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All right! Well, it's not exactly like a suit. It certainly can feel that way sometimes for me, though. Especially if you opt for covered shirt buttons, the main differences are the cut of the waistcoat and details of the coat's exterior. Most tailors also cut the dinner jacket almost like a suit coat these days, although I thankfully have not had to endure such a thing.I'm really not sure how you can construe black tie as "another suit" lol.
I've yet to be in a situation where I've been wearing a non-tuxedo suit with grosgrain/satin lapels, buttons, or a trouser stripe.
I've never worn patent leather shoes with a non-tuxedo suit.
I've never worn a cummerbund with a non-tuxedo suit.
A tuxedo's waistcoat, if you do not favor a cummerbund, is significantly different in appearance and construction to a three piece suit.
I've never worn shirt studs with a non-tuxedo suit.
I would never choose to wear a bowtie with a non-tuxedo suit (I grant it can be done, I would just never choose to).
The superficial details are different, but the overall feeling that I, personally, get from black tie is not very different from a three-piece suit with a bowtie.So the shirt is different, the waistcoat is different, the jacket construction and material is different, the trouser construction and material is different, the shoes are different, and the neck-wear is different.
Thats....almost everything besides the basic shape of the garment.
And even there there are detail points that on a suit would be wildly unacceptable on a tuxedo.
Cuffs on pants? Traditional on a suit. Abhorrent on a tuxedo.
Notch lapel? De riguer on a suit. Being done but I would argue abhorrent on a tuxedo.
Then there is the color! A black suit (despite the protestations of the fashion industry) is ... uh.... not generally elegant in the opinion of many (myself included). A tuxedo is just about the only place you will find black advocated as a fabric choice by a majority of menswear types.
The lounge suit vs black tie look looks quite different to meThe superficial details are different, but the overall feeling that I, personally, get from black tie is not very different from a three-piece suit with a bowtie.
Shoes and cuffs be damned. Perhaps the easiest way is with pictures:
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View attachment 1449329
There is your suit, and there your black tie.
So what if the lapels do not peak? They might very easily do so. Look at the shoulders, the draping, and the general fact that the dinner jacket lacks tails. These are commonplace among modern black tie.
Additionally, it is only in modern times that the dinner jacket code has become ossified with necromancy into one with some kind of unmovable rules. There is absolutely nothing to stop anyone from wearing the same black oxfords with either a suit or black tie, a regularly buttoned shirt, no waistcoat (if your shirt fits perfectly and you are of a slim build), or even ordinary black trousers if you can pull it off. Black tie is hilariously relaxed - and I challenge anyone to find a dinner jacket that even comes close to the fit of a bespoke set of tails. They were called "body coats" for a reason.
Now, this is clearly all a function of how often one wears evening clothes. If black tie is a rarity, then it is obvious as to why it might be held upon a pedestal and its details fetishized. If, however, you make a habit of wearing evening clothes on a regular enough basis, it will feel very much familiar and not unlike tossing on a suit jacket. And if you opt for velvet and a rakish scarf, not only will you cause the self-annointed, middle-class guardians of "the rules" to seethe, but you will be much closer to the original spirit of the silly thing.
I think a refreshing picture of Full Dress is now in order:
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There, that's better.
I apologize if that's the way it came across, since I don't necessarily consider myself fancy, really. I like to sport evening clothes fairly often, however, and I do think that's an excuse for more extravagance (in terms of BT and WT) than during the day.The lounge suit vs black tie look looks quite different to me
Basic tl;Dr it feels like you are trying to get across is something along the lines of: "A true fancy lad like me sees no difference in black tie, because only white tie is distinct enough."
Regarding dismissal of accoutrements:
Its not that you MUST wear patent shoes with black tie, but that you would not wear them with a lounge suit.
Similar with a bowtie - I would never wear one with a lounge suit, even though I could. However I am not a 70 year old man nor am I Tucker Carlson of the Crossfire days.
The vest in itself for BT is a closer correlation to WT than a lounge suit in shape, cut, and effect.
So what sets the last picture so far apart? Black and white certainly cheats the effect a bit. I am glad hats are gone, because I have a full head of hair and would never choose to wear one. Cane? Obviously affectatious in 2020.
So it really comes down to tails and the front closure on the tailcoat. I admit, the lay and layering effect of a tailcoat is quite elegant. I do not, in general, care much for tails overall.
Absolutely! As I mentioned before, at least here in Toronto there are still plenty who put in the effort for opera or ballet productions, and symphonies or upscale restaurants are still definitely well-dressed enough for a suit or blazer at least.In London it’s not so rare, given the mix of traditionalism and broader relaxation of dress codes to witness events where you note a mix of BT and WT ( and indeed lounge suits).
Unlike anywhere else I’ve lived or know of, most Englishmen of middle class or higher seem to own their own DJ and on that basis, it’s widely accepted. Even the rules for many Royal events have been greatly relaxed.
All that said, I think WT looks great I think that aficionados should take a leaf out of Andy’s BT book and make their own occasions to wear it.
I should reel back and apologize for high aggro level. I think I perhaps react more negatively to WT than BT (and therefore to stipulations of it being outsizedly special) because of most of my experience wearing it.I apologize if that's the way it came across, since I don't necessarily consider myself fancy, really. I like to sport evening clothes fairly often, however, and I do think that's an excuse for more extravagance (in terms of BT and WT) than during the day.
They're clearly not precisely and wholly the same, and I just thought it was a nice picture. It's rare you see tails so well-cut these days, even when you can find a tailor who knows how to make them up at all!
Actually, I wouldn't mind a resurgence of the top hat, though that's even harder than white tie - might as well go all the way. Canadian winters can be rough, and there's no chance I'll wear a beanie with a suit, so I usually end up with decent headgear anyhow.
Edit: I agree - if I were Scottish than Highland Dress would be a smashing look. Too bad my heritage is just a bit more south.
No need to worry, we're all just discussing our interests after all. There's bound to be some variation in our favorite details.I should reel back and apologize for high aggro level. I think I perhaps react more negatively to WT than BT (and therefore to stipulations of it being outsizedly special) because of most of my experience wearing it.
Back when I had the most occasions to wear it I was 18-22 years old, playing rugby (as a prop - was therefore huge and weird shaped), and could not afford bespoke clothing yet. In this situation - a tailcoat does not look particularly fine.
I would never welcome a return to the hat. Gloves maybe, but never the hat!