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tux without bowtie

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by ibartels, Aug 22, 2011.

  1. ibartels

    ibartels Active Member

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    I have a wedding next month and want to take my new Corneliani tux out for a spin. The groomsmen are all wearing the classic black tux/black bow-tie combination which precludes me from doing the same. I thought about just doing it, but asked the groom and he said the tux is fine but to avoid a bow-tie since that is how he has his groomsmen dressed. I searched around the forums a bit and much of what I'm reading is that a tie with a tux is no good. The invite actually says 'black tie optional' which makes me think I should be allowed to just go with the classic black bow-tie look as I had planned. Should I press the groom on this? It is his day so unless I'm 100% correct then I'd rather not. Thank you gentlemen for any advice on this matter.
     
  2. tullytra

    tullytra Senior member

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    Since the groom specifically answered your question by saying to avoid a bow-tie, I'd say to honor his wishes. On the other hand, on the actual day he probably won't even notice if you end up looking like one of his groomsmen.
     
  3. MrDaniels

    MrDaniels Senior member

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    While I am not a big fan of a long tie with a tux, I think it would look better than with no tie at all. Or can you pull off a silver or white bow tie?
     
  4. MrDaniels

    MrDaniels Senior member

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    You know, I just read the initial post more carefully...how can they designate the wedding as "black tie optional" and then tell a guest not to wear a black bow tie? No offense to your friend the groom...but I think he needs to get slapped by Emily Post.
     
  5. Harold falcon

    Harold falcon Senior member

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    Your only remaining option is to skip the tux completely. Go for a dark suit (charcoal or navy) and a muted long tie.
     
  6. Thomas

    Thomas Senior member

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    this.
     
  7. ibartels

    ibartels Active Member

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    Maybe I'll try the silver bow-tie/vest route. That way I won't look like the groomsmen. I agree that it is very lame to call it black-tie optional and then tell me I can't wear the classic black-tie outfit. Thanks for the tips. Any other possibilities of splashing in some color or differentiating myself without stepping on the groom's toes? I just wish I hadn't asked him at this point.
     
  8. MrDaniels

    MrDaniels Senior member

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    Red pocket square?
     
  9. jk2317

    jk2317 Well-Known Member

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    Yep, you screwed up. Unless the groom is a styleforum member, you should have asked the bride. I'm sure he's completely ignorant of the fact that you can ONLY wear a black bow tie when the dress code is "black tie."

    If he weren't such a bumpkin, he and his groomsmen would be wearing white tie, and the dress code wouldn't be "optional."
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. jk2317

    jk2317 Well-Known Member

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    More helpfully, what about a bit of subtle color and pattern in a cummerbund?
     
  11. Bounder

    Bounder Senior member

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    +1 Talk to your friend again and explain the situation. Tell him that the bride has sent out invitations telling people to wear black tie and that he should be prepared to see other people at the wedding wearing DJs and black bow ties. Of course, you should emphasize that you won't wear a black bow tie if he doesn't want you to. I have to wonder, though, if the invitation specifies black tie, why did you ask the groom in the first place? The idea that, since the groomsmen are wearing black tie no one else can, is just silly. I'm pretty sure the groom will be able to recognize them even without special uniforms.
     
  12. tullytra

    tullytra Senior member

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    Shameless plug, but if the OP does decide on a long tie I have a black Valentino for sale.
     
  13. AB01

    AB01 Senior member

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    Here are some solutions.

    1. Ask to become a groomsman.

    2. Wear a white bow tie. It is acceptable to wear with a tux moreso than a long tie. Silver bowtie suggested above could workout too. Maybe offwhite or cream.

    3. Wear a business suit instead.


    Funny thing is I bet the groomsmen tuxes are those business suit/tux hybrids with two (or three) buttons and notch lapels. Also, square toe shoes. You probably won't look anything close to them with anything you own.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  14. jk2317

    jk2317 Well-Known Member

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    Haha this was exactly my experience at the last black-tie wedding I attended. Me in my Mr. Ned tux (midnight blue, shawl lapel) and Alden plain-tie balmorals (sorry, I'm just not man enough for formal pumps... yet). Groom and groomsmen with notches, center vents, and a spectacular array of everything wrong with popular men's footwear today.

    We all had on black bowties, and no one confused me for a groomsman.
     
  15. JordanB

    JordanB Senior member

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    You definitely shouldn't buy anything new for the occasion. Wear what you have. If it's black tie optional, there will be plenty of people showing up dressed just like the groomsmen. Tough shit for the groom. If you want to add something, wear a red pocket square.
     
  16. MrDaniels

    MrDaniels Senior member

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    I'd do a black vest with the silver tie...a silver vest/ tie combo will set your look back to an After 6 rental.
     
  17. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    The groom is out of line in this instance and should be ignored. The invitation indicates black-tie optional and that means a tuxedo with a black bow tie. If the groom didn't want that possibility, the invitation should not have read as it does.

    I suppose it's possible that the groom thinks that by wearing a bow tie that he is doing something special that only he and the wedding party should be allowed to do. As it's standard dress, he's wrong.

    Just wear the tuxedo as it is meant to be worn ... with a bow tie. It's unlikely you'll be the only one.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  18. Christopher Essex

    Christopher Essex Senior member

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    +1 (million)
     
  19. graymerica

    graymerica Well-Known Member

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    I hate the term "black tie optional." My wedding was "black tie" It was actually a debate because my wife thought it was tacky to put that on our invitation because people should know, because the wedding was at 6pm and therefore "black tie"

    As for your question, why not just wear a different color tie and cummerbund set? I disagree with the idea that you must have a black cummerbund and tie set.

    It is my experience that a good percentage of people at black tie events are wearing tie and cummerbund sets that are not black, but colored / patterned etc.. Granted I am in NC, I have been to a wide variety of formal events and this is a pretty common occurrence. Unless the party is white tie, You should be able to wear a set with some color.

    If you do wear a black tie, you will certainly not look like a groomsman because you do not have a buttoner.

    Plus I can assume that your friends ill-fitting rental and shiny plastic shoes will not match your rig.
     
  20. RSS

    RSS Senior member

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    Bow ties with a dinner suit (tuxedo) really should be black.

    My personal feeling is that anything too colorful is not in the best of taste. That said, I think you can 'get away' with greys, slivers, and perhaps small checks of black, grey or silver & white.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011

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