Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by mafoofan, Nov 22, 2011.
Nice Pumps, details...
Apart from state dinners and formal functions, I always viewed white-tie as a style for a night out on the town, dancing drinking, and trying to get the girl.
I've followed this topic with interest and I'd like to add a few observations of my own.
The moment clothing leaves behind the mere functional it is subject to changes in fashion. This has been so for centuries, millennia even. Clothing reflects, amongst others, our culture, affiliations, aspired affiliations, class and idiosyncracies. It is naive to pick a point in time and declare 'this is authentic', at the very least it's arbitrary, at worst it's misguided. Photos posted (by I believe Despos) of fashion in the Edwardian and Victorian period show a variety and playfulness, but all within the boundaries of formalwear. These victorians were very familiar and comfortable with formal clothing and would have likely had little need for a set of rules. Modern man has lost a great deal of this formal wear 'compass' and seeks a set-in-stone set of rules as guide.
There is no exact profile of black-tie, merely a set of (strict) guidelines that leave us with a 'sweet spot'. Where you end up in the sweet spot (notch or peak etc) depends heavily on locale, culture, tradition...dare I say it..taste!
In regards to dressing for the occasion, the most sociable, tactful thing to do is to go with the consensus. The outfit that day should be largely guided by what the hosts request. Being the odd one out, regardless of how correct your sartorial choices may be, is just putting yourself in the spotlight.
I wore black tie to Graydon Carter's party for the A&S book in Manhattan a couple weeks ago, one of only a couple men to do so, and it was very well received.
Did you pop out of the cake?
That was Reinaldo Herrera.
Somehow, I think here in "Slovenly California" 99.99999% of all girls would regard any man who was out and about in white tie as some kind of costume weirdo. Of course, it was probably quite different 80 or 90 years ago.
It gives me hope that you remember your twenties.
Thats an absolutely no no!!!
It's an insult to the host, if a private function - and anyhow it sends a strong signal that you have no idea of how to behave a n d even worse it is " Look at me I own(?) a Tux!
Those in the know will either ignore it politely or snicker behind the curtains
I meant more for charity/opera type public events where it's plausible to think that others may wear black tie, or historically have some black tie association, not a private dinner party or something.
Seriously? What message are you are trying to send? Think hard about that.
On the bright side, you may find that people might approach you without you having to do anything...
...to order drinks.
Well, if it's northern California, 60% of the girls have a fetish for costume weirdos, while the other 40% are lesbians.
^ This and FC.'s "It's not about being self-centered but a centered-self" tome on formal dress sum it up nicely!
I'm guessing that you're referring to gala events that benefit charities or arts organizations. A tuxedo is perfectly acceptable. This being DC, the vast majority of men will look like they came directly from the office. Nothing wrong with exceeding that very low bar. If you're worried about being overdressed or mistaken for the help, you can break up the uniform by substituting a velvet jacket, blackwatch pants, or funny bow tie.
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