The State of Black Tie: Your Observations

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

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  1. tj100

    tj100 Senior member

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    I think there are some cruise lines (Cunard, maybe?) where black tie is required at dinner on at least some of the evenings.
     
  2. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    I thought that used to be the case on most of the cruise lines?
     
  3. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

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    ah, true enough. still though median age on those things is like 65 right?
     
  4. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

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    I think weddings are a lost cause for me in this regard...I can't recall the last time I went to a wedding and a guest was wearing a tuxedo. I have been forced into terrible and gauche tuxedos as a groomsmen, but even at these, no guest wore a tux. I would feel like a douche going as a guest and wearing a tuxedo that looked much better than anything the groom or groomsmen were wearing.
     
  5. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    I wasn't suggesting you go to any random wedding in black tie. Some weddings are stipulated black tie.

    We did our own wedding non-black tie precisely because I felt people would generally look and feel better in their best suits.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  6. Christopher Essex

    Christopher Essex Senior member

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    I fear this is all too true. The onus is on those that know how to do it properly to be an example for others, if they're willing to learn from us.

    I play violin in an amateur orchestra, so I wear my (brand-new) dinner suit 5 or more times per year as well as go to a few other black-tie events.

    In the orchestra (and this is by no means confined to Vancouver), most of the men wear black suits with normal white dress shirts and pre-tied bow ties, and wear normal black shoes (many being rubber-soled and square-toed).

    Now, with amateur musicians, I have a lot of sympathy...they are often not high-income earners (although some of us do ok).

    Also, Vancouver is the home of fleece at the opera and Lululemon as casual weekend shopping/dinnerwear, so I really don't have high expectations anywhere I go.

    All I can do is dress appropriately for the function I'm attending and hope that other show enough interest to follow in my footsteps, when they're ready. Perhaps this will catch on.
     
  7. bourbonbasted

    bourbonbasted Cyber Eliitist

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    There are some dinner/country/social clubs that require black tie for certain events.

    Foo I understand your distaste of breaking the rules or undertaking non-traditional ideas without an end-game in mind, but I'm afraid I just don't take myself or my dressing that seriously. While I know there are people on here, yourself obviously included, who live and die by such thinking, I will likely never be in that camp. If that makes me 99% so be it; I'm just here to have fun, or at least my idea of fun. If that's not your idea of fun then I suppose to each his own. Next round of drinks are on me.

    Unbrelragazzo makes a good point about adhering to the rules making you stand out more than breaking the time-tested rules. It's a sad but true realization and I will admit makes my "rule breaking" far less pronounced or even relevant. As I said I think my next tux will be as conservative as possible. This, however, will likely not come about until my wedding. I'll probably even have another one made up for my second wedding. Just for fun.
     
  8. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

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    No, I completely understand - I was just saying that I haven't been invited to any wedding that stipulated black tie. Even the ones where the wedding party was in black tie, none of the guests were.
     
  9. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

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    Keep fighting the good fight, CE.
     
  10. Patrick R

    Patrick R Senior member

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    That day came a while ago.
     
  11. Christopher Essex

    Christopher Essex Senior member

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    Every day. It's a marathon, not a sprint.
     
  12. Mark Seitelman

    Mark Seitelman Senior member

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    This is probably so.

    Men are dressing less formally everyday.

    With the exception of "society" charity balls, most charity dinners have downgraded from a policy of "black tie" to "business attire". Some have even stated "festive attire", whatever that is.

    In the past your average guy has always found black tie to be a hassle. E.g., buying a tux which may get little use, having to use shirt studs, and getting the various accessories (tux shirt, suspenders, shoes, etc.)

    As a result, most men do not know the rituals of black tie. It is a result of decreased usage.

    It is interesting to note that increased informality has not only affected men. The ladies have gotten less formal. E.g., the "cocktail dress" is seen more often than a gown at all but the most expensive events.
     
  13. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    The point is that it isn't just about you. When you've been invited to a black tie event, you've been invited to enjoy another's hospitality and requested to comply with a certain level of formality in exchange. That's why the "rules" here are so important--they are not just about what's aesthetically sensible, but about what's socially respectful and considerate. It would be just as rude to show up at a costume party without a costume.

    You can have all the fun you want with how you dress when you're the one throwing the party.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  14. philosophe

    philosophe Senior member

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    I regularly see men in traditional black tie at the orchestra and the opera on Saturday night. They look great and not at all out of place. If only the slobwear crowd would catch on! Most men actually look very good in decent black tie.
     
  15. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Jewfro Dubiously Honored

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    While semi-formal dress has seen a steady decline, I don't think the same is true for business wear. It seems that more people wear jackets and ties to work now, or even out at night, than 5-10 years ago.
     

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