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Tuxedo Advice for 5'11" 170lb guy

perfectstitch

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Hello! I have a couple Black Tie and Black Tie Optional weddings coming up so I want to finally buy a tuxedo.

I am 5'11" and 170lbs with a narrow waist (sort of a "V" shape) and a long torso (most of my weight is in my butt and legs)

I was debating peak vs shawl lapels but my partner said she really likes the midnight blue shawl tux. I'm open to being convinced otherwise but I to lean that way as well, though also really like the classic black peak lapel tux. Want something that will last several years from a 'timeless style' perspective e.g. don't want notch lapels (for a number of reasons)

I'm planning to get it made by PeterLee Baron in Hong Kong who last took my measurements when I was there in 2015. I live in Manhattan and I really like the suit he made me so was going to go with him, but if folks think it is a much better idea to go with someone in NYC and have a recommendation I am open to it. He is quoting me about $830 USD for a Tux (assume it is half canvas), shirt, and cummerbund and that is sort of the ballpark of what I'm looking to spend, versus several thousand.

Here were the instructions I sent Peter so far before our go/no go decision:

Lapel: Shawl
Color: Midnight Blue
Pockets: Jetted
Belt Loops: No belt loops? I think maybe side fasteners or just suspenders/brackets? What do you recommend?
Trousers: Single braid on outside to match the lapel facings, no pleats
Cummerbund: Yes
Tuxedo Shirt: Yes please - not sure what the options are though?


My questions for the FAR more knowledgeable and experienced community are:

1. Shawl vs Peak for my body type?
2. Cummerbund vs Evening Waistcoat (if the latter, shawl vs peak lapels) ?
3. Half Canvas vs Full Canvas?
4. Shawl lapel style type: Beckham vs Bond (see pictures) or something else entirely?
5. Button count and location: Was thinking 1 button but not sure how high or low (see Beckham vs Bond) ?
6. Tuxedo Shirt and Collar: any advice welcome here
7. Any thing else I should know would be most welcome!

Thank you!

Jake
 

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ter1413

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Are you planning to return to HK to get re-measured? Fitted?
 

ter1413

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I would not purchase a tux "blind" off of measurements 4+ years ago. If you feel comfortable doing that, good luck.
 

perfectstitch

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I would not purchase a tux "blind" off of measurements 4+ years ago. If you feel comfortable doing that, good luck.
I hear you, it's definitely not ideal, I'm just not sure what my other options are shy of spending double the money (or more). I checked out Indochino and it seemed pretty horrible.

I have a tailor here in New York that I use for small alterations should I need any, but I'm hoping PeterLee can just recreate the suit fit. I suppose I could also take measurements here and send him to see if anything glaring has changed.

Apart from tailor advice, any thoughts on the questions style front?
 

breakaway01

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https://www.gentlemansgazette.com/tuxedo-black-tie-guide/ is a very good resource.

@ter1413's point is a good one. Button placement and lapel size/shape are really important on a tuxedo. It's hard to recommend a shawl lapel size/shape without seeing it in person. The proportions of the lapel have to be right for you. Also if you do go with a waistcoat it is *essential* to have it fitted in person. The length has to be just right relative to the trousers. If you are going to go with Lee Baron and you are not going to have an in-person fitting (which I would not recommend either), then do not order a waistcoat. In any case it is more typical to wear a cummerbund with a shawl collar.

Shawl vs peak is up to you. Both are perfectly fine; peak lapels are more formal but nowadays it probably doesn't matter much. If you are not going to have it fitted in person then I would advocate for peak lapels -- it'll be harder to mess up.

Never belt loops on tuxedo trousers. Braces/suspenders are the way to go.

Never more than one button on the jacket.

Be sure that the "midnight blue" shade that you pick out is nearly black. Swatches can be misleading -- in my experience swatches often look darker than the suit made up.
 

perfectstitch

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https://www.gentlemansgazette.com/tuxedo-black-tie-guide/ is a very good resource.

@ter1413's point is a good one. Button placement and lapel size/shape are really important on a tuxedo. It's hard to recommend a shawl lapel size/shape without seeing it in person. The proportions of the lapel have to be right for you. Also if you do go with a waistcoat it is *essential* to have it fitted in person. The length has to be just right relative to the trousers. If you are going to go with Lee Baron and you are not going to have an in-person fitting (which I would not recommend either), then do not order a waistcoat. In any case it is more typical to wear a cummerbund with a shawl collar.

Shawl vs peak is up to you. Both are perfectly fine; peak lapels are more formal but nowadays it probably doesn't matter much. If you are not going to have it fitted in person then I would advocate for peak lapels -- it'll be harder to mess up.

Never belt loops on tuxedo trousers. Braces/suspenders are the way to go.

Never more than one button on the jacket.

Be sure that the "midnight blue" shade that you pick out is nearly black. Swatches can be misleading -- in my experience swatches often look darker than the suit made up.
Thank you! Very helpful - will especially take note of the coloring on the swatches.

If I were figure out a way to get it fitted in person, what do you think of the two shawl styles (Beckham / Bond) and button location?

Also, any tips on the shirt?
 

breakaway01

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Personally would go with the style on Beckham but ultimately up to you.
Button placement on a tuxedo should be fairly low -- more like the jacket on Beckham rather than the one on Craig. A good rule of thumb is that it should sit just above your natural waist. But this is where an in-person fitting is extremely helpful.
Shirt: suggest Marcella with turndown collar. Don't do a wing collar or pleated fronts.
 

perfectstitch

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Personally would go with the style on Beckham but ultimately up to you.
Button placement on a tuxedo should be fairly low -- more like the jacket on Beckham rather than the one on Craig. A good rule of thumb is that it should sit just above your natural waist. But this is where an in-person fitting is extremely helpful.
Shirt: suggest Marcella with turndown collar. Don't do a wing collar or pleated fronts.
Thanks - I thought the Beckham style looked more 'formal' as well, but not sure if that was due to button placement rather than shawl style
 

ValidusLA

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So, definitely only one button. Definitely double vented. Midnight blue is a solid choice - but yes make sure its really midnight and not some more flashy blue.

I will come out on the side of Peak lapels. I won't come out and say that shawl collar is wrong. Its no wrong. It is more....trendy, especially because its narrower. I don't view this as a good thing.

Peaks are more formal, they make you look taller and they make you look slimmer. If you were 6'3 - I might recommend a shawl.

I did MB tuxedo for my wedding and bought MTM ones for my groomsmen. I let them choose lapels and all choose peak except for my best friend who is 6'2 and like 155 lbs. Hes a noodle-person and the shawl looks great. The last thing he would want is to look taller and slimmer.

In terms of button placement and general everything - Beckhams rig is better. The button should be lower than were Craig's Bond has his, and the fit on Beckhams looks better. Like.....Craig's is styled almost closer to a jacket with shawl than a tux in many ways w/ that high button. He looks awesome because Daniel Craig is a very handsome man....playing James Bond holding a gun. I am not so lucky. Maybe you are.

Cummerbund vs waistcoat is up to you - I would vote waistcoat.
 

perfectstitch

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Thanks everyone! Tried to work with Kent Wang (via Aaron in NYC) and it was a great experience, but unfortunately we couldn't make the timing and logistics work, and they also couldn't accommodate the specific shawl lapel I was looking for (the Beckham Style which is more squared off versus the more traditionally "pointed" version). Additionally, Aaaron mentioned I am a bit of a U shape rather than pronounced V shape, so a peak lapel would be good.

So given that, went with my original tailor in Hong Kong and went with your suggestions to get a black peak lapel. Went with a Vitale Barberis Canonico Mohair and Wool blend.

Anyway, here are some follow up questions I was curious about:

Vents - no vents or side vents? I have a larger rear end (not side to side but front to back)
Shirt - folks had mentioned a turndown collar but given I went with a peak lapel, would you recommend a turndown collar or wing collar? Also, what options are there besides Marcella and what would you recommend?
Lining - what lining would you recommend? I was thinking black with some slight red trimming
Lapel Width - Was thinking 10cm as it would look more formal but not sure if that is too wide
Vest/Cummerbund - Any tips here in terms of Vest or Cummerbund, and details around the Vest if that is the best route would be welcome!
 

breakaway01

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Vents - no vents or side vents? I have a larger rear end (not side to side but front to back)
Shirt - folks had mentioned a turndown collar but given I went with a peak lapel, would you recommend a turndown collar or wing collar? Also, what options are there besides Marcella and what would you recommend?
Lining - what lining would you recommend? I was thinking black with some slight red trimming
Lapel Width - Was thinking 10cm as it would look more formal but not sure if that is too wide
Vest/Cummerbund - Any tips here in terms of Vest or Cummerbund, and details around the Vest if that is the best route would be welcome!
Vents: no vents is traditional but I find that impractical if you plan to sit down. I would go double vents personally unless you want to be absolutely “correct”.
Shirt: wing collar only if you are getting a detachable collar. Stick with turndown.
Lining is up to you.
10cm is quite wide for a lapel. It can work but it will definitely be dramatic. Suggest going down to 9.5 or 9 cm unless you’re confident that you want the wide lapels. In that case also think carefully about the shape of the lapels (straight versus having a little “belly” to them)
For a peak lapel jacket I’d suggest a vest. Should be low front vest (U front)
 

ValidusLA

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Vents: no vents is traditional but I find that impractical if you plan to sit down. I would go double vents personally unless you want to be absolutely “correct”.
Shirt: wing collar only if you are getting a detachable collar. Stick with turndown.
Lining is up to you.
10cm is quite wide for a lapel. It can work but it will definitely be dramatic. Suggest going down to 9.5 or 9 cm unless you’re confident that you want the wide lapels. In that case also think carefully about the shape of the lapels (straight versus having a little “belly” to them)
For a peak lapel jacket I’d suggest a vest. Should be low front vest (U front)
Agree w/ all of this. Double vents is so much more practical.
10cm peak lapel is huge. I would got 9-9.25 at your size. My tailor does my peaks at 9.525 sometimes and my chest is a 46. I would never countenance anything larger.
 

J.Odelius

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I also agree with breakaway01. I myself prefer no vent on tuxes to keep things neater but I imagine it being harder to get right without fittings and recent measurement taken. But I'm not a tailor so what do I know.

I also definately prefer a waistcoat but yet again, as breakaway01 said. Make sure its a U-shape otherwise it will look weird.

Good luck and be sure to post pictures of the result. :)
 

perfectstitch

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Thanks y'all - I am size 36 - 38 so sounds like I should go with a 9.25cm lapel (tailor recommended 9.5cm). Wish there was a guide visual guide I could find highlighting the differences

Attached are the options he provided for cummerbunds and waistcoats
 

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