The State of Black Tie: Your Observations

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by mafoofan, Nov 22, 2011.

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  1. TimelesStyle

    TimelesStyle Senior member

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    The one problem I see with that statement is the fact that a full-dress waistcoat (white) is considered acceptable, and it will lead to the same problem if one buttons their jacket in the first place.
     


  2. Veremund

    Veremund Senior member

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    Which is why I'd wear neither a white vest nor a white cummerbund with black tie.
     


  3. lwmarti

    lwmarti Senior member

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    And seem to be rarely worn any more. At every black-tie event that I've been to in the past several years, the only cummerbunds that I've seen have been part of a brightly-colored, matching bow tie and cummerbund set. Lots of the things that people here worry about, like notches vs. peaks or cummerbund or not, really seem to be insignificant next to this.
     


  4. Ianiceman

    Ianiceman Senior member

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    Let's just remember that Connery's Bond is often held up as an iconic example of black tie and the dinner suit / tuxedo has been linked to him since the series began. He has almost never worn a cummerbund, rarely a waistcoat, and wore neither in Dr. No, and that was over FIFTY YEARS AGO. Any erosion in the standard of black tie due to not wearing a cummerbund can hardly be considered a recent development.
     


  5. ImTheGroom

    ImTheGroom Senior member

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    I tend to agree with your earlier comments that it's about showing, soft, white shirt. And, often, the messy bit of shirt that may be sticking out of one's pants as a tuft. It's the least attractive part of one's shirt. Showing the taut/stiff waistcoat or cummerbund instead is much more elegant, regardless of colour. Though, it can break the seamless line of the black dinner suit, and one should be aware of that when choosing it.

    What I'm trying to say is that, when one looks at the ensemble as a whole, the cummerbund adds to the effect. Among the reasons it may be considered obsolete, is that it is the only piece of black tie gear that has no equivalent in any other type of dress. I think it is unfamiliar, and therefore, to some, seems silly. When you look at a man's full height, in black tie, a cummerbund raises the uniform's fluidity and elegance. If one always has his dinner jacket done up when standing, never places his hands in his pockets, wears a shirt with a covered placket and bib that extends beneath the waistband, and, let's not forget, has a flat stomach, then yes, he can pull off no waist covering. Or a double breasted jacket does the trick, as well.
     


  6. lwmarti

    lwmarti Senior member

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    I'm a fairly conservative dresser, so people are often surprised to see me in a tuxedo without a cummerbund. But when I tell them that Bond never wore a cummerbund (where I might be exaggerating by saying "never," but nobody has ever called me on this), they always accept that as definitive proof that they're unnecessary.

    But in any event, there certainly seems to be more common ground here than disagreement. I'd say that (almost?) everyone agrees that having the men fairly uniformly dressed in black and white makes events more esthetically pleasing than they would be otherwise, and that the disagreement is over fairly small details of how that's implemented. And I don't recall the exact quote, but I think that we'd also agree that everything's more fun in a tuxedo.
     


  7. ImTheGroom

    ImTheGroom Senior member

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    I believe the exact quote is:
    It's after 6:00, Lemon. What am I; a farmer?
     


  8. marcodalondra

    marcodalondra Senior member

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    As I shared early in the thread, the DoW and most probably others, wore a cummerbund, waistcoat and double breasted dinner jacket as regular get up. I consider both equally part of proper black tie and at least one of these should be worn
     


  9. TheWraith

    TheWraith Senior member

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    Connery's Bond also wore a notch lapel tuxedo in at least some of his movies, too.
     


  10. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Senior member

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    In one of the opening scenes of Goldfinger, considered by many as the seminal Bond movie.
     


  11. TheWraith

    TheWraith Senior member

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    Yep.
     


  12. Ianiceman

    Ianiceman Senior member

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    NOPE.

    In the opening scene of Goldfinger he's wearing an ecru single breasted dinner jacket with peaked lapels.

    Still, I'm not holding him up as unimpeachable, he did indeed wear notches later in the series but I think its widely accepted that as the series progressed his sartorial standards slipped until by the time of Diamonds Are Forever he's an embarrassment.
     


  13. random-adam

    random-adam Senior member

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    Bah, what does he know anyway? He orders a "martini" that doesn't have any gin in it! I'm surprised M ever let him out of his office in the first place.
     


  14. TheWraith

    TheWraith Senior member

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    He didn't mean the very opening scene, silly. He meant a bit further than that where he's having dinner with M and the head of the treasury. In that scene he's wearing a notch lapel dinner jacket, and it's still early in the film.
     


  15. WICaniac

    WICaniac Senior member

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    Please see this thread re: CT's waistcoats. http://www.styleforum.net/forum/newestpost/339273

    I have since become a fan of their shirts, but I am glad I had my waistcoat made by Favourbrook. (Agata is wonderful to work with).

    Is the waist covering essential? None of it is. I would enjoy wearing it far less, however, without my traditional waistcoat.
     


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