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The State of Black Tie: Your Observations

Faux Brummell

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Apologies if this isn't the best thread to ask. It didn't seem prudent to start my own.

I am slated to be a groomsman in a wedding. I have been planning on purchasing one for some time anyways and I keep doing back and forth on just renting the one they have set up or going my own route by purchasing one separately and renting the accessories. I would appreciate thoughts on both options.
First make sure the couple would be ok with you wearing a tuxedo other than the one they requested. If they’re ok with it, definitely buy one! Or several. 🥳
 

acconrad

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Apologies if this isn't the best thread to ask. It didn't seem prudent to start my own.

I am slated to be a groomsman in a wedding. I have been planning on purchasing one for some time anyways and I keep doing back and forth on just renting the one they have set up or going my own route by purchasing one separately and renting the accessories. I would appreciate thoughts on both options.
It's really hard to get an unbiased take from a forum like this on the pros of renting a tux. I genuinely can't think of any.
  • If you're on a forum like this, you're sartorially minded, so you care that your tux fits properly (pro for buy: you own it, you can tailor it)
  • If you've rented more than once, each rental increases the cost you could have put into a tux (pro for buy: each wear reduces the cost-per-wear; at some point, renting a tux will have cost you more than the owned tux)
  • Many places that rent out tuxes don't even rent out real black tie proper "tuxes" (i.e. satin notch lapels) (pro for buy: you get a real tux with all the accoutrements)
The only pro I can see with the setup is that it's brainless - presumably the groom will be happy with the pick (even if it's not a "real" tux) because they vetted a rental company. I mean, you still could get a tux and rent out the accessories but like... if you've already put money into the tux, the accessories are no longer the majority cost, so it doesn't really make sense to spend (arguably more) renting out the accessories but buy the tux? It's very hard for me or really anyone here to recommend the rental option.
 

JohnMRobie

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First make sure the couple would be ok with you wearing a tuxedo other than the one they requested. If they’re ok with it, definitely buy one! Or several. 🥳
This is the correct answer. The wedding is their day and whatever they want is the way to go.
It's really hard to get an unbiased take from a forum like this on the pros of renting a tux. I genuinely can't think of any.
  • If you're on a forum like this, you're sartorially minded, so you care that your tux fits properly (pro for buy: you own it, you can tailor it)
  • If you've rented more than once, each rental increases the cost you could have put into a tux (pro for buy: each wear reduces the cost-per-wear; at some point, renting a tux will have cost you more than the owned tux)
  • Many places that rent out tuxes don't even rent out real black tie proper "tuxes" (i.e. satin notch lapels) (pro for buy: you get a real tux with all the accoutrements)
The only pro I can see with the setup is that it's brainless - presumably the groom will be happy with the pick (even if it's not a "real" tux) because they vetted a rental company. I mean, you still could get a tux and rent out the accessories but like... if you've already put money into the tux, the accessories are no longer the majority cost, so it doesn't really make sense to spend (arguably more) renting out the accessories but buy the tux? It's very hard for me or really anyone here to recommend the rental option.
These pros and cons are all fine and good but the only one that matters is that it’s not his wedding. Even though I have my own rigs when I’m in someone’s wedding I just rent what they want.
 

TheShetlandSweater

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I am looking for a rtw shirt (don't have time for anything else) and was wondering if you all had any suggestions as to where I should get one (I had an option that I thought would work excellently, but things fell through).

A few preferences:

1) Not a pleated front.
2) Not too slim fit (ideally not slim fit at all).
3) A bigger, more expressive collar would be nice. Think Italian. 3.5 inch/9 cm collar points (or larger) would be good. I'm generally an OCBD, Neapolitan tailoring kind of guy, so something not overly stiff would be nice too.
4) Not too expensive (see below).

Current options I am considering:

1) This one from the Armoury/Ascot Chang. Concerns: 275 seems a bit steep for an rtw shirt (or at least it's more than I'd like to pay unless the shirt really excites me or I have to); a bit slimmer fit than I'd like; the collar looks rather subdued
2) This one from Ben Silver. Better fit and the collar looks a little nicer. Also a little expensive but more tolerable. But not quite sure what the quality level is like on Ben Silver's shirts (I assume the quality is at least decent) and doesn't wow me.
3) This one from Sid Mashburn. Not sure on sizing (no chart posted). Better price. Not sure on quality. Maybe a bit boring. Probably ruled out.

Current options I am not considering (for illustrative purposes and so people don't suggests options I've already rejected):

1) Anglo-Italian's shirt that they recommend for black tie. Good price but a bit slim and appears to (oddly) have barrel cuffs.
2) Cavour. Too slim.
3) New and Lingwood. Don't have my size at the moment. Boring collar.
4) Borriello from Michael Jondral. No sizing chart and on sale (so I'm assuming sales are final).
5) Edward Sexton. Too slim. Not sure how I feel about British shirts.
6) Kent Wang. Much too slim. Not sure if they have my size (16.5 or 17).
7) Paul Stuart. 295 is a bit steep (and I assume that everything at PS is dramatically overpriced at full price). A bit boring. Good sizing though.
8) Poszetka. Good price but too slim.

Overall, I am not particularly taken by any of these options, so I was hoping you all had other suggestions. Don't be afraid of making bad suggestions. I am more than capable of rejecting bad options. My main problem is that I don't know where to look.
 

Mark from Plano

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The only addition I would have to your list would be the Brooks Brothers Golden Fleece (their upper end line). I have a couple of them and they’ve served me well. In a couple of cases I’ve taken them to my shirt maker to copy certain aspects of the style for my custom dinner shirts.

My guess is that they will be very similar to the Ben Silver.
 

JohnMRobie

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I am looking for a rtw shirt (don't have time for anything else) and was wondering if you all had any suggestions as to where I should get one (I had an option that I thought would work excellently, but things fell through).

A few preferences:

1) Not a pleated front.
2) Not too slim fit (ideally not slim fit at all).
3) A bigger, more expressive collar would be nice. Think Italian. 3.5 inch/9 cm collar points (or larger) would be good. I'm generally an OCBD, Neapolitan tailoring kind of guy, so something not overly stiff would be nice too.
4) Not too expensive (see below).

Current options I am considering:

1) This one from the Armoury/Ascot Chang. Concerns: 275 seems a bit steep for an rtw shirt (or at least it's more than I'd like to pay unless the shirt really excites me or I have to); a bit slimmer fit than I'd like; the collar looks rather subdued
2) This one from Ben Silver. Better fit and the collar looks a little nicer. Also a little expensive but more tolerable. But not quite sure what the quality level is like on Ben Silver's shirts (I assume the quality is at least decent) and doesn't wow me.
3) This one from Sid Mashburn. Not sure on sizing (no chart posted). Better price. Not sure on quality. Maybe a bit boring. Probably ruled out.

Current options I am not considering (for illustrative purposes and so people don't suggests options I've already rejected):

1) Anglo-Italian's shirt that they recommend for black tie. Good price but a bit slim and appears to (oddly) have barrel cuffs.
2) Cavour. Too slim.
3) New and Lingwood. Don't have my size at the moment. Boring collar.
4) Borriello from Michael Jondral. No sizing chart and on sale (so I'm assuming sales are final).
5) Edward Sexton. Too slim. Not sure how I feel about British shirts.
6) Kent Wang. Much too slim. Not sure if they have my size (16.5 or 17).
7) Paul Stuart. 295 is a bit steep (and I assume that everything at PS is dramatically overpriced at full price). A bit boring. Good sizing though.
8) Poszetka. Good price but too slim.

Overall, I am not particularly taken by any of these options, so I was hoping you all had other suggestions. Don't be afraid of making bad suggestions. I am more than capable of rejecting bad options. My main problem is that I don't know where to look.
May be worth a look at Eton since you seem to have a certain fit in mind. Given they’ve got 4 different options for fit you may find something you like. https://www.etonshirts.com/us/en/category/evening-shirts
 

hpreston

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I am looking for a rtw shirt (don't have time for anything else) and was wondering if you all had any suggestions as to where I should get one (I had an option that I thought would work excellently, but things fell through).

A few preferences:

1) Not a pleated front.
2) Not too slim fit (ideally not slim fit at all).
3) A bigger, more expressive collar would be nice. Think Italian. 3.5 inch/9 cm collar points (or larger) would be good. I'm generally an OCBD, Neapolitan tailoring kind of guy, so something not overly stiff would be nice too.
4) Not too expensive (see below).

Current options I am considering:

1) This one from the Armoury/Ascot Chang. Concerns: 275 seems a bit steep for an rtw shirt (or at least it's more than I'd like to pay unless the shirt really excites me or I have to); a bit slimmer fit than I'd like; the collar looks rather subdued
2) This one from Ben Silver. Better fit and the collar looks a little nicer. Also a little expensive but more tolerable. But not quite sure what the quality level is like on Ben Silver's shirts (I assume the quality is at least decent) and doesn't wow me.
3) This one from Sid Mashburn. Not sure on sizing (no chart posted). Better price. Not sure on quality. Maybe a bit boring. Probably ruled out.

Current options I am not considering (for illustrative purposes and so people don't suggests options I've already rejected):

1) Anglo-Italian's shirt that they recommend for black tie. Good price but a bit slim and appears to (oddly) have barrel cuffs.
2) Cavour. Too slim.
3) New and Lingwood. Don't have my size at the moment. Boring collar.
4) Borriello from Michael Jondral. No sizing chart and on sale (so I'm assuming sales are final).
5) Edward Sexton. Too slim. Not sure how I feel about British shirts.
6) Kent Wang. Much too slim. Not sure if they have my size (16.5 or 17).
7) Paul Stuart. 295 is a bit steep (and I assume that everything at PS is dramatically overpriced at full price). A bit boring. Good sizing though.
8) Poszetka. Good price but too slim.

Overall, I am not particularly taken by any of these options, so I was hoping you all had other suggestions. Don't be afraid of making bad suggestions. I am more than capable of rejecting bad options. My main problem is that I don't know where to look.

I'll start with an old adage, you can pick two; good, cheap, fast, .... Your looking for fast (RTW) and cheap ("4) Not too expensive (see below)")

So if you want fast and cheap, your going to have to give up a bit on quality.... if you don't care about price, you can get good quality, fast... etc.

Having said all of that; Both Ben Silver, and Sid Mashburn make decent quality shirts. I think Ben Silver (made in Canada?) will have the slight edge on quality (Made in Honduras?) , but they're both pretty comparable)

In the relatively inexpensive and relatively fast category, not on your list is Proper Cloth (https://propercloth.com/tuxedo-shirt)..... I think they are MTO, but get good reviews, and should be relatively quick turnaround.
 

blewnote1

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My wife and I attended the New Year’s Eve gala celebration at the Catalina Casino at Avalon, Catalina Island. Since this was a “black tie optional” NYE event, I didn’t expect to see much in the way of rigid and traditional black tie. I’d say it was about 35% tuxedos and the rest of the men either wore plain suits, some kind of dressed-up casual or “roaring 20s” style costumey outfits. The quality of each ran the gamut from nice looking tailoring to items that looked like Amazon purchases.

Of the men in black tie, I’d say at least half wore self-faced notch lapel jackets. I didn’t see one shawl collar tuxedo but I did see some well tailored contrasting dinner jackets with shawl lapels. A few of these were quite impressive on the cut and fit. Of course, there were some sparkly sequin jackets as well. I saw at least one tuxedo where the jacket and trouser fabrics weren’t an exact match. A couple of men wore shirts with wing collars, which was a surprise to see. Two men were in tuxedos with long tailcoats—vintage, perhaps? Footwear covered a spectrum from square-toed matte black pepple grain lace-ups to well shined oxfords. I saw one pair of traditional court shoes in patent, which was a surprise. On the more casual side, many men wore suits in black, grey and blue. Some men were doing the black long tie with black suit look as well.

Women wore anything from sparkly shorter cocktail dresses to dressy pant suits to more elegant floor length dresses.

I wore my only tuxedo: a basic one button grosgrain peak lapel suit with Scabal barathea by Tam Tailoring with vintage HP&C grosgrain waistcoat, Hober bow-tie, Fort Belvedere red boutonnière, linen pocket square, vintage studs/cufflinks and Carmina formal loafers. Funny enough, we received several compliments from guests for being one of the best dressed couples there.

Good times!

How do you like your Ft. Belvedere boutonniere? And which version of red did you go with? And life size or mini?

I keep meaning to grab one but am experiencing choice paralysis with the different options since I can't see them in person.
 

blewnote1

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I'll start with an old adage, you can pick two; good, cheap, fast, .... Your looking for fast (RTW) and cheap ("4) Not too expensive (see below)")

So if you want fast and cheap, your going to have to give up a bit on quality.... if you don't care about price, you can get good quality, fast... etc.

Having said all of that; Both Ben Silver, and Sid Mashburn make decent quality shirts. I think Ben Silver (made in Canada?) will have the slight edge on quality (Made in Honduras?) , but they're both pretty comparable)

In the relatively inexpensive and relatively fast category, not on your list is Proper Cloth (https://propercloth.com/tuxedo-shirt)..... I think they are MTO, but get good reviews, and should be relatively quick turnaround.

Yes, I was going to say Proper Cloth as well. I picked up a wingtip marcella bib and a pleated front spread collar (their President otion) and have been pleased with both. I'd have liked the option to use voile as the shirt fabric but for around $100 I'm not complaining. I went with a lightweight broadcloth because I wanted to be comfortable and I never take off my jacket (am curious what using linen would be like, if I get a third shirt I will try it in that). You can go with their suggested measurements or if you have a shirt you already like you can base it on that.

I ordered the second one on Nov. 13 with an arrival window of the 24th-29th and got it on the 22nd.

As an aside, I was surprised to find I preferred the marcella/wingtip one. I like the pique, it felt like it wore a little cooler, and it's easier to put a bowtie on a wingtip collar (did 21 gigs in Dec. in my rig so I got a lot of experience getting ready lol).
 

The Dirty Pigeon

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How do you like your Ft. Belvedere boutonniere? And which version of red did you go with? And life size or mini?

I keep meaning to grab one but am experiencing choice paralysis with the different options since I can't see them in person.

I have three from Fort Belvedere... the burgundy mini carnation and the spray rose in red and ivory, both regular size. I'm a smaller guy (5'6" in shoes) so the mini size suits me a little better. However, the spray rose wasn't available in a smaller size when I purchased them. I don't have much to compare to but I really do love the look of them and they seem to be very well made. Keep in mind, you'll need to make sure the back side of your lapel has a little thread keeper so the "stem" can be held in place. I also have another boutonnière by Hook and Albert in a chambray fabric that is surprisingly versatile.

IMG_4463.jpeg
 

hbk320

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I’ll probably give them a try. It’s actually that marginal difference I’m out after. :)
I own those. I absolutely love them!
They are Blake stitched, low vamp, and have excellent heel clip!
Blake stitch construction makes them extremely comfortable from the beginning and offers a sleek appearance.
The low vamp adds a dose of elegance and helps my hem line up perfectly at the bow.
Heel clip is what many brands are missing but these aren't. You can dance the night away, walk and hike 20 miles and they are still staying on your feet. 1000030225-01~2.jpeg
PXL_20231224_230158886.PORTRAIT.ORIGINAL~2-01.jpeg
 

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