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The State of Black Tie: Your Observations

Andy57

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Speaking of Charles Tyrwhitt, what do you guys think about this dinner suit?
If it fits you, then I think you will be well served by it.

Buy a different shirt, obviously, and different shoes. But otherwise, :bigstar:
 

martingfx

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I wouldn’t mind a lower-cut waistcoat, and 3 studs not 4, but this ticks most of the boxes.

Yeah I think it looks good considering the price.

Wore it to my wedding, I was very happy with it.

Nice! Mind sharing some pictures? :)

Nice. Just don't copy the shoes.

Broguing on the shoes makes them more casual, so definitely not appropriate for black tie.

Naturally!

If it fits you, then I think you will be well served by it.

Buy a different shirt, obviously, and different shoes. But otherwise, :bigstar:

Obviously! Already own a couple of evening shirts and will probably buy a pair of pumps. Looking to switch out my vintage dinner suit but since I don't attend many black tie events I try to keep the budget nice and tight.

Will try this dinner suit on next time I visit London.
 

sftiger

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I think CT has one of the best / most correct sub $1K black tie rigs. BB's has flap pockets (which I know you can tuck in, but still) and SS's is a pretty aggressive lapel, which I like but I know some don't. But CT's seems affordable and pretty classic/conservative. No idea about the construction quality though.
 

Canadianguy

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I think CT has one of the best / most correct sub $1K black tie rigs. BB's has flap pockets (which I know you can tuck in, but still) and SS's is a pretty aggressive lapel, which I like but I know some don't. But CT's seems affordable and pretty classic/conservative. No idea about the construction quality though.

Definitely in agreement. Regarding construction quality, it’s nothing special from what I recall trying it on a few months back. It felt a little stiff - probably all fused. And fabric is definitely a bit coarse, although it has a nice barathea texture.
 

jonathanS

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Question: are we asking about the correctness of the ct tuxedo or the value for the quality of ct in general.

I don’t think there’s any disagreement that ct is correct with regard to formal rules of black tie. However I also think there’s little disagreement that most of sf wouldn’t approve of ct.
 

Veremund

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Andy57

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Would it be acceptable to wear this cream silk ruffle front evening shirt with a black paisley velvet double breasted evening jacket: http://turnbullandasser.com/shirts-cr-silk-silk-plain-tailored-fit-ruffle-front-cl-dc
Turnbull and Asser have been featuring that shirt quite a bit recently. I think it would pair very well with a black paisley jacket. Not, however, as part of an actual black tie ensemble. I think I recall seeing it worn open at the neck with a cravat underneath (and perhaps not with dress trousers)--it might have been in a T&A lookbook collateral piece. If you buy it and wear it, post a picture. It would be interesting to see it worn well, even if you get some shade for it.
 

valenciaisthebest

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Turnbull and Asser have been featuring that shirt quite a bit recently. I think it would pair very well with a black paisley jacket. Not, however, as part of an actual black tie ensemble. I think I recall seeing it worn open at the neck with a cravat underneath (and perhaps not with dress trousers)--it might have been in a T&A lookbook collateral piece. If you buy it and wear it, post a picture. It would be interesting to see it worn well, even if you get some shade for it.
will do hope I can make it work for this Gala Im going to though but if not I could always be Austin Powers for Halloween like mentioned above.
 

Sam H

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So here's something for people to think about :D

I'm going to a bunch of weddings in the near future. None of them are black tie. One specifically requests black suit.

I bit the bullet today and went to my tailor (Mr. Ned) to look at options. I initially was thinking I'd go with charcoal over black for versatility. The fact of the matter is, I own no solid suits because my job doesn't require dressing up. I figured now is the time I have to finally buy a boring business/lounge suit. (I have two striped suits which are business-y but I think kind of fun anyway.)

However, charcoal looks too business-y. And I have 0 need for more business-y suits. It will get no use and look too corporate for social events. Looking at charcoal fabrics made me depressed about spending my money since I literally never have to wear a suit for business; in fact to do so would be detrimental to my career.

So I started to think about black suits. After over a decade of lurking on menswear sites, I am well aware of the disdain and ire they receive. I also am fully aware of the rigidity of the traditional black tie get up. I already own a very traditional and very nice tuxedo, but it gets less use than I desire.

With even more weddings coming up in my life, all requesting evening/lounge/cocktail suits, sometimes explicitly black suits, it appears the reality is people will not be doing black tie as often. I wear my tuxedo for New Years for my own pleasure and once to a gala my company invited me to. I have been to many weddings since my early 20s and all required suits or blazers. My peers are not having black tie weddings. The black suit seems to be the new tuxedo and the tuxedo the new white tie ensemble.

So I thought about how I always wanted a stroller suit. And also how a lot of people pull off black suits in Hollywood (Clooney) even though here on SF etc we are supposed to sneer at pop culture fashion. I decided that I was going to build myself a black suit stand-in for a tux for all evening events that call for a suit where they would have called for a tuxedo if it was 30 years ago.

At the tailor, I went to the books and managed to settle on the most expensive choice (of course lol :( ) which is a 56% mohair Loro Piana black worsted with a great sheen, texture and a fresco-y feel. It is not a flat, dull, black, it has texture and it has understated mohair sheen. Since the black suit requirement is in a tropical area and I tend to feel hot in general, I wanted something very airy although this will be fine for 4 seasons given the reality that its 2018 and cold weather events will have heat and warm weather will have AC.

I am getting two buttons, peak lapels, side vents and jetted pockets. It will also be quarter lined. I am also going to use some black MOP buttons I bought a few years ago on the internet that I've been waiting to have put on something. Finally, I'm also asking if I can get a Ghurka style waistband (a la Rubinacci "manny" pants) although no one has ever gotten that at my tailor so he's going to try it out for me on some test fabrics before committing to it on the expensive special order LP fabric. If I go with this waistband I'll essentially have something that is a waistband finished almost like a cummerbund.

So what I essentially have is a peak lapel tuxedo that is vented, has no facings, and has 2 MOP closure buttons instead of 1 self-facing closure button. It also might feature a cummerbund-esque finishing. It also explicitly is NOT a tuxedo so I can wear it when someone asks me to attend an evening event in a suit without standing out as the guy in a tux. I can wear it with a pique shirt I have in warm weather and royal oxford shirt I have in cold and I essentially mirror the bib of a formal black tie shirt. I can also do this unbuttoned and no tie for an edgier take or with a black grenadine (cold weather) or knit (warm weather) tie for a dressier look.

Finally, the best part is this: I can substitute gray flannels (or frescos depending on climate) and I essentially have a more modern and less fancy stroller. Rather than formal trouser striping, I have basically a stroller that doesn't stand out as anything more than a blazer and flannels.

This means that if I have a wedding to go to that has day and night components I just need to pack this suit + 1 pair of climate appropriate gray trousers. I have a step up from the blazer and flannels look for daytime into something that is one step down from a stroller and more in-line with a suit. I also have something that is one step down from a tuxedo for evening. Both of these things count as "suits" for anyone asking me to attend a social event in a suit in my peer/age group so I will never appear to be overdressed or underdressed. But they both take their cues from dress above their paygrade to distinguish themselves from business clothes. The end result I hope sits between business (informal, lounge) clothes and semi-formal clothes (blazer and flannels<->stroller in morning and lounge suit<->tuxedo in evening).

I'm pretty excited to see how this turns out :D

So now here is where people ignore everything I wrote and say "black suits are stupid" :D

EDIT 8/7: I just was thinking through, and the black knit or black grenadine tie I don't think will ever look good. Instead, I think silvery gray wedding ties will rule here. They look great for the daywear version (traditional for morning dress/weddings/strollers) and they also appear strikingly good with all black evening wear in some photos I've seen. I will tentatively call this "gray tie" :D

So I've worn this to two weddings so far. The latter wedding, and the reason I bought it, called for black suits but a lot of people wore tuxedos so I could have maybe saved some money and just worn my tux, but regardless, I think this came out really well. I ended up just getting a normal waistband on the trousers.

You can see that the black fabric majority mohair fabric has a nice dewey sheen and a richness that almost makes my polished black monks look gray and washed out (perhaps to a detriment).

The orange edged pocket square would not normally be my first choice but this wedding called for Halloween colored dresses (orange or red) so I figured it made sense in that context and was kind of fun.

The tie is a charcoal/silver grenadine grossa from Sam Hober and the shirt is an open weave voile from Cego. I like the texture on the shirt because it reminds me of pique on a tuxedo shirt and this wedding took place somewhere tropical where it's still 80 degrees at night in late October, so it was the more comfortable choice. At another wedding up in NYC earlier in the year I wore a standard white royal oxford dress shirt instead with a less casual collar. The suit is Mr. Ned. The shoes are Meermin.

Anyway, I'm really happy with how it turned out, now in addition to my tuxedo I have a very tuxedo-esque black suit which can be broken into a stroller suit jacket if worn with gray trousers for daytime formal stuff as well. I really think the black suit/white shirt/silver tie is a good next step down, a la white tie to black tie.

 

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