• I'm happy to introduce the Styleforum Happy Hour, our brand new podcast featuring lively discussion about menswear and the fashion industry. In the inaugural edition, a discussion of what's going on in retail today. Please check it out on the Journal. All episodes will be also be available soon on your favorite podcast platform.

  • Hi, we have updated our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy in anticipation of the upcoming new Calfornia laws, the CCPA. If you are a resident of California, these rights pertain to you. Thanks - Styleforum Team.
  • STYLE. COMMUNITY. GREAT CLOTHING.

    Bored of counting likes on social networks? At Styleforum, you’ll find rousing discussions that go beyond strings of emojis.

    Click Here to join Styleforum's thousands of style enthusiasts today!

The State of Black Tie: Your Observations

classicalthunde

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 11, 2016
Messages
496
Reaction score
167
I agree on principle but ...
I seem to remember in ‘Sunset Boulevard’ - made at a time when formal wear was seen more often - William Holden is in white tie for New Year and wears the camel - or was it vicuña? - polo coat over his tails. So it’s not a fashion crime nor unprecedented if all you have is light coloured, just not necessarily the optimal choice if time and money are no object!

View attachment 1314510
thanks for the heads up! I have already have a thrifted navy brooks brothers top coat, but its certainly seen some years and it goes down to mid-calf, which i'm not necessarily a fan of. I'm in need for a new top coat and have been digging the tan/camel color, which would work pretty well with the rest of my suit wardrobe...now the question is to be correct, or to pick something that i'll enjoy more as i use it in a regular context...
 

Thin White Duke

Distinguished Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2010
Messages
2,204
Reaction score
2,901
thanks for the heads up! I have already have a thrifted navy brooks brothers top coat, but its certainly seen some years and it goes down to mid-calf, which i'm not necessarily a fan of. I'm in need for a new top coat and have been digging the tan/camel color, which would work pretty well with the rest of my suit wardrobe...now the question is to be correct, or to pick something that i'll enjoy more as i use it in a regular context...
Take your time and trawl eBay.
As an example I got a NWT Hickey Freeman wool topcoat in grey herringbone for $99. That colour works well for both daytime business wear and over black tie if needed. If that’s not to your taste there are other bargains to be had if you’re patient.
 

smittycl

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Messages
4,143
Reaction score
5,116
I prefer knee length so it stays out of the way. Not doing a lot of outside walking in black tie anyway.
 

Thin White Duke

Distinguished Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2010
Messages
2,204
Reaction score
2,901
I prefer knee length so it stays out of the way. Not doing a lot of outside walking in black tie anyway.
Yeah it’s a thing these days isn’t it.
Aside from the likes of Manhattan dwellers who spend a lot of time on the street and not so much in cars, for many people the mid calf overcoat is unnecessary and a thing of the past. Which is fine but the shortness of raincoats is what gets me. Sure - a longer length may get in the way when you’re sat in a car, but the current kneecap grazing trend for rain coats isn’t going to do a lot to keep my strides dry in a tropical rainstorm!
 

smittycl

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jul 13, 2012
Messages
4,143
Reaction score
5,116
Yeah it’s a thing these days isn’t it.
Aside from the likes of Manhattan dwellers who spend a lot of time on the street and not so much in cars, for many people the mid calf overcoat is unnecessary and a thing of the past. Which is fine but the shortness of raincoats is what gets me. Sure - a longer length may get in the way when you’re sat in a car, but the current kneecap grazing trend for rain coats isn’t going to do a lot to keep my strides dry in a tropical rainstorm!
True enough! All my winter coats are knee length save for one Black Fleece full-length heavy trench coat for rainy, sloppy days. I have to walk home-train-work then reverse so a long coat does come in handy for the commute here in DC.
 

Concordia

Distinguished Member
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Oct 6, 2004
Messages
6,672
Reaction score
994
thanks for the heads up! I have already have a thrifted navy brooks brothers top coat, but its certainly seen some years and it goes down to mid-calf, which i'm not necessarily a fan of. I'm in need for a new top coat and have been digging the tan/camel color, which would work pretty well with the rest of my suit wardrobe...now the question is to be correct, or to pick something that i'll enjoy more as i use it in a regular context...
Can an alterations shop fuss with the length?
 

AdductorMagnus

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 4, 2015
Messages
169
Reaction score
181
I wear a vintage calf-length PRL dark charcoal paletot with ridonculous peaked lapels and velvet collar. Thing weighs like 5 kilos.
 

Big A

Distinguished Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2008
Messages
2,173
Reaction score
370
Question - are there any hard and fast rules for black tie outwear? I have a black tie wedding this winter and it will almost certainly require a topcoat for travel to and from...would a camel hair top coat be too informal?
I’ve got a dark grey knee-length Chesterfield I usually wear. Similar coats are currently on sale at Brooks Brothers
 

Andy57

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2014
Messages
3,564
Reaction score
8,692
I will not purchase an overcoat that does not come well below the knee. I can't see the point in a shorter coat, to be honest. This is not a black tie photo, but I have worn this camel hair coat with black tie. My navy cashmere DB that I usually wear with a dinner jacket is about the same length, but I can't find a picture of it offhand.
1316504
 

Concordia

Distinguished Member
Dubiously Honored
Joined
Oct 6, 2004
Messages
6,672
Reaction score
994
Another question, that I probably asked elsewhere: are there major differences in quality of patent leather? I.e., is EG's much better than Loake, and will going bespoke produce any gains apart from fit and construction?
 

Andy57

Distinguished Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2014
Messages
3,564
Reaction score
8,692
Another question, that I probably asked elsewhere: are there major differences in quality of patent leather? I.e., is EG's much better than Loake, and will going bespoke produce any gains apart from fit and construction?
Good question to which I do not know the answer. I talked to Nick Templeman a while ago about a bespoke pair of patent oxfords using real patent leather, but we could not source the material (if I recall correctly). I've also considered Edward Green, but their patent oxford is on the 82 last, which I do not find to be kind to my feet these days, so having them make me one on the 202 would add a surcharge to what is already an expensive shoe.

I've used Brooks Brothers patent oxfords for several years now. I don't know who made the first pair I had, but my current pair were made by Church. The material might not be the best available, but it's perfectly serviceable, the last is comfortable, and the price is decent. I recently bought another pair in one of Brooks' sales. So, the Brooks patent works fine for me, especially as I might only wear them around 20 evenings per year.
 

dan'l

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2011
Messages
674
Reaction score
178
It took a while, but I now have a full black tie rig and finally have the opportunity to wear it! It will be to a night at the ballet in the Wiener Staatsoper. :bigstar:

The venue is about a 20 min. walk from the hotel and I have suitable outerwear getting there, but footwear is a problem! I purchased a pair of black velvet loafers a while back to complete my outfit, but they are definitely not suitable for walking to the opera house due to the soft leather soles. So that leaves the black shoes from my normal rotation: 1) calf oxfords, 2) calf loafers or 3) suede chukkas. I suppose the oxfords would seem the safe choice; however they aren‘t capped and have brogueing on the toe. The chukkas in black suede have a sleek last, but I think they will look quite out of place. So now I am leaning to my full-strap loafers. Or would the oxfords be OK?
 

Styleforum is proudly sponsored by

Featured Sponsor

How wide do you like your leg opening on your trousers?

  • 7”

    Votes: 56 17.7%
  • 7.5”

    Votes: 108 34.1%
  • 8”

    Votes: 93 29.3%
  • 8.5”

    Votes: 34 10.7%
  • 9”

    Votes: 13 4.1%
  • 9.5”

    Votes: 7 2.2%
  • 10”

    Votes: 1 0.3%
  • 10.5”

    Votes: 5 1.6%

Related Threads

Forum statistics

Threads
432,237
Messages
9,270,944
Members
194,608
Latest member
frodite4
Top