Tuxedo-Prom

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by kpphy88, Apr 17, 2005.

  1. kpphy88

    kpphy88 Member

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    Hi guys. I hope this topic doesn't seem trivial to you guys, but as I'm still in high school, my Prom is coming up and I want to look my best.
    My date is wearing a black dress with silver accents. I want to wear a bow tie with a wing collar shirt (I think a straight tie looks too common and not as formal). However, I am having some trouble figuring out what color vest I should wear. I don't think I want to wear a cummerbund lol. (BTW yes, I will be renting, I'm only in high school). I read in GQ that if wearing a wing collared shirt, one should wear a peak-lapel tuxedo and only in one or two buttons. (As you can tell I don't know much or at all about formalwear).

    I think that a black bow tie looks classic and quite handsome... however, I have some qualms that a black vest would look a bit... dark? I'm not sure. But any input on the color of the bow tie, vest, or anything is appreciated, as I hold the members of this message board in the highest regard when it comes to sartorial matters. Thanks guys.
     
  2. Roy

    Roy Senior member

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    I'd wear a black cummerbund. Black is the only way to go when you want to do things right.

    I don't like a vest or a cummerbund, but the cummerbund is the lesser of two evils imho.
     
  3. policy

    policy Active Member

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    Roy-

    In the US the Cummerbund is the kiss of death, do they even have Proms in Amsterdam?

    kpphy-

    My one regret at prom was the chintzy vests that they rent, they aren't even real vests, they are like fronts with elastic straps. See if you can rent a full vest, that is your best bet. No one looks great in a rented tux, especially in high school. I would get as dark of a vest as possible, perhaps black with some sort of pattern on it? I know it can be rough because the selection is so poor at Mr. Neats, etc.
     
  4. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    I applaud your insistence on the black bow tie.

    Think about renting a double breasted jacket (peaked lapels only, please).  That way, you don't have to wear either the vest or the cummerbund. You will probably be one of the few to do so, as well, which will be nice. It helps you stand out in a stylish but classic way.

    I would skip the wing collar shirt, if I were you.  The ones for rent are really, really lame and have any number of stylistic and construction defects.  A nice turn-down collar shirt with a pique (textured cotton) or pleated front will look much better.
     
  5. ken

    ken Banned by Request

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    If you're poor, best bet is to at least rent from Men's Wearhouse. They don't give you a bib (those half-vests) and have some classic styles to choose from.
     
  6. Roy

    Roy Senior member

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    Not really proms, just parties. The first formal parties are usually organised by fraternities and are mostly white tie.

    The tuxedo's i've seen here, usually are worn with cummerbunds. I very rarely see a vest.
     
  7. policy

    policy Active Member

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    I went to 5 proms in the mid-90s, and saw nary a cummerbund, I think it's just a cultural thing. at many a prom the kids take off their jackets, and that defeats the purpose of a cummerbund (To hide the waistband inside of the jacket), hence my suggestion to rent a vest with a back on it.
     
  8. kpphy88

    kpphy88 Member

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    Ken: I'm not poor, I just don't think it is very practical as a high school student who does not attend several black tie events a year to go out and buy a tuxedo.

    But anyways, I do realize that rental tuxedos are not going to be perfect. (AfterHours at my local mall had for crying out loud PRE TIED straight ties) As for the recommendations, do you guys think it is plausible for me to accomodate such recommendations at a rental outlet? Or should I go and buy some on my own.
     
  9. kpphy88

    kpphy88 Member

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    This is off on a tangent.... but what is up with the rental places and the ridiculous stuff they offer? Like previously mentioned, pre tied straight ties and ridiculously colored vests and matching ties? I'm also kind of wary of AfterHours because they offer tuxedos to buy for $200...

    EDIT:
    I forgot, but I was surprised at how quickly people responded to this. I applaud you all and thank you for the fast responses.
     
  10. RJman

    RJman Posse Member Dubiously Honored

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    Welcome. I think the advice you've gotten above is all good, and I just wanted to add that all tuxedos should be peak lapelled or shawl lapelled. A notch lapel is definitely not right on a tux.

    I wore a cummerbund once with a tuxedo. I'm sure it's lighter on the prom dance floor than a vest, though.

    Props to you for going with a bow tie. If you're going to wear a tux and not some Hollywood-style suit, you ought to complete the outfit with the bow tie as God intended.
     
  11. dah328

    dah328 Senior member

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    Because lots of people don't know better and will pay money for those things.  That stuff is the 2005 equivalent of the baby blue tux with ruffled shirt.  Stay away from it and your prom pictures won't be able to be used to blackmail you in five years.

    Oh, and wear a white pocket square, preferably linen or cotton.  It's a completely appropriate and classic touch.

    Regards,

    dan
     
  12. ineffable

    ineffable Senior member

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    If you have time before your prom, i'd reccomend looking on ebay. You can probably get a nice tux (as long as you know your sizes..and if not, you can figure them out pretty easily) You could probably get a much nicer one than you'd be renting for a reasonable price. (You might want to take a look, find something you like and post it here so opinions can be given. It's not too easy to recognize good quality on ebay at times)
     
  13. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Notch lapels of a dubious satin, and fits that would rival Oxxford's sack suit.

    Paired with some Mississippi gambler's vest except without the lineage, and a pre-tied bow tie with matching pocket square.

    Frightening.
     
  14. Matt

    Matt [email protected]

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    unheard of - trivial is what we do best :)

    PS - dont rent, buy from thrift store, spend the money you save at the tailors. cost the same. fit better. owned.
     
  15. kpphy88

    kpphy88 Member

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    I would go to a thrift store if I had time, but unforunately my prom happens to be the same day as the SATs, in roughly 3 weeks, and AP testing begins that same week, and I must spend much of my spare time studying for them. Perhaps next year...

    I have come up with several more questions. I hope I don't sound like a bother.

    1) In terms of cuff-links, would silk knots be acceptable?

    2) Would a flat collar shirt look as well as a wing collar for a bow tie? (I ask because people have said wing collar shirts at rental places are of questionable quality)

    3) What about belts?

    4) What would be acceptable in terms of shoes (any basic guidelines to follow)? This may sound blasphemous sartorially (forgive me if it is), but would a low-cut chelsea boot suffice? I know it sounds a bit unconventional, but I own a pair that I think could work well.

    thanks.

    EDIT:
    On closer inspection, the chelsea boot is not really a chelsea boot at all. It just has a little strip of elastic similarly to a chelsea boot. It is black, very slim and a slip-on shoe, has a squared off toe, if this makes a difference.
     

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