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Wedding style

pstoller

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Gentlemen, I'll be getting married in October, and I'm working out all the details of what my attendents and I will be wearing. Most of the decisions aren't particulary difficult, but I thought I'd invite you all to weigh in on a few particulars. For starters, I've selected my own tuxedo"”a Dior Homme single-breasted, single-button peaked lapel model. Although the tux itself is wonderful (bless Hedi Slimane.), it does present one problem: it lacks provision for a boutonnière. I don't relish the thought of sticking a pin through the satin lapel of a brand new designer tux that I fully intend to wear on subsequent occasions, so I'm looking for alternatives. I'm considering having a buttonhole added to the lapel; does anyone have any thoughts on that, or any other ideas? Secondly, I'm soliciting suggestions for tuxedo rentals. Male members of the wedding party will be coming from different cities (NYC, Pittsburgh, Detroit, LA), so I need a chain with nationwide locations as well as a good selection of styles and quality service. Currently, I'm considering Gingiss and Men's Wearhouse. Comments on those choices and suggestions for alternatives would be greaty appreciated. Feel free to toss in any thoughts on accessorizing, from neckwear to shoes, since I have yet to solidify any of my choices save for the tux itself. Not that I don't have my own ideas, but I'm curious to hear from "the boys."
 

Joe G

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Sounds like a wonderful tux. I would say don't think twice about putting a buttonhole on the lapel. It should have been there in the first place, so go ahead and fix M. Slimane's slip-up.

As for accessoires, I'd keep it classic. That means the following:

-black self-tied bow-tie (mine's an el-cheapo Brooks Brothers, although if you want to spend more they are also available by Brioni. I could barely tell the difference, especially compared to the pretied ghetto things that everyone else seems to wear)

-white shirt with pleated or pique front

-vest (I just don't like cumberbunds, although truth be told my most-often worn tux* is a 6-button DB by Valentino Garavani, so I rarely deal with either cumberbund or vest),

-mother-of-pearl framed in platinum studs and cufflinks,

-patent-leather formal pumps.

Money-saving tip: if you don't already have the patent pumps, you might want to look at Mezlan's version. After spending about two hours deciding between them and Ferragamo's model, I found the Mezlans to be equally-well constructed and actually more comfortable. That's important if you'll be standing in them for a while, and using them for black-tie events such as balls. There are others that are nicer (John Lobb makes a gorgeous one, as one would expect), but they're considerably more expensive. And I don't think that there are as significant differences in the raw quality of patent-finished leather as there are in dyed calfskin or shell cordovan.

Peace,

JG

*my others are a 3-button SB peak-lapel Alfred Dunhill, and a tailcoat with double-striped trousers custom made for me by Knize. I've only worn the latter once, to this year's Opernball here in Vienna.
 

Steve B.

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PS:

Where is the wedding? I might be better eb able to suggest rental options. Everything else sounds very cool.
 

pstoller

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Sounds like a wonderful tux. I would say don't think twice about putting a buttonhole on the lapel. It should have been there in the first place, so go ahead and fix M. Slimane's slip-up.
That was my feeling, but I'm a little concerned about the risk of damaging the satin lapel, even by a good tailor. Am I just being paranoid? Also, any thoughts on precise placement/angle of the buttonhole?
black self-tied bow-tie (mine's an el-cheapo Brooks Brothers, although if you want to spend more they are also available by Brioni...)
I have one somewhere (I can't recall the make, but I agree that it doesn't matter as long as it's good silk and neither too wide nor too narrow), and that's what I was planning on. I've been considering an ascot as an alternative, but since I'm not wearing tails, that'd probably be a mistake.
white shirt with pleated or pique front
How do you feel about pleats vs. pique under a vest? Also, I'm pretty sure I want a classic wing collar, but I'm open to hearing pro/con arguments.
vest (I just don't like cumberbunds...)
I'm generally happy either way; I have a few of each, though the cummerbund is tad passÃ
. One thing concerns me: Slimane cuts very slim, and I'm uncertain of how a vest is going to affect the line. (Yeah, yeah, I know, "try it on.") I'm rather fond of vintage grosgrain vests and/or black-on-black patterns. Any opinions on vest style? Oh, and what about braces? Necessary, or optional?
mother-of-pearl framed in platinum studs and cufflinks
I have a nice vintage set, although it only has three studs. I'll look into another set along the same lines.
patent-leather formal pumps. Money-saving tip: if you don't already have the patent pumps, you might want to look at Mezlan's...
I've seen the Mezlan pumps, which I quite like. Good call on those. I have patent oxfords, as well as some Mezlan silk basketweave pumps, Lorenzo Banfi suede pumps with leather piping, and vintage Gucci patent pumps that are not, alas, pristine, so I think new shoes are in order.
my others are a 3-button SB peak-lapel Alfred Dunhill, and a tailcoat with double-striped trousers custom made for me by Knize. I've only worn the latter once, to this year's Opernball here in Vienna.
I have an odd assortment of tuxedos, including a Rive Droite mohair/wool single button shawl collar, a Jhane Barnes two button DB with a unique lapel design, a bizarre Matsuda tux with a broad velvet peaked lapel and velvet-lined bell sleeves, and a Miyake two-button SB mutant jacket/vest hybrid. Mostly, evening wear for very strange evenings.
 

pstoller

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Where is the wedding? I might be better able to suggest rental options.
The wedding is in Los Angeles, so most chains have a branch here. I'm primarily concerned that my eastern contingent will be able to get measured/fitted there, but pick up and return the finished tuxes in LA.
 

LA Guy

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pstoller

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I think that adding a button hole would be contrary to Slimane's very modernist interpretation of menswear. I think that I know the tuxedo you are talking about. As in most Slimane pieces, the elongated, vertical silhouette is critical, and adding anything, including a buttonhole, etc....that gets in the way of this would inadvisable. On the same note, I would opt for neither a vest nor a cummerbund, but for a pleated or plain front formal shirt, worn with a thin, Slimane designed belt (although a belt by the likes of Miuccia Prada or Helmut Lang might also be in keeping with the spirit of the outfit). I think that a skinny tie might be more congruent with a Slimane designed tux, but imagine that that would be a little too designery for a wedding - I guess you have to compromise on that point. As for the nationwide chain - the Men's Wearhouse is not a terrible choice.  Just remember to choose a tux style that will look good on all (male) members of the wedding party.
I'm sure the buttonhole would be contrary to Slimane's vision, or it would be there already.
However, since I wish to wear a boutonièrre, I have to have some place to put it, and some way to put it there. If you have another elegant solution, I'm all ears (or eyes, as the case may be). I thought about skipping the vest and cummerbund altogether, as well. It's a good suggestion, but I'm still undecided on that score. I think I'll just have to use a mirror to sort that out. A belt, however, is not an option, since 1) it's too informal to wear a belt with a tux, and 2) the pants have no belt loops. It's braces or nothing. For me, the problem with the skinny tie is less that it's "designer-y" than that it, like the belt, would be too informal for the occasion, and also that the whole skinny tie aesthetic is going to have an even shorter shelf life in the '00s than it did in its '80s incarnation. Not something I want to live with in the wedding pictures. I would try to pick a tux style for the attendents that would closely match my own, though clearly it won't be Dior all around. However, it shouldn't be too hard to get one button, single-breasted tuxedos with either peak or notch lapels, a style that is reasonably flattering on nearly all figures. The attendents, however, should have vests for certain. (Fathers of the bride and groom will be informed as to what the attendents will be wearing, but I feel they've earned to right to deviate from the uniform as they wish.) Thanks.
 

LA Guy

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pstoller

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I saw in the Dior campaign (this spring?) that a lot of models were wearing a jacket with in a flower of some type worn at the breast pocket. Why don't you try this out as an alternative place for your buttoniere? You could get the flowerarrangers (is that a word?) to attach a clip instead of a pin, and you could clip it to your breast pocket.
Hmmm...boutonnière as pocket square? The idea had crossed my mind, but I had dismissed it as being sort of "neither/nor." Perhaps I should revisit the idea. Any other votes on this?
Out of curiosity, where specifically are you holding the wedding? (Don't worry, not intending to crash.)
We haven't put the deposit down yet, but it looks like it's going to be at Yamashiro, in the garden by the koi pond. P.S.: "flower arrangers" is two words.
 

pstoller

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Just for yuks, I thought I'd tell you the latest story in the tux saga.

My fiancÃ
e and I took my father and stepmother out for a Father's Day brunch on Sunday (at the Belvedere in the Peninsula Hotel, for those who are familiar with LA). Talk naturally came 'round to the wedding and what we'd be wearing, including my own tux issue and my father's decision about what he would wear. While my attendents and I are wearing single-breasted tuxes, he's probably going to wear his own DB tux.

At one point, however, he jokingly suggested that he could wear a white dinner jacket, at which my stepmother scoffed, "In October?" I said, "Well, we just won't invite Mr. Blackwell, and it will be all right." To this, my stepmother replied, "you do know Mr. Blackwell is sitting right behind you, don't you?"

Well, no, I didn't, but he certainly was. He was also quite charming, and in the ensuing banter he complimented the beauty of my bride to be, and invited himself to our wedding.

Best of all, though, was that I now had the opportunity of asking "the expert" about my lapel problem. He agreed that a pin through a satin lapel was not the way to go. He considered having a buttonhole added a fine solution (though I did not specify that this was a Dior/Slimane tux). I then asked about placing the boutonnière in the breast pocket, at which he brightened; he seemed to think this was a very reasonable approach, as well. "Not too declassÃ
?" I asked, to which he replied, "Who the hell cares? It's your day."

So, there you have it: whichever way I go, I can now say I have Mr. Blackwell's approval. Now, I wonder where Alan Flusser has brunch...?
 

pstoller

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I suppose we should redirect this back to where you first posted on the subject, but as long as we're here... I personally like the de/reconstructed thing, as long as it's done with creativity, real tailoring skill and a keen aesthetic sensibility. (Either that, or if it's done at home with some punk/street wit, and to hell with tailoring.) On the other hand, to take a perfectly fine piece of high-end clothing and convert it into something less than what it was strikes me as wasteful, if not sacriligious. (It depends what the item was in the first place, and what's been done to it.) Obviously, those judgments are subjective. I just figure that mine is the only opinion that matters.
My only thought on the Borrelli shirt is, why? Do you end up with a shirt that's really distinctive and/or superior to other well-made western-style shirts? Or is it just mildly whimsical? I think good "raw material" is damaged or otherwise worse-for-wear items you've either trashed yourself or come across in a thrift shop. I mean, why not make something interesting out of an otherwise-wearable Borrelli shirt with an ink stain on the breast pocket or a frayed collar? To do it to a good shirt, though...well, maybe you have a vision on this that I just can't conjur for myself.
 

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