Levels of formality

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Claghorn, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    To qualify, it has to be an outfit regularly worn in a professional setting* without setting off alarm bells for sloppiness with the majority of colleagues (at the minimum end).


    -tailed evening coat

    -tuxedo, other evening wear, funeral wear, conservative wedding attire

    -CBD

    -Suit with more pronounced quirks (louder shirts and patterns and the like)

    -Blazer, tie, slacks (from this point down, like it or not, "dress" loafers probably come into play and place the outfit lower)

    -Odd jacket, tie, slacks

    -Odd jacket/blazer, tie, chinos

    -shawl collared cardigan, tie, slacks (chinos/loafers drop it)

    -other cardigans, tie, slacks (chinos/loafers drop it)

    -No coat, tie, slacks (it happens, especially in warmer climates) (chinos/loafers drop it)

    -shirt, slacks (chinos/loafers drop it)


    Shifts, errors or oversights?


    I'm sort of curious as to where both MC Casual and SW&D fall in the list. There is probably some overlap, though I imagine most of the SW&D don't qualify. The thought occurred when sugarbutch stated that t-shirts don't have a place on the MC Casual thread (which might have more to do with giving something the viewer can take away than level of formality)


    *Probably not IT firms though. Anything seems to go there (not that there is anything wrong with that). I have a few friends who work at one of the three largest web hosting companies in the US; one wore a chipmunk costume for casual Friday or some such a few months back...and he is not on the tech side of things.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012
  2. Quadcammer

    Quadcammer Senior member

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    is this a definitive list, are you asking if its correct, or what are you looking for here?
     
  3. Nicola

    Nicola Senior member

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    Unless you are a musician or similar what professional setting is this suitable?

    State affair full formal wear could be argued is work wear for an ambassador etc
     
  4. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    That's what I meant by "at the minimum end." The minimum amount of formality to not raise eyebrows. Clearly wearing tails to a board meeting would not be ok. But very funny.

    And I'm not quite sure what I'm looking for, to be honest. Other people's opinions? I was just thinking about this on the train home, and after spending 10 minutes searching SF for something similar (due diligence), I made the thread.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012
  5. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    There is no such thing as "tuxedo with tails", wherever did you get that notion?

    There is 'black tie' commonly known as evening dress in the UK or tuxedo an Americanism or there is 'White tie'. That is a tailed evening coat with white waist coat and bow tie.
     
  6. jeff13007

    jeff13007 Senior member

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    It really depends on country/region you are in but the basic dress code would be

    Formal/White tie or a morning suit if its in the daytime

    Semi Formal/Black tie

    Infromal/Business attire

    Then you go into the grey area dress codes which are

    Cocktail attire

    Smart casual

    Business casual

    casual

    Btw these are what the strict definitions of definitions or the dress codes are, In reality though if someone were to write down formal you should probably expect to see a range from Black tie all they way too a blazer, button down gingham shirt with "hip" sneakers, and jeans, especially here in the united states i assume countries like the UK, France, and Japan would follow more closely the strict dress codes
     
  7. Cantabrigian

    Cantabrigian Senior member

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    I'm not sure there's much difference between cardigan and shawl collared cardigan in terms of formality.

    Is this a question of the minimum acceptable where we work?

    Also not sure I'd lump tux w/ funeral attire. But then again I don't know what you're saying / asking.
     
  8. mymil

    mymil Senior member

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    I disagree, I think shawl collar cardigans are more casual. The more ornate the knit, the chunkier the knit, and the fuzzier the finish, the more casual a sweater seems to me. Still, it's just a cardigan---so at its most formal, it's still only "smart casual" or something.

    OP: You would've liked Practical Thoughts on Coherent Combinations for Beginners. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012
  9. landshark

    landshark Senior member

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    These are the traditional levels of formality:

    Formal: White tie rig
    Semi Formal: Black Tie
    Informal: Business/Lounge Suit
    Business Casual: Blazer/Sportcoat and odd trousers.
    Casual: No jacket required, variety of trouser and shirt options

    Of course these days there are other degrees of formality between these options, e.g. "smart casual", "cocktail attire", etc.

    And within in each degree there are smaller distinctions depending on your type of tie, whether or not you wear one, your shoes, your shirt color/pattern, color of your jewlery (i.e. silver or gold belt buckle, watch frame/face, rings, cufflinks, tie bars, etc.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012
  10. Cantabrigian

    Cantabrigian Senior member

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    That's what I was getting at - there isn't any situation where a shawl collar cardigan is too informal but a non-shawl is fine. Or where a non-shawl is too dressy but a shawl is good.

    It's a casual look. If you wear a tie with it, it's ironic casual but still casual.
     
  11. Claghorn

    Claghorn Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Looked for it. Some interesting reads a long the way, but no luck finding that particular one. But that's not really what I'm after here. I'm curious as to what one person considers more formal than some other item of clothing.

    I'm not quite sure when wearing a tie outside of a suit or jacket became ironic. It might be unusual, but to describe it as ironic (if you are using it in the "hipster" sense of the word) is lost on me. I've heard this view espoused several times now, so there's gotta be something behind it.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012
  12. mymil

    mymil Senior member

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    I dunno, I kind of like cardigan+tie. I think it can work in situations where wearing an odd jacket would make you seem over-dressed.
     
  13. Cantabrigian

    Cantabrigian Senior member

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    I'm not a big believer in the casual tie thing. It's aloof for someone trying to sell you clothes / a lifestyle.

    So, for me, if I'm wearing, an SC or a suit also makes sense.



    It's not a great look. Or it'd always look much better with a jacket - whether suit or SC. So when people under 55 dress like that, it's usually in full realization that it looks bad. The irony being that you don't expect people to wear things with the intention of looking bad.
     
  14. Patek

    Patek Senior member

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    I love wearing a red woven tie with a white shirt, jeans, and my snuff suede bomber jacket. It just pops and is great for an evening of bar hoping. It shows casualness but you are not the douche bag in cargo shorts and a popped polo collar and flip flops.
     
  15. Mute

    Mute Senior member

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    If a sport coat seems overdressed, I don't see why you would even consider a tie. Why bother?
     

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