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The State of Black Tie: Your Observations

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

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  1. dopey

    dopey Senior member

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    The two answers below are pretty good


    I agree that weekdays can be slightly less formal than weekdays - I don't think I've seen black tie during the week but there is usually a smattering scattered about on Saturday nights. The prevailing dress standard also varies with the seating level (seems less formal in the Dress and Family Circle but people dress there as well) Dress seems a little more formal in the lounges. Apart from varying degrees of formality, there can also be a lot of flamboyant wear, so if you have been looking for an occasion to wear your peacock feather vest and gold lame pants or even a Tom Ford suit, this may be your chance (the Met is the only place I have seen a couple in matching Tom Ford suits).
    Special occasions have their own dress code:

    In any case, I wouldn't get hung up on the dress "code". A suit will be fine, as will city coat and tie. So will other things as long as you look like you dressed for the occasion. The Met goes through a lot of trouble to put on a good show and the audience contributes to the atmosphere.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  2. MikeDT

    MikeDT Senior member

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    You mean something like these?
    [​IMG]
    Now to me they do look old fashioned and rather feminine IMO. If I where required to wear black-tie for a bash somewhere, I wouldn't want to be wearing something like that. I bet 007 doesn't wear them, not when he might have to chase criminals in his tux.

    Probably like when people do white-tie, they probably do most things except the top hat and shiny cane.
    [​IMG]
    Because they're too old fashioned. They look good with Fred Astaire though in the 1930s.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  3. poorsod

    poorsod Senior member

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    No, I meant patent leather shoes rather than just any black shoe. I might have seen a tux with pumps once, but maybe it was in a picture on the interwebz.


    I am looking for an excuse to make a set of tails one of these days. There are maybe 5-6 white tie events in NYC per year. Or perhaps I will have to make it to the Vienna Opera ball.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member

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    Has a StyleForum Prom been suggested before?
     
  5. pvrhye

    pvrhye Senior member

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    Seems obvious to me that the problem with Black Tie is that it's impossible to maintain any kind of standard when most people will never attend a Black Tie event in their life. I think the overall decline in formality has more or less killed formal events for all but the most nostalgic institutions.

    EDIT:

    Does quarter lined run the risk of white shirt showing through black jacket?
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2011
  6. WhateverYouLike

    WhateverYouLike Senior member

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    Omg I hope vox asks me to be his date :embar:
     
  7. Simplicio

    Simplicio Senior member

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    FWIW, I too have noticed that the general standard of black tie is fairly low, at least in the US. This isn't all bad, since it makes it very easy to look much better than every one else, just by following the rules. I think that the baby boomers are more culpable than the younger generation. They tend to have money but not to know or care. But I agree that there are probably a significant number of younger guys who would like to do things right. But how to learn?

    Besides money, I think the big obstacles are 1) lack of knowledge and role models; and 2) the difficulty of buying decent formal attire, even when one has good intentions. Its just not that easy to find in the US.

    I have wondered why there doesn't seem to be a black tie/formal attire thread. I'm not usually a thread starter, but I think it would be great if there were at least one place where received wisdom could be compiled and points of difference could be discussed. Perhaps a senior member could lead us?
     
  8. pvrhye

    pvrhye Senior member

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    We've never needed such a thread because of this website.
     
  9. F. Corbera

    F. Corbera Senior member

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  10. Simplicio

    Simplicio Senior member

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    We've never needed such a thread because of this website.[/quote]

    I had actually thought about mentioning that link. Good point, but there are always things to discuss. This current thread is proof. And it is obvious that even basic stuff can't always be assumed.
     
  11. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member

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    I think a dark suit is fine. I did go in the middle of the summer on like a Wednesday night. It was very hot, I was uncomfortable. There were a number of folks that you could tell came right from work, who were wearing dark suits. Some others in bermuda shorts and loud shirts looked stupid. Not just at the opea, but stupid en generale.
     
  12. dopey

    dopey Senior member

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    Are you sure? The Met season ends in mid-May. Even the ballet is done by July and there is nothing happening but maintenance in August.
     
  13. patrickBOOTH

    patrickBOOTH Senior member

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    Could have been later, I don't remember, but it was humid as fuck.
     
  14. Sonny58

    Sonny58 Senior member

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    This was very helpful, we'll be in the Orchestra so I'll add points for formality. The peacock feathers and gold lame will probably stay home though.


    Thanks everyone for the insights. I had thought I would wear a SC and trousers but it sounds like a navy suit will not be inappropriate.
     
  15. Master Squirrel

    Master Squirrel Senior member

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    Minneapolis-St. Paul, although tuxes are more of a St Paul thing.
     
  16. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member

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    I suppose it would depend on the external cloth.
     
  17. Holdfast

    Holdfast Senior member

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    Most black tie events here tend to be balls, college events or other similar dinners. Some people clearly make an effort to get things right, and there are people who've gone to so many events over the years that they've found it simpler to just get a tailor to ensure the minimum of effort is required to do things right. Even within this subset, shoes tend to be regular black shoes rather than black tie specific. I must admit I fall into this group myself, and wear well-shined captoes rather than having patents, despite having a couple of nice dinner jackets. You will see some opera slippers around, but few. I do have a pair of dark green suede dancing slippers but they're only wearable to the more frivolous black tie events rather than the more formal ones, so they only get worn very rarely, sadly.

    Others, esp. new students, tend to have a more bohemian approach to black tie, and who can blame them really? At the end of the evening, their clothes will be sweaty and wine-stained anyway... at least, one hopes it's just wine... :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
  18. run23

    run23 Active Member

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    The "no notch lapel" rule always amused me. It's one of those rules that some obsessive self-appointed style maven made up at some point and then has been repeated ad-nauseum like it's some sort of black tie decree from god. I prefer peaks, but notches are fine in an otherwise well-put-together tux.
     
  19. mafoofan

    mafoofan Senior member

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    Notch lapels do not by themselves doom a dinner jacket, but they are typically correspondent with other details that do. Most notch lapel jackets I've seen have been two- or three-buttoned, which is a deal breaker in my book. They also typically come with a vented rear. By itself vents are no big deal, but when combined with the rest, it leaves you with what looks exactly like a regular business suit in black.
     
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
  20. tj100

    tj100 Senior member

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    I agree that it's a little silly, but the rule is (I believe) a result of the notch lapel making the transition from the more casual lounge suit. It would be like having a "no sweat pants" rule; we don't really need to make the rule, because we all recognize that sweat pants are too casual for a tux. At some point, enough people didn't realize that the notch was too casual for semi-formal, and the "rule" was born.

    Hopefully we never need the "no sweat pants" rule.
     

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