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The State of Black Tie: Your Observations

Nobilis Animus

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Seeing the shoes now answers the question of which fashion criminal perpetrated these crimes - the derbies are definitely Thom Browne.
The tri-coloured stripe is also one of his signatures.
 

JJ Katz

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The Brits will say no. They wear black tie enough that dressing it up with white tie gear is seen as a little gauche. Even having a shirt made with two studs instead of three is frowned upon, and some shirtmakers will simply refuse if they think you're going to wear it with black tie.

Over here, you have people who (a) remember that black tie was originally a way of dressing down from normal white tie, and borrowed bits and pieces-- or (b) get suckered into really bad RTW shirts with short-short-short wing collars.
It's kind of complex in the UK... I don't disagree outright with Concordia. Black tie is comparatively common, here, and is mostly worn with turn-down collar and either a cummerbund or no waist covering. After a protracted run of popularity in the 1980s and early 1990s, wing collars (usually quite poor ones) came to be viewed as a bit "common" and some do look down on them. I've found that if you have a clearly vintage/retro look and do it well it has a different effect.

I think the likelihood of anyone counting the number of studs on your shirtfront is vanishingly small.

That said, there are definitely people here who are into "the rules", usually ones deeply ignorant of their origin, desuetude and historical relativity. You know, the "no brown in town" or "no black with tweed" or "there is an exact definition of trilby vs. fedora" crowd. So, yes, a bit complicated. Even more so now that the population as a whole is going much more US-casual.

We need a barf emoji...
 

Eli Curt

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Is anybody here interested in moving along a cream or otherwise interesting dinner jacket in a size 40 roughly?

PM me if so please.

Thank you.
 

Andy57

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This is a little off the beaten path, but is that dress really suitable for evening? I have no idea how women's dresses are ranked, except for very generally, but that colour strikes me as very odd.
A little late to respond, but I think that yellow dress was perfect for the Met Gala. Not over-the-top, but festive and gorgeous on her.
 

Andy57

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Is a white pique wing collar shirt with studs (white tie shirt) worn with backless black waist coat with matching bow tie appropriate for “semi-formal” evening wear (dinner jacket)?
Again, a little late, so I apologize.

If the shirt has a detachable, stiff, wing collar, then, sure, go for it. If the collar is not detachable (and therefore unable to be highly starched) then you should throw the shirt away. An attached-collar wing collar shirt's collar will always collapse when you tie your tie and it will look stupid. Why will it collapse? Because you are not able to starch it sufficiently to enable it to stand up to the tie. It will wrinkle or collapse. Better to wear a fold-down collar shirt.
 

Concordia

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Surprisingly its white tie for the perth orchestra
Not the most Australian thing, perhaps. But code for fully-professional orchestras tends to be white tie. Boulez caused a bit of a stir back in the 70s when he switched the NY Philharmonic to black tie-- which Mehta reversed six years later.
 

Van Veen

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I play in an amateur orchestra, and most of the men wear black tie, even though it's not strictly required or enforced. We get a few dark suits with black sneakers, but I don't think any of them are in the front row. For matinees, sometimes I wear a black suit with a black necktie instead of a tux. I can't recall ever wearing black tie when not performing, usually with an orchestra, occasionally a concert band, and once only, a one-time rock/pop performance of all James Bond movie music.

Black tie is still alive and well (but far from universal) in orchestral and concert band music, from the local community orchestras up to the major symphony orchestras and opera companies.
My own orchestral experience-- in Boston, a semi-pro orchestra I spent many years in is black tie. A bit of a pain, as they had three concerts on a weekend, so there needed to be some planning for shirts. This year, they're doing only one/program in a larger hall. I have left that, and sometimes (normality permitting) play in a summer orchestra. That is less formal. Black trousers and shoes, and probably a black or white shirt, but I cannot remember exactly right now.

In the UK, all-black is getting to be much more standard. It makes a ton of sense for pit orchestras, and it may also be a nod to the relative poverty of freelance musicians and students. Not having to send a white shirt out every night to be starched must be a relief, not to mention avoiding the costs and hassles of finding a black jacket that is well-cut enough to tolerate movement on stage.

As for me, I have a duo recital in October, for a black-tie audience. Unless instructed otherwise, I shall wear black tie. The only other performer is a young woman, who will doubtless have her own solution to the black and white problem.

And I am experimenting by acquiring a shawl-lapel DJ (grosgrain), made from 11oz Escorial but with unconstructed shoulders. A nod to the 50s Ivy League. Not sure if it will be ready by show time, or if I will have a preference for another.
Most US pro orchestras at the regional level and above wear white tie for classical subscription performances.

My wife used to work the stage door for a major US symphony. She still remembers the smell of the men's locker room when they came back from a summer overseas tour. Most of the old guard Euro concert halls don't have AC, and their sweaty white tie rigs sat festering in sealed ATA wardrobe trunks for two weeks before they were opened.

Summer... I wear machine washable golf pants. Vote me off the island if you must. Also, there's a company that makes shirts for orchestra musicians out of performance fabrics. I don't like those. I wear sweat blocking undershirts so I don't sweat through to my jacket. Shirts are relatively cheap. Jackets are expensive.

I think you are going to see a lot of orchestras moving to the all-black look soon, 60 or 70 years after it was avant garde. As much as I love wearing white/black tie, I am all for it. Makes life a whole lot easier. Fits better with the diversity, equity, inclusion initiatives, too. And as much as I hate the look in general, it does look good in this context.

Also lol at finding a "well-cut" jacket. Most musicians I know (at least starting out) bought ex-rentals for like $50.
 

upr_crust

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In some ways, the measure of a man's happiness is the scale of his problems - the smaller the problems, the greater the happiness. The scale of my present conundrum is such that I should be marked as "ecstatic, if slightly daft".

About a year ago, when retail shops were starting to re-open with some regularity here in NYC, I stopped by the local branch of New & Lingwood, where they had a rack of items on sale, at deep discount. One of them was a fuchsia and light blue Nehru jacket, in silk jacquard, patterned in N & L's trademark Russian peacock pattern. As a gag, I tried it on. Remarkably enough, it fit, and it was such an extraordinary article of clothing, and had been marked down to a temptingly low price, that I took the plunge, and bought it, with plans to wear it to the next large black-tie benefit party to which I would be invited.

A year passes by, and I am indeed attending a large museum benefit party in about four weeks time, and all plans were that I would wear the peacock jacket to the event.

Monday, I am out for my afternoon stroll, and I drop in on New & Lingwood once again. Once again, there is a rack of sale items, in the back, and on the end of the rack is a red and black silk jacquard dinner jacket, with black velvet shawl lapels. As a lark, I try it on (noting beforehand it appears to be my size). As it turns out, it is not only my size, but fits me exactly.

Yesterday, after a morning in which I spent two hours in a dentist's chair, as he performed root canal on a particularly ornery second molar, I returned to New & Lingwood, to see if I had hallucinated that the jacket fit me exactly. As it turns out, I had not, and again the jacket was marked down to a price that made temptation more powerful than fiscal probity.

I now have one party, and two "statement" articles of clothing - my conundrum is, which statement to make.

For comparison, I've photographed both jackets in context, accessorized in virtually the same manner - a matter on which opinion is welcome, though the ultimate decision as to which jacket I will wear remains mine.

Dinner jackets - New & Lingwood
Shirt - Brooks Brothers
Tie - Seigo, NYC
Vintage cummerbund
Stud set - Deakin & Francis, London
Braces - New & Lingwood
Trousers - Ede & Ravenscroft
Shoes - Magnanni for Saks Fifth Avenue

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Duke Santos

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Any thoughts on high quality formal pants with both side adjusters and a satin stripe. I checked Ede & Ravenscroft, but they appear to only have grosgrain.
 

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