What is the formality of this outfit?

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by palk, Nov 21, 2015.

  1. palk

    palk Well-Known Member

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    I found the outfit on the cover of "The Perfect Gentleman: The Pursuit of Timeless Elegance" by James Sherwood quite interesting. Long story short, I think I would look good in it and am therefore contemplating putting something like it together, but I'm not certain about what level of formality it achieves (i.e., when it would be appropriate to wear).

    [​IMG]

    Details of the outfit that I can identify:

    • Shirt: winchester shirt (white collar), with alternating blue and grey vertical stripes and white shadow stripes, medium-spread turndown collar
    • Waistcoat: Light blue, double-breasted with peak self-faced lapels (technically could be notched, but I severely doubt it)
    • Tie: Dark gray 4-in-hand with white pin dot pattern in what appears to me to be a half-windsor knot
    • Coat: Single-breasted notch lapel with black and white houndstooth pattern; single-welt breast pocket; number of buttons isn't discernable, though there is significant roll of the lapels towards the button which makes me suspect a link front.
    • Accessories: boutonnière, white silk handkerchief, and pearl tie pin.

    Unknown details:

    • Coat: number of buttons, style of side pockets, number of vents, cuffs
    • Shirt: style of cuffs
    • Trousers: everything
    • Shoes: everything

    But for the coat, everything else about the ensemble leads me to think formal or semi-formal morning wear (either morning dress or stresemann / stroller). Though a houndstooth patterned morning suit is certainly possible to create, I can't imagine it looking good, so in my estimation it's a lounge coat, but I was under the impression that for semi-formal morning dress, the lounge coat should be charcoal grey or black and should have peaked lapels. With its houndstooth pattern and notched lapels, I would assume it isn't acceptable for either, in which case, though it borrows heavily from more formal morning dress, this outfit would likely be relegated to the "lounge suit" dress code.

    In my imagination, the missing details are:

    • Coat: besom pockets and is either unvented or has double vents
    • Shirt: white double cuffs
    • Trousers: dark grey sharkskin or flannel without turn-ups.
    • Shoes: black calfskin cap-toe oxfords

    Given these imagined details, I seek the advice of the more informed: to which dress code could such an outfit be worn?
     


  2. GBR

    GBR Senior member

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    For what occasion pray?
     


  3. comrade

    comrade Senior member

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    That's more or less a contemporary equivalent that the kind
    of "get-up" that the European " leisure class" might have worn
    around 1910 when making formal social calls during the day.
    The same folks would don tuxedos or full dress for dinner.

    http://mrseaston.weebly.com/uploads/2/0/0/6/2006619/4260284_orig.jpg

    So do you plan to play "dress-up" or are you a member of that part of
    society who still routinely adheres to these sartorial conventions, e.g
    the courts of exiled monarchs, etc?
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2015


  4. YRR92

    YRR92 Senior member

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    I'd be surprised if that had a link front, or if wasn't a suit.

    It's a dandish casual suit rig. Or a bad dandyish odd jacket rig.
     


  5. YourLovelyMan

    YourLovelyMan Member

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    It looks like a modern version of morning dress, in that the jacket is cut like a suit jacket rather than morning coat. The only occasion for which that would be appropriate would be a really fashion forward, day-time, formal wedding, or something like that.

    Morning dress: http://www.blacktieguide.com/Supplemental/Morning_Dress.htm
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2015


  6. RogerC

    RogerC Senior member

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    Actually, it looks like a mongrel. Houndstooth is a relatively informal pattern for a coat, and would not have been worn together with all other accessories, which are suited to a morning coat. This would either be charcoal or light grey, and in some cases might have silk detailing on the lapels. In any case, it would have peak lapels.
     


  7. Andy57

    Andy57 Senior member

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    In my opinion, there is nothing special about the jacket that makes me think "morning dress" or even "morning suit". If you have or had made a houndstooth jacket or suit, you could easily reproduce this look and you'd be fine during the day and even into the evening. The shirt is not a "morning dress" shirt and nor is the tie. The pearl tie pin and lapel flower elevate the dandy quotient a bit, but if you like that, do it.

    I find houndstooth a bit busy for my taste, but there's nothing wrong with it. The shirt isn't my taste, either. The collar is a bit too small and I have found that contrast collar shirts don't wrk for me. Your mileage may vary. I love the blue vest, though. I have a navy-charcoal flannel suit and I had an extra vest made in a dove-grey flannel but double-breasted. I love the look but it's very out there and some members might faint at the thought. But it you like it, go for it.
     


  8. theplayerking

    theplayerking Well-Known Member

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    Maybe Hallowe’en? It looks like a novelty costume for a charity event in the Hamptons.
     


  9. YRR92

    YRR92 Senior member

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    That would also explain why the shirt looks like it came from the sale rack at J. Crew.
     


  10. Andy57

    Andy57 Senior member

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    What a ridiculous comment.
     


  11. Unregistered

    Unregistered Senior member

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    The collar is a little small. But otherwise, nothing wrong with wearing that. Only you can tell if it's work appropriate for you. Otherwise, I wouldn't have any issues wearing that on a weekend day out if I happened to like it.
     




  12. RogerC

    RogerC Senior member

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    For trousers, yes, and has always done. The top picture is not a morning coat, it's a regular suit jacket, albeit with peak lapels. Also, I don't think it's a successful combo.
     


  13. palk

    palk Well-Known Member

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    Depends on when it would be appropriate to wear [​IMG].

    That's exactly why I found it so interesting: that everything else was suited to a morning coat but for the jacket. I was half expecting to hear that this outfit was a lesser known (but still correct) form of semi-formal morning dress, but from the replies, it appears to be below that level of formality somewhere in the contemporary lounge suit area.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but that picture looks to be a poorly fitting stresemann / stroller outfit (semi-formal morning wear). Note that the lounge coat he is wearing is very dark (likely black if not charcoal grey). My understanding is that semi-formal morning wear in general demands that shade of lounge coat. Though the rest of the details are in line with formal morning dress, the lounge coat style appears to lower the outfit to informal status; I think YRR92 put it best:


    I agree completely about the lounge coat; the parts of the outfit that I find to relate to morning dress are the shirt, tie, and waistcoat. I'm not sure why you disagree about the shirt and tie, but I humbly point out these examples of morning dress from the wedding of the Prince of Wales and the now Duchess of Cornwall:
    [​IMG]

    Thank you again for all your replies!
     


  14. SW1Y

    SW1Y Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately most of us aren't HRH the Prince of Wales. However, I guess it all comes down to how vigorously you want to uphold the traditional dress codes.

    Imho it's an everyday (dandy) outfit, as I can not imagine James Sherwood not knowing the correct dress codes and etiquette of the tailored variety for all sorts of social events. Apart from the medium blue waistcoat nothing reminds me of a formal outfit. Traditionally the shirt should be a white tunic with a starched turndown collar, preferably a dark grey tie, either a boutonniere OR a pocket square (never both, unless you are HRH the Prince of Wales or the groom) and a waistcoat to match the morning coat.

    Most people that buy morning dress for formal occasions (non-wedding) tend to go for either a grey, dark blue or black waistcoat, the more formal the occasion the darker the colours.
     


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