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Tuxedo questions

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Ambulance Chaser, Sep 14, 2004.

  1. Ambulance Chaser

    Ambulance Chaser Senior member

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    As I indicated in another thread, I recently picked up a tuxedo for cheap at a consignment shop. Â Brioni it ain't, but I think it will look much better than a rental and better than what 90% of guys out there are wearing. Â I have three questions that I was hoping to get some input on. 1. The tuxedo jacket has flap pockets. Â While not a sin on the level of notch lapels, it detracts a bit from the dressiness of the jacket. Â Can I and should I have a tailor remove the flaps, or should I be content with tucking the flaps into the pockets so that the pockets will resemble jetted pockets from a distance? 2. The lapel has no buttonhole. Â Should any tailor worth his salt be able to put an attractive buttonhole in, or should I leave the lapel alone? 3. I have neither the $$$ nor the desire to wear patent pumps with the tuxedo. I would much rather wear a pair of black lace-up oxfords (shined of course) that can get double duty as footwear with a suit. Â Is a whole-cut shoe dressy enough to wear, or should I get a pair of plain-toe or cap-toe balmorals? Thanks in advance.
     


  2. Will

    Will Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Tuck the pockets in. Remove them if you want to spend the money but only if you can first verify that you'll have jetted pockets remaining when the flap is removed.

    Definitely have a 1 1/4" buttonhole cut in the lapel by your tailor, parallel to the peak in the lapel. Behind the lapel, and about 1" below the lowest point of the buttonhole, have a 1" length of silk thread sewn that will act as a keeper for the stem.

    If you had the budget for pumps, plain black calf pumps are better looking than patent, in my opinion. Whole cut or stitched cap oxfords are very reasonable substitutes. Avoid bals, or anything with brogueing in general, medallion toes, and other forms of decoration.

    Will
     


  3. mano

    mano Senior member

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    Use duct tape to hold the flaps inside the pocket.
     


  4. kidkim2

    kidkim2 Senior member

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    Ambulance Chaser--

    There is no entirely adequate substitute for patent leather pumps with grosgrain bows.  Allen Edmonds makes, or used to make, a version that lasts forever.  IMHO, a first-rate investment.

    But maybe you'll be wearing yours in environments where this kind of detail counts for little.  If so, get your hands on the plainest-toed black shoe you can find, in the highest grade black calfskin you can afford. (Better yet, "shell cordovan"--that is, horsehide--which takes the highest gloss). Then polish it to a lapidary sheen.  

    And pray that the love of your life, whom you will meet for the first time at your next black tie event, isn't a stickler for detail.

    Regards,

    Mike
     


  5. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Or pray that you don't meet any sort of person who frequents the styleforum, and the like.
     


  6. rws

    rws Active Member

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    Whole-heartedly agree.
     


  7. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    I seriously haven't seen these things worn except as a goof. Maybe I need to hang out with the royal family more often.

    Pretty much anywhere except on the set of an Ivory Merchant film.

    Sounds like good advice.

    If she cares, or even notices, that you are not wearing the correct grosgrain ribboned patent leather pumps, she is probably a really uptight bitch. Back away slowly.
     


  8. Kai

    Kai Senior member

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    I don't like patent pumps either. I wear plain toe bal oxfords in a very shiny shell cordovan.
     


  9. johnnynorman3

    johnnynorman3 Senior member

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    I agree with Kai. I also think that broguing shouldn't be totally out of the question. So long as the accessories are plain black, a little design on the shoe like on the C & J Weymouths adds a dash of style, IMO. I dislike patent leather on a personal note, and objectively we must admit that any good calf leather shoe beats the plastic rental "patent leather" pieces of crap that rental stores give out.
     


  10. mano

    mano Senior member

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    I also have a tux w/grosgrain and found a nice pair of "tuxedo shoes" on ebay in perfect condition and paid less than $20. Patent leather with grosgrain accents. They're made by Mezlan, but I also saw an auction for a pair of Bally's that were the exact same shoe. The Mezlans were made in Italy (all other Mezlans are Spanish) so I figured someone made them and they were rebranded by Mezlan and Bally. They're nice looking shoes. I'd be embarrassed to wear some of the tux shoes out there.
     


  11. Will

    Will Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    The published experts, Flusser, Roetzel, etc., are unanimous.

    They place brogueing on shoes worn with dinner clothes in the same category as wearing a tie other than black.

    It can be done.

    You may find it attractive.

    But the act is outside the pale, though not to the same extent as the powder blue jackets and ruffled shirts offered at wedding rental stores in the U.S.

    Just as colored pocket squares, waistcoats and cummerbunds give you license to mix up your look without deviating from black ties (as someone said, "It does say black tie on the invitation, not red"), there are other shoe choices.

    For example, Cleverley makes a very discreet unlined calf dress shoe with a lizard band, and velvet slippers work unless it's raining.

    Will
     


  12. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    No brogues. I think that that the best choice in this day and age (i.e. Fall 2004, not Fall 1928) would be a full cut black shoe or a balmoral - shined to a rich, deep black.
     


  13. Will

    Will Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I have misunderstand your use of "balmoral" LA Guy.

    I know bals as full brogues, where the punches from the toe go straight back to the rear of the shoe instead of "winging" their way. But I believe that there is an American naming convention for shoes without brogueing.

    If you're referring to shoes without punches, we are in violent agreement.

    Will
     


  14. LA Guy

    LA Guy Opposite Santa Staff Member Admin Moderator

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    Hi Will, As I understand it, balmoral and blucher refer to the particular style of shoe (shoe fiends, esp. A.Harris or RIDER, please wade in as necessary), and has nothing to do with broguing whatsoever. For example, the Allen Edmonds Park Avenue and Chester are both balmorals, while the AE Bradley and Lexington are bluchers. All these examples can be found at: http://www.tmbclothing.com/allen-edmonds-shoes.asp
     


  15. A Harris

    A Harris Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    Balmoral is a general term for a closed laced shoe, but I think it can also refer to the wingtip Will describes. But we all know not to wear those.

    Pumps with the grosgrain bow are one of the only classic clothing items I'm not comfortable wearing. I guess I'm just not man enough. I recommend a highly polished black shoe with closed lacing - no broguing etc. Something with a slim toe shape is much preferred.

    While on the subject, I have a question about my tux shoes. They are a plain black Polo/C&J Handgrade oxford, with ribbon laces. They almost appear patent, but are "black boned calf". Anything special involved in the care of these shoes??
     


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