to buy one?

I ask because the invitation specifically states "black tie." Whether others adhere to that, the couple has asked that guests wear semi-formal attire and it would be rude to outright ignore that. Since you already asked the bride and she said "most" won't be wearing a tuxedo, maybe call her again and ask her what she specifically means by "black tie?"

It's entirely possible that in 2018 that many are unfamiliar with terms, especially if they aren't accustomed to specifying a dress code for an event they are hosting. If the couple simply means "wear a suit, not your business casual clothing," then a suit would be perfectly fine.

I suppose I'm also unsure what say your girlfriend has in the matter? I understand that many people either rely on or heavily consider their significant other's opinion on clothing, but it sounds like you know what you want (and don't want, for that matter).

If it were me, I would reach out to the couple and ask them to explain what their dress code is specifically. If they say they want guests to wear a suit, I'd wear an appropriate suit (what you describe sounds fine, in that case). If they want black tie, I'd wear a tuxedo. I wouldn't choose a black suit simply because I don't wear black suits and it's not really a dress code for any situation that I know. It would be incredibly odd for a host to specify guests wear a suit of any specific color. Black tie denotes a formality of the event, it's not a color that all guests wear.

Hope that helps.
 

sunny16

Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Hey, thanks for the reply!

Yeah, the main issue is that it's hard to justify buying a tux. I'm just not sure how many times I'll ever wear it again.

The bride has given somewhat frustrating answers: "Some guys will have tuxes, but if you don't have a tux, a black suit is fine too, or a dark blue suit."

She seems to think "Black Tie" means "Black Suit."

Are there some classy, formal looking tie options that you would suggest pairing with a dark navy suit?
 

marker2037

Distinguished Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2017
Messages
1,747
Reaction score
4,471
Go check on the Hober options to see what he has for weddings, but the grenadine sounds fine to me.
 

Newcomer

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
8,260
Reaction score
17,486
If the invite says black tie, that obviously means a tuxedo, i.e., not a black tie and a suit. For what it is worth, I have been to numerous black tie weddings, and with the exception of one, the vast majority of people wore proper black tie. I guess I would err on the side of caution and do the same. In my experience, if people see black tie, or black tie preferred - as opposed to black tie optional - people will rent.

If you are indeed comfortable that the majority of persons in attendance are not wearing black tie, I would just stick with a dark suit, white shirt, and dark, conservative tie.
 

HansderHund

Distinguished Member
Staff member
Spamminator Moderator
Joined
Mar 8, 2011
Messages
4,315
Reaction score
15,416
Hey, thanks for the reply!

Yeah, the main issue is that it's hard to justify buying a tux. I'm just not sure how many times I'll ever wear it again.

The bride has given somewhat frustrating answers: "Some guys will have tuxes, but if you don't have a tux, a black suit is fine too, or a dark blue suit."

She seems to think "Black Tie" means "Black Suit."

Are there some classy, formal looking tie options that you would suggest pairing with a dark navy suit?
I agree with @Newcomer in that the invitation states "black tie" and that should really be the only option. I'll say that I've been to (and in) weddings where, for example, the stipulation is that all of the groomsmen rent the same tuxedo from the same place. While I think this is silly, I would still go along with it rather than refuse. Likewise, if I'm told to wear black tie, I wear black tie.

I'm not trying to be difficult, or telling you to run out and spend a huge amount of money. I just feel that if an invitation is offered and dress code is specified, it would be rude of me to ignore it. That would also go for other events such as themed balls or costume parties. It's just good form to follow the host's invitation.

Though I wouldn't do it, yes, of course there are more "somber" ties compared to others. Black/navy grenadine comes to mind. There isn't, unfortunately, a magical way to elevate a suit into a more formal tuxedo. There was a thread a few years ago about "black tie casual experiments," but it wouldn't be anything that would be close to want you want or appropriate.

Sorry I don't have better suggestions, but to me the decision is "tuxedo" or "whatever the hell you want and pretend it's black tie." If you and the couple are fine with this arrangement, grey/navy suit, white shirt, navy or black grenadine tie, white linen pocket square (optional), black cap toes. Everything neat, tailored and shined.
 

sunny16

Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Yeah, I feel what you guys are saying. Any recommendations for a tux rental? Or is the price generally high enough that if I'm going to wear it more than twice, I should just buy?
 

Newcomer

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
8,260
Reaction score
17,486
On this forum, I find that people often underestimate the costs associated with purchasing a tuxedo. Sure, the tuxedo may be a few hundred, but you also need a shirt, studs, bow, waist covering, proper braces, cufflinks, socks, shoes, etc. To that end, with the average cost of a rental being about $100-150, you will need to get about 5-10 wears before you have recouped your cost.

However, there is no good tuxedo rental - and truly, a rental will always look like hell. So, in terms of aesthetics, your own tuxedo vastly outkicks anything you are going to rent. If you are as persnickety as I am, you will probably want to buy one.

Personally, I spent a pretty penny on my tuxedo, and although I have only got a few wears out of it so far, I will say that it is worth it.
 

HansderHund

Distinguished Member
Staff member
Spamminator Moderator
Joined
Mar 8, 2011
Messages
4,315
Reaction score
15,416
Yeah, I feel what you guys are saying. Any recommendations for a tux rental? Or is the price generally high enough that if I'm going to wear it more than twice, I should just buy?
Sorry, I really don't mean to be difficult in the matter because I understand your situation. In the end, you can decide how comfortable you feel with whatever direction you choose. I would just advise you to think twice before buying a black suit. It sounds like you are going to avoid that at any cost.

I can't help you for rental prices as I don't live in the US. I couldn't even tell you about rental prices here, to be honest. I would imagine that yes, while the fit may not be great (it rarely is for rentals), as a one-off cost, it would in all likelihood be cheaper than buying everything. If you were to wear a tuxedo a few times in the future, then of course it would eventually pay for itself. If you're not ready to invest in it right now, which is also understandable, then you could get away with a rental for one evening.

I can't vouch for this, it was the cheapest thing I could quickly find:

https://www.menswearhouse.com/mens-clothes/formalwear/tuxedos/joseph-abboud-black-modern-fit-tuxedo-33T133T210

That is $350 and limited on sizes, but it is a start as for pricing.

As @Newcomer stated, though, it's important to know how much needs to go along with a tuxedo when you're buying.
 

HansderHund

Distinguished Member
Staff member
Spamminator Moderator
Joined
Mar 8, 2011
Messages
4,315
Reaction score
15,416
On this forum, I find that people often underestimate the costs associated with purchasing a tuxedo. Sure, the tuxedo may be a few hundred, but you also need a shirt, studs, bow, waist covering, proper braces, cufflinks, socks, shoes, etc. To that end, with the average cost of a rental being about $100-150, you will need to get about 5-10 wears before you have recouped your cost.

However, there is no good tuxedo rental - and truly, a rental will always look like hell. So, in terms of aesthetics, your own tuxedo vastly outkicks anything you are going to rent. If you are as persnickety as I am, you will probably want to buy one.

Personally, I spent a pretty penny on my tuxedo, and although I have only got a few wears out of it so far, I will say that it is worth it.
I agree with this 100%. I'd also add that SF will also tend to encourage buying a tuxedo rather than renting, for a number of reasons. I've read that many times over the years.

I'd just offer with the possibly blasphemous advice that it may not be a great investment for many. For a lot of people, they won't find themselves needing a tuxedo ever again. In that case, a rental, even a poorly-fitting rental, would be more economical. If you consider the fact that it's just something to wear for one night and, assuming you're only a guest, not many people will notice nor care. It would be a waste to spend huge amounts of money on something you'll wear as a guest for mere hours (my opinion).
 

Newcomer

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
8,260
Reaction score
17,486
Pretty much what has been said.

I'll also say this - in the grand scheme of things, a rental is not that much of a sin.

Here, side-by-side, is an inexpensive rental tuxedo ($125.00) and a bespoke tuxedo.

Molly&JoshWeb-56.jpg
 

Ambulance Chaser

Stylish Dinosaur
Joined
Mar 7, 2002
Messages
11,537
Reaction score
3,792
I'm going to offer a contrary opinion: If you're not in the wedding party and do not feel like buying or renting a tuxedo, you are okay with wearing a dark suit to a black-tie wedding. I guarantee you that the couple getting married will not kick you out of the ceremony or reception just because you are not adhering to their desired dress code. If they do . . . well, their wedding wasn't worth attending anyways.
 

Newcomer

Distinguished Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2009
Messages
8,260
Reaction score
17,486
I'm going to offer a contrary opinion: If you're not in the wedding party and do not feel like buying or renting a tuxedo, you are okay with wearing a dark suit to a black-tie wedding. I guarantee you that the couple getting married will not kick you out of the ceremony or reception just because you are not adhering to their desired dress code. If they do . . . well, their wedding wasn't worth attending anyways.
I think it depends on the wedding, and the crowd. I have been to a few black tie weddings where I would have felt extremely out of place sans black tie. However, this does not appear to be one of those situations, so I agree with your position.
 

sunny16

Member
Joined
Mar 27, 2018
Messages
5
Reaction score
0
Oof. SuitSupply's got a Midnight Blue tux that's stupidly cool. Maybe I should just find a job where I'm invited to galas?

Anybody have any experience with theblacktux.com? Thinking that might be my best option right now. Also, thoughts on polishing the hell out of my black dress shoes (allen edmonds) vs. rental pumps?

Again, thanks to everybody for all these helpful replies, this is probably the warmest reception I've ever gotten as a noob to a forum. Great stuff.
 

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Featured Sponsor

How did Covid-19 impact your personal style?

  • My style hasn't changed at all.

  • My wardrobe hasn't changed but I am wearing casual clothes more often.

  • I invested in new good quality leisure and casual clothes.

  • I invested in new sartorial clothes taking advantage of the sales.

  • I purged my closet during quarantine and I have nothing left to wear.


Results are only viewable after voting.

Related Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
445,189
Messages
9,622,537
Members
201,122
Latest member
Berghaniti
Top