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The State of Black Tie: Your Observations

Nobilis Animus

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Thanks for chiming in. Shawl just has that look of "I own this place" at least to me, and looks more custom in today's environment.




Yeah, the lighter navy is a no go for me but the midnight is really cool!!

It's funny that the midnight appears DARKER than black in low light.

I may be in a friend's wedding coming up, but I am leaning towards that midnight color.




Agree, classic.



Yeah, peak is peak formality. I definitely won't be getting notched :) I found one on Spier that's midnight but not in my size... I need to visit my local tailor to get sizes so it's spot on.

Have a double breasted peak lapel suit that is P.I.M.P. I am 6'7'' and thin, so the peak is really commanding. Normal to broad-ish shoulders but I really like the shawl look.

Problem is going to be finding a midnight shawl that isn't custom (or expensive) since I think peak is ubiquitous.
Something else to consider: A brand new set of evening clothes will have less gravitas than an older one. Since you don't mind ebay, what about considering vintage dinner jackets that you can spruce up a bit at the tailor's in time for the wedding?

They will fit differently than modern jackets, which tend to be cut like suits, so knowing your measurements exactly will be crucial.
 

sftiger

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I bought multiple tuxes on eBay for my wedding (wasn't sure which one I'd want, kept both). You can definitely find great deals there, even for new stuff. One of mine was a NWT Borrelli tux for I think $500. Used ones were even less.

If you're willing to pay $1K-$1.5K (which is what a nice-ish tux would cost you not on eBay anyway) then you can get pretty much any brand, aside from maybe Tom Ford.

Highly recommend that route.
 

Oshare

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I posted this in the "What are you Wearing Thread" and the guys there suggested I drop a line here:

Gents, thought I'd post here as you're all connoisseurs of good suits/coats.

I'm attending a wedding in June and the ask is (black, I think) tuxes.... I don't own one and I'm thinking about finding a nice (cheap?) tux on eBay (used) and getting it altered.

I'm quite tall and wear a 40L with a 32x34 pant... Can anyone steer me in a good direction for tux brands to look at? I have some familiarity with good suits, but none with tuxes.

Not looking to break the bank, but if I can find a decent tux for cheap and spend a little coin to tailor it, I think it would be great.

Bonus: kind of thought a shawl collar would be awesome since I've always loved that style. I have no other occasions to wear a tux at the moment, but would prefer to spend the money and purchase rather than rent.


Thanks in advance!



PS: Someone suggested Spier & Mackay and/or SuitSupply. I know Spier has some great offerings, but was unsure if an eBay find/good brand would be worthwhile after some alterations.


Thanks!!
Very doable. I went this route myself a few years ago and bought a couple of them on eBay:

1. A really nice and gently used made in Switzerland midnight blue peak lapel wool & mohair blend Ermenegildo Zegna set for $53.

2. New with tags Brooks Brothers Golden Fleece black notch lapel (not traditional) tuxedo for $295.

I took both to a good tailor and had them altered for sleeve and pant length plus a few other touches, and ended up with two really nice diner suits for a good price.
 

classicalthunde

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If you're willing to pay $1K-$1.5K (which is what a nice-ish tux would cost you not on eBay anyway) then you can get pretty much any brand, aside from maybe Tom Ford.
Like I said, I'm all for scouring ebay for a good deal on a vintage tux...but there are a number of decent options well below that price point...SuitSupply has a couple of models at $599, Charles Tyrwhitt has a number of models at $499, and Spier and Mackay's models are as low as $399
 

sftiger

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Like I said, I'm all for scouring ebay for a good deal on a vintage tux...but there are a number of decent options well below that price point...SuitSupply has a couple of models at $599, Charles Tyrwhitt has a number of models at $499, and Spier and Mackay's models are as low as $399
Totally, but there are also non-vintage NWT/NWOT tuxes that cost about as much as the ones you mentioned and are better made. That NWT Borrelli one I got for my wedding is an example. Another example here.
 

savvysartorial

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Do you know your dimensions? What I mean is: your actual physical measurements, but then also the measurements of the suits that fit you well, and also where your waist is on your body (it varies) so that you know how high the button placement should be, etc. This will help a lot with ebay purchases, since the better sellers will measure things like shoulder-to-shoulder, arm length, etc.

Are you looking for very modern black tie? I ask because the jackets will have a different fit, and also because you should think about what the other guests will likely be wearing on the basis of how formal they are, whether they own jackets of their own, etc. If it's a fairly traditional ceremony, you'll want something classic.
I have a few suits that are a bit on the slim cut that fit pretty well.


Not my favorites and have small(er) lapels than I would like but they're serviceable. I could probably take those over to the tailor and show her what I am after in terms of fitment. They almost accentuate my (tall) thin frame with small lapels.


Do you suggest going to the tailor and having them measure that kind of thing like waist and shoulders getting her opinion? Nice older lady who I think is a whiz with a needle.

I highly doubt any(many?) of the gents there will be wearing tuxes that they actually own. I don't want to look like a goof but also wouldn't mind a unique tux that could be worn again to another formal event since I'm dropping the coin on it in the first place.


FYI, Connery’s shawl collar tuxedo in the first Bond movie was midnight blue.
Yes, should've stated that. I know @classicalthunde mentioned midnight as a serious contender.


Something else to consider: A brand new set of evening clothes will have less gravitas than an older one. Since you don't mind ebay, what about considering vintage dinner jackets that you can spruce up a bit at the tailor's in time for the wedding?

They will fit differently than modern jackets, which tend to be cut like suits, so knowing your measurements exactly will be crucial.
As above, visiting the tailor to get some numbers on paper sounds like your suggestion!


On a side note, how much wiggle room in shoulder size does one have with regards to a 40L if I start putting on weight from the gym (muscle) before I have to move to another size?

I bought multiple tuxes on eBay for my wedding (wasn't sure which one I'd want, kept both). You can definitely find great deals there, even for new stuff. One of mine was a NWT Borrelli tux for I think $500. Used ones were even less.

If you're willing to pay $1K-$1.5K (which is what a nice-ish tux would cost you not on eBay anyway) then you can get pretty much any brand, aside from maybe Tom Ford.

Highly recommend that route.
Sounds like the route. Have a trusted tailor that I think will do a good job.

Very doable. I went this route myself a few years ago and bought a couple of them on eBay:

1. A really nice and gently used made in Switzerland midnight blue peak lapel wool & mohair blend Ermenegildo Zegna set for $53.

2. New with tags Brooks Brothers Golden Fleece black notch lapel (not traditional) tuxedo for $295.

I took both to a good tailor and had them altered for sleeve and pant length plus a few other touches, and ended up with two really nice diner suits for a good price.
1. A SET for that?? That's crazy.

2. Insane, good for you.


I really need to figure out my size and dimensions then. I know lapel width is a big thing with older suits, but I feel like you can do a lot with a good tailor.


I'd really like to get some custom suits with forward pleats, but finding those on eBay suits might be difficult.
 

classicalthunde

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Do you suggest going to the tailor and having them measure that kind of thing like waist and shoulders getting her opinion? Nice older lady who I think is a whiz with a needle.
most of the measurements you will find on ebay are finished garment measurements. personally, i think its best to compare like to like, so i would suggest taking your best fitting suit and coming up with some simple measurements (and adjusting as necessary) rather than getting body measurements from a tailor - while jacket is buttoned, lying flat take a tape measure and get shoulders, chest, waist, sleeve length, jacket length (proper cloth has a pretty description with images for reference)

Not my favorites and have small(er) lapels than I would like but they're serviceable. I could probably take those over to the tailor and show her what I am after in terms of fitment. They almost accentuate my (tall) thin frame with small lapels.
for a timeless look, most people recommend having a lapel that covers halfway the distance to your shoulder. for a frame of reference, i am a 46R and my tux peak i think is ~4 inches wide, and my notch suit jackets are 3.5-3.75 inches wide
 

Nobilis Animus

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I have a few suits that are a bit on the slim cut that fit pretty well.


Not my favorites and have small(er) lapels than I would like but they're serviceable. I could probably take those over to the tailor and show her what I am after in terms of fitment. They almost accentuate my (tall) thin frame with small lapels.


Do you suggest going to the tailor and having them measure that kind of thing like waist and shoulders getting her opinion? Nice older lady who I think is a whiz with a needle.

I highly doubt any(many?) of the gents there will be wearing tuxes that they actually own. I don't want to look like a goof but also wouldn't mind a unique tux that could be worn again to another formal event since I'm dropping the coin on it in the first place.




Yes, should've stated that. I know @classicalthunde mentioned midnight as a serious contender.




As above, visiting the tailor to get some numbers on paper sounds like your suggestion!


On a side note, how much wiggle room in shoulder size does one have with regards to a 40L if I start putting on weight from the gym (muscle) before I have to move to another size?
As @classicalthunde suggested above, I would measure the best-fitting garment you have, and then adjust on the basis of how would like it to fit (if it's not perfect), or finding something with the same measurements. It's useful to know your own body measurements as well, but that's more important for other purposes like waist size on trousers, etc.

As for the wiggle room question, that really depends on the metric. How big is a 40L today? I'm assuming it's something like 2 inches oversized in the chest (so 22") or something like that. But what's probably more important is how you're putting on muscle, since shoulders may change faster than chest size.

I'll say that if you're not very big now and planning to bulk up, don't spend too much money on anything for your first purchase. Maybe try to find something interesting and high quality, but perhaps not Tom Ford prices if you'll grow out of it in 6 months time.
 

psb

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That pattern matching is awful, I would have it remade.
This is an interesting comment.
I think you mean the structure of the shawl collar not matching the structure of the jacket ?

There is no pattern in the fabrics,
its a silk-wool-linen-blend which leads to the structure one can see.
Honestly, it's not a formal dinner jacket, it has definitely a casual touch,
so from my point of view it was acceptable.
 
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classicalthunde

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That pattern matching is awful, I would have it remade.
I recall @Despos saying that shawl lapels are typically cut on the bias and that’s why it’s not advisable to get a large pattern self-faced shawl dinner jacket (I was contemplating a black watch self faced DJ at the time). So I wouldn’t really blame the tailor on this one...

personally, I dig it...as @psb mentioned it’s less a pattern and more of a weave/grain, and it’s obviously meant to be on the more informal end of the spectrum anyways
 
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Lensmaster

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That pattern matching is awful, I would have it remade.
I'm not sure what pattern matching is the problem. Is it that on the lapels the lines are angled out and on the body they are vertical? That looks right to me. If the lines on both were in identical direction the lapels would tend to blend with the body and not stand out, and the angle gives the lapels visual direction. if the pattern on both lapels was angled in the same direction that would be a design problem.
 
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