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The State of Black Tie: Your Observations

hpreston

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Welp, went to the wedding last night, weather had turned cool and rainy so I decided to go classic black tie, over the white DJ I was going to wear if the weather had been more seasonal (i.e. hot and humid) May in DC…

A few observations, then a few pics.

Groom and groomsmen were in black single breasted peak lapel tuxes, they all had tie yourself black bow ties… tuxes where well tailored. None wore any sort of waist covering, and groom allowed his men to wear fun socks….. wasn’t really an issue because their trousers were long enough to cover sock while standing.

Male guests were about 30% tuxedos, the rest were in suits. Of the tuxes, I only saw two men with proper waist covering, but most looked pretty good overall.

During dancing, several, but not all removed their jackets, some removed ties as well.

IMG_0008.jpeg


image_1.jpeg

IMG_9956.jpeg


Groom and groomsmen getting ready (cigarettes were our “Rat Pack” props…none were ever lit or smoked.

IMG_9936.jpeg
 

sftiger

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I really don't understand why it is necessary to remove one's clothes in order to convince oneself that one is having a good time.
Wouldn't necessarily do it at a more subdued affair, but summer black tie weddings with college buddies + too much booze + vigorous dancing means it can get very hot. I usually keep mine on but I get why people do it.
 

Johnmdub

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Have ordered trousers, 9.5 inch hems, basically modelled on my current favourite wider trousers. Would love an alternative to my captoe oxfords - have a pair of Meermjn, but they’ve just never been that comfortable but don’t want to just buy a second pair of similar as they’ll get little use.
I’m reading that loafers are out? Don’t think pumps are for me, or patent leather. There’s not really many other options, right?
Also will have a cummerbund made in the same material as the trouser gallon. I know it’s not necessary with the double breasted, but accepting the reality that the jacket will come off at points, I think it’ll help to maintain a decent look
 

The Chai

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Venetian slippers? They look like pumps but higher vamp without the bow. Cummerbund should match lapel facings. Galons in braid solves that problem as you can wear satin or grosgrain.
Have ordered trousers, 9.5 inch hems, basically modelled on my current favourite wider trousers. Would love an alternative to my captoe oxfords - have a pair of Meermjn, but they’ve just never been that comfortable but don’t want to just buy a second pair of similar as they’ll get little use.
I’m reading that loafers are out? Don’t think pumps are for me, or patent leather. There’s not really many other options, right?
Also will have a cummerbund made in the same material as the trouser gallon. I know it’s not necessary with the double breasted, but accepting the reality that the jacket will come off at points, I think it’ll help to maintain a decent look
 

Johnmdub

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Venetian slippers? They look like pumps but higher vamp without the bow. Cummerbund should match lapel facings. Galons in braid solves that problem as you can wear satin or grosgrain.
Thanks, will have a look.
Janet is ivory, self faced, so just the gallon and tie to coordinate
 

Andy57

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At the request of @ericgereghty:
IMG_2212.jpeg

Yellow Jacket White Trousers.jpg

The full-length image is a frame capture of our video, which you can see on Instagram, should you be so inclined.

Even I think this is a long reach from black tie, but I think it works okay for a summer evening cocktail party or some similar thing. I had the trousers made to go with my black double-breasted jacket and they work very well in that combination. Our esteemed friend @Butler does not think this combination works very well. He might be right, but he's awfully set in his ways.
 

ericgereghty

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At the request of @ericgereghty:
View attachment 2187853
View attachment 2187855
The full-length image is a frame capture of our video, which you can see on Instagram, should you be so inclined.

Even I think this is a long reach from black tie, but I think it works okay for a summer evening cocktail party or some similar thing. I had the trousers made to go with my black double-breasted jacket and they work very well in that combination. Our esteemed friend @Butler does not think this combination works very well. He might be right, but he's awfully set in his ways.
I like this much more, for whatever it's worth. Matches the jacket's optimal usage, in my opinion.
 

ericgereghty

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All this talk of jackets off at weddings has little to do with Black Tie or age - its simply that most men never wear classic tailoring.

To most men these days a suit of any kind is almost a costume. Men take their jackets off in droves because they are poorly fit, poorly made, uncomfortable, and don't want to be wearing them in the first place.

Don't take jackets off when wearing suits or tuxedos. Looks terrible in any situation.
I agree with all except the last sentences, which I disagree with with fully*.

Not to say you ought to cater your appearance based on the whims of others, but I would say I get more compliments on my "look" in suspenders and shirt sleeves than I do in a full suit. I am, admittedly, fitter than average, which may well play a role in said compliments, but I don't for a second agree that no jacket equals always awful, full stop. Not the case in my opinion, nor in the collective mind of a given crowd (except perhaps SFers lol).

*assuming your outfit is reasonably properly fitting, of course. If you're swimming in a shirt (or stuffed into it like cased sausage) with low rise trousers, you will not look good, obviously.
 

ValidusLA

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I agree with all except the last sentences, which I disagree with with fully*.

Not to say you ought to cater your appearance based on the whims of others, but I would say I get more compliments on my "look" in suspenders and shirt sleeves than I do in a full suit. I am, admittedly, fitter than average, which may well play a role in said compliments, but I don't for a second agree that no jacket equals always awful, full stop. Not the case in my opinion, nor in the collective mind of a given crowd (except perhaps SFers lol).

*assuming your outfit is reasonably properly fitting, of course. If you're swimming in a shirt (or stuffed into it like cased sausage) with low rise trousers, you will not look good, obviously.
I'll get a couple points out of the way first. I've mentioned them before and it always feels like I'm going crazy; seems like they are self evident to me.
- What looks "good" on fit or beautiful people should not be used as a basis for what constitutes good dress. Not only because good looking people would look good in burlap sacks, but also because fit and good looking people often look "good" (eg perhaps attractive to the opposite sex or aspirational in an Instagram type of way) in fits that would look very very bad on most people.
- What people compliment is immaterial to good dress, especially when it comes to classic menswear. If compliments were the goal we should all wear yeezy slides and athleisure with obnoxious branding.

Moving on from that.
- Suspenders are underwear.
- I said "when wearing suits or tuxedos." I did not say you must always wear a jacket. I do generally think wearing something above your shirt looks better - that might be a suit jacket, a sportcoat, a blazer, a waxed cotton jacket, a shacket, a safari, etc etc. However, when you are wearing a suit or tux, you are (I would assume unless we're all just farmers now) wearing a tie. A tie without a jacket looks bad. One looks like a used car salesman or an office drone.
 

Andy57

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I'll get a couple points out of the way first. I've mentioned them before and it always feels like I'm going crazy; seems like they are self evident to me.
- What looks "good" on fit or beautiful people should not be used as a basis for what constitutes good dress. Not only because good looking people would look good in burlap sacks, but also because fit and good looking people often look "good" (eg perhaps attractive to the opposite sex or aspirational in an Instagram type of way) in fits that would look very very bad on most people.
- What people compliment is immaterial to good dress, especially when it comes to classic menswear. If compliments were the goal we should all wear yeezy slides and athleisure with obnoxious branding.

Moving on from that.
- Suspenders are underwear.
- I said "when wearing suits or tuxedos." I did not say you must always wear a jacket. I do generally think wearing something above your shirt looks better - that might be a suit jacket, a sportcoat, a blazer, a waxed cotton jacket, a shacket, a safari, etc etc. However, when you are wearing a suit or tux, you are (I would assume unless we're all just farmers now) wearing a tie. A tie without a jacket looks bad. One looks like a used car salesman or an office drone.
I agree with every word. Speaking for myself, I am not a farmer.
 

ericgereghty

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I'll get a couple points out of the way first. I've mentioned them before and it always feels like I'm going crazy; seems like they are self evident to me.
- What looks "good" on fit or beautiful people should not be used as a basis for what constitutes good dress. Not only because good looking people would look good in burlap sacks, but also because fit and good looking people often look "good" (eg perhaps attractive to the opposite sex or aspirational in an Instagram type of way) in fits that would look very very bad on most people.
- What people compliment is immaterial to good dress, especially when it comes to classic menswear. If compliments were the goal we should all wear yeezy slides and athleisure with obnoxious branding.

Moving on from that.
- Suspenders are underwear.
- I said "when wearing suits or tuxedos." I did not say you must always wear a jacket. I do generally think wearing something above your shirt looks better - that might be a suit jacket, a sportcoat, a blazer, a waxed cotton jacket, a shacket, a safari, etc etc. However, when you are wearing a suit or tux, you are (I would assume unless we're all just farmers now) wearing a tie. A tie without a jacket looks bad. One looks like a used car salesman or an office drone.
A necessary caveat: I most certainly am not a beautiful person :rotflmao:

In any event, I respectfully find the above totally detached from anything resembling today's reality, and a bit silly in its rigidity. Like, sure, by its initial intent, you're correct, but NOBODY is going to feel overly exposed (and nobody is going to think you are) should they find their suspenders exposed to onlookers. I feel safe wagering anybody (including us here) would feel far more uncomfortable walking about in their actual skivvies than doing so with only their suspenders exposed.

Does a suit/tux look better with a tie/bow? Surely. Does either look BAD sans one? To me, that's just wacky. I'm perfectly fine saying it's classically wrong, but the idea that's you're going to look some sort of schmuck if you've loosened/nixed it is just wildly out of step with the world, and rather worthy of an eyeroll to me. Does not seem like a fun hang, in any event, and "looks terrible in any situation" just evokes images of a nerd in the corner of the dance thumbing his nose at those who have bastardized acceptable dress having a grand ol' time on the floor.

But, I shall not argue further, since I know the nerd in the corner scenario ruffled feathers when broached earlier.

Again, while you're not wrong, and it certainly doesn't bother me a bit if you (or anybody) hold themselves to such standards, it's just a bit wacky to be so rigidly judgmental about such things nowadays. I for one shan't feel too much shame if I find myself with an open collar while sporting a tux at some point in the eve. But, YMMV
 

ValidusLA

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If we are talking about nerdy looks - exposed suspenders scream nerd to me far more than anything else we are discussing here. When I think of a guy in exposed suspenders I think of like..... someone who thinks its cool to look like a bartender circa 2005. Its a very "Milady" look.

A more important question - does a tux or suit look bad without a tie or bow tie?

I would posit the answer to this is an unequivocable YES.

Lets not even delve into Black Tie Sans Tie. Its in the freaking name. Wear a tie with a tux.

Now...a suit. A suit without a tie (or ascot, or scarf, or some form of neckwear), looks pretty damn boring and orphaned to me. This is a very "poorly dressed bankers before they discovered Patagonia and walnut Allen Edmonds" look.

I cannot conceive of a situation in which I would wear a suit without a tie.

I think a sport coat and trousers can be worn without a tie (though needs a square or else its criminally dull). If one does not want to wear a tie, there are many, many outfits to wear. A suit is not one of them.

I think its very funny that people keep coming back to some weird, attempted semi-dig that boils down to, "If you think people should dress properly or keep their tie on, you must be some anti social nerd that's no fun and no one likes." This particular line of thought is weird to me. Its simultaneously insanely self-conscious while also being judgmental in a faux casual sort of way.
 

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