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What the [email protected]#%$ is "creative" black tie?

Brigden

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Invited to my wife's office Christmas party at a swank Hollywood nightclub. The invitation suggests "creative" black tie. WTF?

She works in advertising and her contemporaries are all a bit scruffy so I'm not expecting any particularly natty dressers.

I'm loathe to wear a black suit, white shirt, black tie combo. Thoughts?
 

marblehouse

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"Creative" black tie sounds like hipster slang for a tuxedo t-shirt. Accessorize with PBR tall boys.
 

WallStPeon

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It means something formal but different...say, tuxedo pants with a white velvet shawl collar jacket with an impeccable cut, a semi-spread faint pink shirt, and a wild bow tie to pull it all together...i.e. "creative."
 

Metlin

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Originally Posted by Brigden
Invited to my wife's office Christmas party at a swank Hollywood nightclub. The invitation suggests "creative" black tie. WTF?

She works in advertising and her contemporaries are all a bit scruffy so I'm not expecting any particularly natty dressers.

I'm loathe to wear a black suit, white shirt, black tie combo. Thoughts?


Wear a black tie attire with a different color shirt, or perhaps with a rather stunning pocket square and *shudder* novelty cuff links.
 

Captain Winky

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Given the venue/crowd, I'd consider something like:

Velvet/shawl collar dinner jacket
Dark jeans
Black ankle boots
Pique front tux shirt
Tieless
 

WallStPeon

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Originally Posted by Captain Winky
Given the venue/crowd, I'd consider something like:

Velvet/shawl collar dinner jacket
Dark jeans
Black ankle boots
Pique front tux shirt
Tieless


Much more creative than mine...like it.
 

Bounder

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Originally Posted by Brigden
Invited to my wife's office Christmas party at a swank Hollywood nightclub. The invitation suggests "creative" black tie. WTF? She works in advertising and her contemporaries are all a bit scruffy so I'm not expecting any particularly natty dressers. I'm loathe to wear a black suit, white shirt, black tie combo. Thoughts?
You are correct. It means almost nothing. Pretty much anything goes. Given the way even regular black tie is regularly butchered, I suggest you meticulously follow the rules for black tie. This will have several advantages. First, you will look great. Second, you will be strikingly distinct from everyone else, which is at least part of the point of creativity. Finally, if someone challenges you, you can tell them that you are the standard against which everyone else must be measured. To be truly creative, you must know the rules in order to break them. Creativity unbridled by structure has no meaning. Creative types will eat this up and think you are some sort of zen philosopher. So all in all, it should be a pretty good party. BTW, here is the obligatory reference to the Black Tie Guide. It has a section on creative black tie. http://www.blacktieguide.com/
 

cptjeff

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Think what Hollywood celebs do. It basically means your unique spin on the tuxedo. I would probably go with something like subbing in white jeans for the traditional tux pants and keeping everything else the same. Well, perhaps not the shoes, but I would certainly stick with black. Suede pumps perhaps? Going too far down the road of messing with the tux's classic formula will get you into trouble. If you want to look good, keep any changes simple and within the spirit of the tuxedo- simple, clean lines with a very high contrast and little to distract. Don't add bright flashy colors or mess with the line, or the outfit will lose all of the visual impact that makes the tuxedo such a classic. <edit> Or this:
Originally Posted by Bounder
Given the way even regular black tie is regularly butchered, I suggest you meticulously follow the rules for black tie. This will have several advantages. First, you will look great. Second, you will be strikingly distinct from everyone else, which is at least part of the point of creativity. Finally, if someone challenges you, you can tell them that you are the standard against which everyone else must be measured. To be truly creative, you must know the rules in order to break them. Creativity unbridled by structure has no meaning.
 

ktrp

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Its what is worn to the oscars. I.e. its supposed to be like black tie except that of course we can't possibly expect such gifted, creative people to follow any sort of rules.

If you own a great tuxedo, I'd wear it. Let them be creative, you can look good.

They think they are creative, you don't have to be, and certainly don't need to upstage them. You can simply dress well and tell them how creative they are.
 

Parker

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I'm in the same world and have been to a few of these.
Originally Posted by Bounder
I suggest you meticulously follow the rules for black tie. Creative types will eat this up and think you are some sort of zen philosopher. So all in all, it should be a pretty good party.
+1 this is what I do.
Originally Posted by Captain Winky
Given the venue/crowd, I'd consider something like: Velvet/shawl collar dinner jacket Dark jeans Black ankle boots Pique front tux shirt Tieless
This is also great if done right. A lot of guys go this route, but few really pull it off. Most everyone else will be in some netherworld between the two extremes. Black shirts, straight or fun ties, etc. Only one or two guys from the video editing dept. will be in trucker hats and tux t-shirts.
 

Captain Winky

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Originally Posted by ktrp
Its what is worn to the oscars. I.e. its supposed to be like black tie except that of course we can't possibly expect such gifted, creative people to follow any sort of rules.

If you own a great tuxedo, I'd wear it. Let them be creative, you can look good.

They think they are creative, you don't have to be, and certainly don't need to upstage them. You can simply dress well and tell them how creative they are.


While I'm all about being stylish all the time, and usually following rules of proper dress, I'd tell the OP to have fun with this one for three reasons:

1. Why not? Everyone else there is going to be having fun with their getups, so just throw rules to the wind and realize you'll still be the most stylish one there in all likelihood.

2. It's your wife's party, you don't really want her to be the only one whose husband shows up to what her colleagues consider a fun party looking like what her colleagues consider an absolute stiff. Like it or not, you're a human accessory for the evening.

3. You'll probably get cheap colorful drinks spilled on you. Better to not have it be one of your best pieces.
 

Twotone

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I'd go by-the-book black tie, but wear black and white high-top sneakers.

Twotone
 

Ianiceman

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Dude! This is your chance to break out the matching braces, pre-tied bow tie and cummerbund set all emblazoned with santas, snowmen and candy canes. I am SO jealous!
 

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