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Make me a Tuxedo!!

VKK3450

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Ok, so I am about to start a grad course during which there will be a number of events for which a Tux is required. I look at this as an opportunity to add one to my wardrobe as opposed to renting. This is compounded by the fact that I have just arrived in Hong Kong for a 3 week break with the rents before heading off to the UK.

So, the point is, Help Me Design My Tuxedo!!!

Color? Black, or is Midnight blue acceptable or even preferrable?
Lapels- Peak I assume? Grosgrain?
Buttons- 1, or is 2 acceptable?
Vents- I hear none, but I am a bit afraid of that
Trousers- Flat Front? Grosgrain Strips necessary? Cuffs? Belt loops or?
Buttons- Working sleeve buttons? Fabric Covered Buttons?
Pockets, anything specific?
Silhouette?
Vest? Cumberbund (eww)?
Can I do a fun lining on a Tux or would that be out of line?
Shirt? and what about the studs and stuff?
Can I skip the patent leather shoes if I do a high polished plain captoe?

I figure going forward I will require it about 3 odd times per year, so I am really looking for a very classic, timeless design which is going to go the distance. In suits, I prefer an English cut, fairly slim, some waist suppression. Would like to maintain a slim cut on the tux also.

I have no idea on formal wear (black tie, white tie, etc). Talk to me like an idiot.

Thanks in advance,

K
 

hopkins_student

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I'd go with black, unless I already had a black DJ in my closet.
Peak lapels with grosgrain facings.
1 Button
No vents.
You can go with flat front trousers if you'd like, I prefer pleats with jackets. You'll need a single grosgrain stripe down each side. No cuffs. No belt loops, just buttons for braces.
Working sleeve buttonholes are up to you. The buttons should be covered in the same fabric as the lapels (grosgrain).
Jetted pockets
Low cut, three button vest made of the same fabric as the jacket and trousers.
I hae a maroon lining in my tux.
Pique bib front with a medium spread collar. The shirt should not require a stud at the top but should require three on the chest.
Shoes are up to you. I got patent leather oxfords from Brooks Brothers for $280. They (were) advertised in the catalogue at this price, non-sale, but the store was charging around $450. I referred them to the catalogue and they gladly adjusted the price.
 

Jovan

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I've tried to compile most of the knowledge I've gained from here and myself for your convenience. Color - Midnight blue is classic and classy. The colour is deeper than black, and subtle in that it basically reflects blue light at certain angles. Go for it if you can. The only downside is it might appear simply navy blue in bright white light, but for dances it'll look just fine. I'd go for it. Lapels - Peak is also classic for a reason. Depending on your body type you may wish to ask your tailor to size them accordingly. I personally don't like the huge curvy ones, I'd avoid them. Shawl lapels are good on the right person. James Bond made them work well. Grosgrain is a fine choice if you like it, not many dinner suits I see now have them. Buttons - Always get one if going single breasted. If you decide you want double breasted, get 4x1 and have the buttons be normal horn instead of satin covered. Vents - None. Hopefully you won't do a whole lot of sitting down at these events anyways.
In the case you do, it's nothing unbuttoning the front can't fix. Trousers - Either flat front or pleated is fine. If you want pleats (which do come in handy) be sure they face forward. Side stripes are proper, and they should match your jacket's facings. (In the slim chance you get a white or cream dinner jacket, this doesn't matter.) No cuffs for formal wear, and absolutely no belt loops. Get button braces (suspenders) and buttons for them on the inside of the waistband. Buttons - Working sleeve buttons should be de rigeur when getting a suit tailored.
They should match the buttons on the front of your jacket. Pockets - A regular welted chest pocket, jetted lower pockets with no flaps. Not much to it. You can get a ticket pocket if you wish, but it's a bit superfluous. Silhouette - English cut is a great choice, especially since England is where the dinner suit originated.
Make sure it isn't too slim though. Vest/cummerbund - If you absolutely hate cummerbunds, get a vest. With a single button you can get a low cut vest (three buttons is a classic look). For double breasteds, a high cut vest can be added, but neither that or a cummerbund is necessary since a double breasted already fills your midsection. A fun lining is fine, people will rarely see it. If they do, I doubt they'll complain since it's a splotch of colour amongst all the white and black. Shirt - Regular collar pleated front is just fine. You may like pique ("peekay") instead, where the shirt has a textured fabric on the front instead of pleats, and the same fabric is used for the collar and cuffs. Studs or not is your choice, but black/silver ones add some contrast against the white. Obviously French cuffs and black onyx cufflinks are needed. If you want a wing collar, be sure it's a pique shirt. You absolutely can wear regular cap toes, but I'd do a mirror shine on them. (You can see how to achieve it if you do a search on this forum.) Black tie is basically what you're describing. White tie is what it implies and consists of a white tie, vest, and black tail coat with striped trousers. Need anything clarified, just give a holler. EDIT: hopkins' advice is pretty sound, too.
 

LabelKing

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Personally, I've always thought a white pique vest looked very nice with a single-buttoned peak lapel.

However, a white vest would require, in my opinion, a stiff wing collar. Opera pumps are more dashing.
 

lakewolf

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I have and prefer the classic tux

DJ shawl collar 1 button, grosgrain lapels, wool/mohair blend and well fitted
Trousers 2 pleats with grosgrain side stripes
point collar formal shirt with studs and french cuffs
silk suspenders ( I have a pair in white )
patent leather shoes....
black grossgrain self tie bowtie

Unfortunately these days I have not much oportunity to wear it... even when I am on a nice suit I feel overdressed according to the current days standard people dress-code
 

DGP

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If it were me, I'd go single button, peak lapel in grosgrain, flat front trousers, no cuffs, certainly no belt loops, and grossgrain covered buttons and stripes down the side of the pants. I'm not particularly daring, so I'd go for black. I, however, don't really like vests, and I usually prefer to go sans vest or cumber bund. I also am not a huge fan of bib-front shirts, so I tend to get tux shirts that are all textured material. I find that on a bib front one the material on the rest of the shirt is always too thin for my liking. If I wear a bowtie, I wear studs, and have a shirt that will hold four of them. If I go for a long tie, then I go for a shirt that has a button front and covered placket. I know I'm in opposition to many here, so take this for what it's worth.
 

whnay.

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Originally Posted by Jovan
I've tried to compile most of the knowledge I've gained from here and myself for your convenience.

Color - Midnight blue is classic and classy. The colour is deeper than black, and subtle in that it basically reflects blue light at certain angles. Go for it if you can. The only downside is it might appear simply navy blue in bright white light, but for dances it'll look just fine. I'd go for it.

Lapels - Peak is also classic for a reason. Depending on your body type you may wish to ask your tailor to size them accordingly. I personally don't like the huge curvy ones, I'd avoid them. Shawl lapels are good on the right person. James Bond made them work well. Grosgrain is a fine choice if you like it, not many dinner suits I see now have them.

Buttons - Always get one if going single breasted. If you decide you want double breasted, get 4x1 and have the buttons be normal horn instead of satin covered.

Vents - None. Hopefully you won't do a whole lot of sitting down at these events anyways.
In the case you do, it's nothing unbuttoning the front can't fix.

Trousers - Either flat front or pleated is fine. If you want pleats (which do come in handy) be sure they face forward. Side stripes are proper, and they should match your jacket's facings. (In the slim chance you get a white or cream dinner jacket, this doesn't matter.) No cuffs for formal wear, and absolutely no belt loops. Get button braces (suspenders) and buttons for them on the inside of the waistband.

Buttons - Working sleeve buttons should be de rigeur when getting a suit tailored.
They should match the buttons on the front of your jacket.

Pockets - A regular welted chest pocket, jetted lower pockets with no flaps. Not much to it. You can get a ticket pocket if you wish, but it's a bit superfluous.

Silhouette - English cut is a great choice, especially since England is where the dinner suit originated.
Make sure it isn't too slim though.

Vest/cummerbund - If you absolutely hate cummerbunds, get a vest. With a single button you can get a low cut vest (three buttons is a classic look). For double breasteds, a high cut vest can be added, but neither that or a cummerbund is necessary since a double breasted already fills your midsection.

A fun lining is fine, people will rarely see it. If they do, I doubt they'll complain since it's a splotch of colour amongst all the white and black.

Shirt - Regular collar pleated front is just fine. You may like pique ("peekay") instead, where the shirt has a textured fabric on the front instead of pleats, and the same fabric is used for the collar and cuffs. Studs or not is your choice, but black/silver ones add some contrast against the white. Obviously French cuffs and black onyx cufflinks are needed. If you want a wing collar, be sure it's a pique shirt.

You absolutely can wear regular cap toes, but I'd do a mirror shine on them. (You can see how to achieve it if you do a search on this forum.)

Black tie is basically what you're describing. White tie is what it implies and consists of a white tie, vest, and black tail coat with striped trousers.

Need anything clarified, just give a holler.

EDIT: hopkins' advice is pretty sound, too.

ditto the above and will just add one tidbit, don't wear a watch.
 

VKK3450

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Excellent, Thanks Guys, Lots of good info, particularly Jovan, Hopkins, Lake. I think that makes things pretty clear. Just one or two more questions.

Fabric - anything partucular I shouldbe looking for? I was just thinking a 100 or 120s... Nothing spectacular. I wouldnt think that you would want too much sheen or anything too flimsy. Is there any scale for quality on Grosgrain?

Lapel buttonhole??

If no beltloops, should I go for side tabs, or must it be braces?

Cheers,

K
 

Manton

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Originally Posted by VKK3450
Fabric - anything partucular I shouldbe looking for? I was just thinking a 100 or 120s... Nothing spectacular. I wouldnt think that you would want too much sheen or anything too flimsy.
Good HK tailors should have both the Lesser and Smith Woolens formal books. They are probably mostly 80s or 90s count, though not marked as such, and superior to most higher count cloth. You cannot go wrong with either; and they will last forever. Barathea is the traditional, classic weave.

Is there any scale for quality on Grosgrain?
Small rib v. larger rib is mostly a personal choice. Large rib is more "Savile Row", small more Italian. It's highly likely that whichever tailor you choose will only stock one kind and you won't have a choice.

Lapel buttonhole??
Absolutely! Where else would you put your red carnation?

If no beltloops, should I go for side tabs, or must it be braces?
Braces work better. Plus, watered silk formal braces with braided ends are just really, really nice.
 

dah328

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Originally Posted by Jovan
Color - Midnight blue is classic and classy. The colour is deeper than black, and subtle in that it basically reflects blue light at certain angles. Go for it if you can. The only downside is it might appear simply navy blue in bright white light, but for dances it'll look just fine. I'd go for it.
You really have to directly compare black and midnight under bright lights to see the difference. I wouldn't worry about it.

Originally Posted by Jovan
Buttons - Always get one if going single breasted. If you decide you want double breasted, get 4x1 and have the buttons be normal horn instead of satin covered.
There's no reason why a DB jacket would have different buttons than SB.

Originally Posted by Jovan
Pockets - A regular welted chest pocket, jetted lower pockets with no flaps. Not much to it. You can get a ticket pocket if you wish, but it's a bit superfluous.
No ticket pockets.

Originally Posted by Jovan
You absolutely can wear regular cap toes, but I'd do a mirror shine on them. (You can see how to achieve it if you do a search on this forum.)
You could wear captoes, but you should not.

Originally Posted by Jovan
Black tie is basically what you're describing. White tie is what it implies and consists of a white tie, vest, and black tail coat with striped trousers.
Striped trousers are worn with a stroller (daytime semi-formal). Trousers with a double satin/grosgrain seam are worn with white tie.
 

Jovan

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dah328: DB jackets with horn buttons go quite well together. See Donovan's dinner suit in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade for a great example. I've seen ticket pockets pulled off just fine, too. Since dinner suits have no pocket flaps, it's not very noticeable. Also, I see little wrong with captoes, especially if you have long feet like me. As for the striped trousers... I was talking about the side silk stripes. Sorry, maybe I should be more clear next time.
 

a tailor

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9.5 ounce or less woolens. the only way to go. any affair you attend will be far too warm for comfort,summer or winter. its the ladies who dictate this with there bare shoulder gowns. think: you have dinner, a few drinks, your in a warm room, and dancing. tropical worsted is the way to be comfortable.
 

jml90

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For lack of wanting to repeat everything I'm with Jovan
 

VKK3450

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Thanks to all, I now have a clear list of what I want!!

Thats why I love this board. 24hours to sartorial excellence

K
 

jml90

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Originally Posted by whnay.
ditto the above and will just add one tidbit, don't wear a watch.
Why? When you are in formal wear you then have no need to know what time it is? How will you know when to go there? How will you know when to leave?
 

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