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The State of Black Tie: Your Observations

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

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  1. Tried and True

    Tried and True Senior member

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    A cumerbund brings a uniqueness to the dinner suit that works to distinguish it from the everyday lounge suit, along with lapel facings, trouser striping, fabric covered buttons and such. I don't know why you would want to strip the look of these features.
     
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  2. Tried and True

    Tried and True Senior member

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  3. E TF

    E TF Senior member

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    DB DJ means you don't have to worry about any of this, and get to look extra awesome at the same time.
     
  4. J011yroger

    J011yroger Senior member

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    I humbly submit that you try out a set of silk ribbon laces in them for Black Tie.

    I think it would look awesome.

    J
     
  5. culverwood

    culverwood Senior member

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    Did I suggest stripping it of those other features?
     
  6. J011yroger

    J011yroger Senior member

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    I dunno about extra awesome, I have some pretty nice cummerbunds and waistcoats.

    Your point is rather valid however, a DB DJ and a hidden placket shirt will cut down on accessories.

    J
     
  7. chobochobo

    chobochobo Senior member Moderator

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    Yup, I'm going to get silk ribbon laces for them. Any recommendations please?
     
  8. J011yroger

    J011yroger Senior member

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    To give my opinion, wear whichever ones you think look better. I have both. I usually wear the black ones, but I think the white ones look really slick.

    I determine which I wear by the feel of the event.

    I really don't give a shit if anyone sees my braces, in fact I love them all and think they add to the elegance of an outfit be it suit or tux.

    Treating suspenders as a girl treats her bra straps is fucking ridiculous.

    With regard to a waist covering: if you don't like the way it looks, don't wear one. I break rules all the time, most often by not wearing trousers with a stripe down the side if it is a more trendy event. I was going to go without a cummerbund on NYE, but after trying with and without, I chose with because I thought it looked better.

    Nobody is going to bust your horns for not wearing a waist covering, most people will look like shit anyway so as long as your jacket kind of fits you will be in the top tier.

    If someone notices your missing waist covering they will probably think you don't own one which certainly isn't a big deal, or if they are older they will likely think it is some sort of trend for kids these days, like wearing long ties with tuxes was in the early 00s.

    I don't look down on someone who wears no waist covering, or a regular non formal white shirt, or their best black shoes when they don't have proper ones. That's just silly, as long as they are trying their best, and not purposely disrespecting the event.

    J
     
  9. J011yroger

    J011yroger Senior member

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    I don't yet have a set, I just think they look really elegant. I wear either pumps or my Oxfords currently, but you bet I'm going to get a set if I buy lace-up formal shoes.

    J
     
  10. gringodaddy

    gringodaddy Senior member

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    Will from asuitablewardrobe sells them.
     
  11. random-adam

    random-adam Senior member

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    The only reliable vendors I've seen are asuitablewardrobe as mentioned above (for $40 a pair) or this place, in your choice of widths and lengths (and colors, if you want to GTH it up even further), for $3.25.
     
  12. Midnight Blue

    Midnight Blue Senior member

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    (A) You must cover your front or you'll end up with the formal equivalent of plumber's crack.

    (B) The cummerbund doesn't cut the torso in half, the open jacket does.

    Many novices (like myself until recently) mistakenly view the cummerbund as a accessory on par with the bow tie that is meant to be a visible enhancement. In fact, its role is to quietly conceal certain working parts on the rest of the outfit i.e. the trouser waistband and the lower portion of the shirt beneath the decorated bib. Thus it is barely visible or even invisible most of the time that the jacket is closed, which is really how the jacket should be worn. When any suit jacket is buttoned it merges seamlessly with the trousers to emphasize verticality and stature in the wearer. Opening the jacket breaks the body into two horizontal halves, cummerbund or no. The closed jacket also frames the shirt front in a dramatic V shape that suggests wide shoulders and narrow waist, the ideal male physique. An open jacket cannot do this (unless one is wearing a low-cut evening waistcoat, of course).

    The only time the waist covering is typically visible under a closed jacket is when it's doing its job. When the wearer outstretches his arms or puts his hands in his pocket the jacket front naturally splays open beneath the fastened button and then - peek-a-boo - your shirt navel is glaringly exposed and the verticality of the suit is once again broken. It's this exposed patch that looks dumpy, not the cummerbund. Observe examples of this formal plumber's crack throwing off many otherwise very nice formal ensembles:

    [​IMG]
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    now here's how the outfit looks when a waist covering is allowed to do its job
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    By the way, citing James Bond as a black-tie benchmark is not necessarily a sound proposition. As you can see in this blog post many Bond outfits fall short of the mark and Timothy Dalton's formal attire is the absolute worst.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2014
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  13. Midnight Blue

    Midnight Blue Senior member

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    The latter are only advertised as satin, not silk.
     
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  14. J011yroger

    J011yroger Senior member

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    ^^^ I've always felt that it was not a sin to wear a single button DJ unbuttoned.

    Sometimes I do, usually, I don't.

    Thoughts?

    For the record, I always button suits when standing.

    J
     
  15. Midnight Blue

    Midnight Blue Senior member

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    A four-in-hand tie typically covers this flash of shirt in a regular suit. And a regular suit isn't held to the same standards as a formal suit.
     
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  16. J011yroger

    J011yroger Senior member

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    Also, WTF is with that knot on the last pic of Craig?

    J
     
  17. Van Veen

    Van Veen Senior member

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    The other problem is that the people who think the cummerbund is outdated and old-mannish also tend to think the same thing about suspenders and trousers with a proper rise for the jacket, all of which combine to create a really obvious "plumber's crack" effect.
     
  18. Midnight Blue

    Midnight Blue Senior member

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    Exactly. This current penchant for wearing dress pants down around the hips like women's jeans from the 1970s is doing no favours to the tuxedo.
     
  19. J011yroger

    J011yroger Senior member

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  20. archibaldleach

    archibaldleach Senior member

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    Cummerbunds were also introduced as a substitute for waistcoats in warmer weather climates. If one was wearing a 3 piece suit that fit properly, there would be no concerns about any shirt showing underneath the jacket as it would be covered by the waistcoat (similar to how in black tie it is covered either by a waistcoat or cummerbund). The long tie worn with a normal 2 piece suit also helps to minimize the same issue of shirt showing underneath the jacket in a way that doesn't work with black tie due to one wearing a bow tie.

    Getting every suit one owns as a 3 piece and wearing a vest daily, however, is a lot more of a commitment than simply wearing a waist covering on the few occasions that one wears black tie.
     

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