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White tie - need some pointers

Incognito

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So I've recently run into an opporunity to wear white tie attire, and since I'm less than knowledgeable in the subject and since I've made the desicion to buy rather than rent I thought I'd ask for some help here.

So are there any obvious points that are bound to go wrong?

What kind of cuffs should there be on the shirt?

What sort of shoes are acceptable (I am not all that thrilled about pumps, which wikipedia says I should be wearing)?

What sort of outerwear goes with white tie?
 

patrickBOOTH

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Originally Posted by Incognito
So I've recently run into an opporunity to wear white tie attire, and since I'm less than knowledgeable in the subject and since I've made the desicion to buy rather than rent I thought I'd ask for some help here.

So are there any obvious points that are bound to go wrong?

What kind of cuffs should there be on the shirt?

What sort of shoes are acceptable (I am not all that thrilled about pumps, which wikipedia says I should be wearing)?

What sort of outerwear goes with white tie?


You should have a tux shirt, with single cuff french cuffs, I would say that black oxfords are acceptable, or patent leather oxfords, obviously. If they are regular calf, make sure they are a simple cap toe, plain toe, or wholecut.

A chesterfield coat is acceptable, or a cape.

It will be hard to find but in the silent film from 1929 called The Wonderous Lies of Nina Petrowna there are some perfect examples of exquistie white tie.
 

Incognito

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Alright thanks
I hope you don't mind if I pose another couple of questions that sprang to mind. First of all, as I understand it a top hat is customary with white tie, but not only am I the sort of person who doesn't wear hats in general, but also it would feel a bit... over the top. (I'm guessing it shouldn't be an issue, but since I will be moving about from location to location during the evenings program I thought I'd make sure) Second is also outwear related, I am going to have to get a white scarf I take it, but should it be wool/cashmeere or silk or something completly different?
 

Unregistered

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Originally Posted by patrickBOOTH
You should have a tux shirt, with single cuff french cuffs, I would say that black oxfords are acceptable, or patent leather oxfords, obviously. If they are regular calf, make sure they are a simple cap toe, plain toe, or wholecut.

A chesterfield coat is acceptable, or a cape.

It will be hard to find but in the silent film from 1929 called The Wonderous Lies of Nina Petrowna there are some perfect examples of exquistie white tie.


A "tux shirt" is not acceptable.

It has to be a detachable collar shirt with a stiff bib front. Attach a stiff, tall (as tall as you can comfortably wear) wing collar.

Black oxfords are too casual in my mind. Patent leather oxfords in a pinch, but ideally very polished calf pumps or best yet, patent pumps.

Single (link) cuff is correct.

A top hat is a part of the outfit, but I'd say most forgo it these days.

Silk scarf would be correct. Wool's texture is on the coarser side. I have a cream coloured scarf for this purpose, tassel end.
 

Michael Ay329

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It is the rare anomoly to see a top hat at the few white tie events left. Like white gloves or sword cane...I would not wear a top hat...but a monocle is awesome along with a white pocket square or a red carnation

As to shoes, ONLY black. I don't care for black patent leather...but a nice cap toe or semi-brogue oxford...with a really good shine would work great

I don't think a scarf is needed, but the Suitable Wardrobe online store has a nice white scarf for formal evening wear

As to outerwear...a true Opera Cape is gorgeous...but most folks wear a SB or DB dark overcoat in charcoal or navy.

I can't agree with PB as to the shirt. A tuxedo shirt is not right...for me a tuxedo shirt is a fold down collar with french cuffs.

A legit white tie shirt has single cuff (not the regular button barrel cuff) and has a winged collar...I would choose an attached...not the Imperial detached collars of yester year.

Most of the available white tie shirts are in a cotton poplin with a marcella/pique bib front
 

dasai

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The Black Tie Guide has plenty of information about white tie, but as of now, it's mostly in how it differs from black tie. Aside from the obvious (tailcoat, white piquÃ
bow tie and white waistcoat), there are several things to pay attention to:
  • The shirt should always be stiff, marcella-fronted, with single cuffs and a small collar to attach a separate high wing collar to. The shirt front should also be starched, and have space for one or two studs (fewer than in black tie).
  • The trousers should have one wide braid or two satin stripes on the outer seams.
  • The shoes really should be patent-leather, either plain toe oxfords with silk ribbon laces or opera pumps (court shoes) with grosgrain bows.
  • The waistcoat should be even with the bottom of the coat's front, and not protrude below. This absolutely requires that the trousers have a high rise and be worn with braces.
I also think it's best not to try and wear a different hat with the outfit. You'll be obviously compensating for the lack of a top hat.
 

Mac

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The 'small collar' is known as a tunic collar. You'll be hard pushed to find one with single cuffs, without going bespoke/MTM. Even though this is for black tie, it's a correct white tie shirt: http://www.bownsbespoke.com/Harviehu...essshirts.html As an aside: if you're going to do white tie, go all out. Please don't do a half-assed job—there's nothing worse.
 

Mark from Plano

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Originally Posted by Mac
The 'small collar' is known as a tunic collar. You'll be hard pushed to find one with single cuffs, without going bespoke/MTM. Even though this is for black tie, it's a correct white tie shirt: http://www.bownsbespoke.com/Harviehu...essshirts.html As an aside: if you're going to do white tie, go all out. Please don't do a half-assed job—there's nothing worse.
Brooks Brothers has them. My only complaint with their shirt is that the detatchable collar is quite short. I solved that by ordering several taller collars from a place in England. However, it has several nice features, including: 1. A loop below the collar to hold down the strap of your bow tie below the level of the jacket collar. 2. A vent in the side of the chest which lets you put on your studs without wrinkling the bib front. 3. A button flap in the shirt that permits buttoning the shirt to the inside of the trousers to prevent the bib from working out of the trousers.
 

Incognito

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Originally Posted by Unregistered
Silk scarf would be correct. Wool's texture is on the coarser side. I have a cream coloured scarf for this purpose, tassel end.
Okay thanks!
Originally Posted by dasai
The waistcoat should be even with the bottom of the coat's front, and not protrude below. This absolutely requires that the trousers have a high rise and be worn with braces.
Is this really the case, I read somewhere that it depends on location and arguable how aristocratic one is. While not even the slightest bit aristocratic I understood it that us Euros are more likely to let the waistcoat peek out. While I think I have no choice in the matter due to the limited availability of stores carrying anything white tie related around here, which would be more flattering in case I have the possibility to make the choise?
Originally Posted by dasai
I also think it's best not to try and wear a different hat with the outfit. You'll be obviously compensating for the lack of a top hat.
Noted, I will most likely wear nothing since I essentialy never wear headwear, but in case I change my mind I'll see to getting a top hat
Originally Posted by Mac
As an aside: if you're going to do white tie, go all out. Please don't do a half-assed job—there's nothing worse.
I intend to do my best! But my budget, conformity and availability of the items might limit me
As of this moment I am thinking of going with: - My day-to-day overcoat, which is black, SB and long enough, only lacking the velvet collar. (An opera cape would be awesome, but I don't know where to get one, if I could afford one nor do I think I would have the courage to wear one. Since I am 19 I think it would look remarkably missplaced on me) - White silk scarf (It's to cold not to have a scarf with the way my coat is cut) - No hat (Again, I think I lack the age and confidence to wear one) - Patent leather oxfords (I'm just not man enough to wear pumps/court shoes, and it'll be more cost efficient since they will go with black tie attire which I will have to get later on in the spring anyway) - For shirt I am going on a hunt for a detatchable wingcollared, single cuf shirt with starched front. If I am unable to get all these in a single shirt what should I prioritise? Finally thank you for all the help this far
 

Unregistered

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Originally Posted by Incognito
Okay thanks!



Is this really the case, I read somewhere that it depends on location and arguable how aristocratic one is. While not even the slightest bit aristocratic I understood it that us Euros are more likely to let the waistcoat peek out. While I think I have no choice in the matter due to the limited availability of stores carrying anything white tie related around here, which would be more flattering in case I have the possibility to make the choise?



Noted, I will most likely wear nothing since I essentialy never wear headwear, but in case I change my mind I'll see to getting a top hat




I intend to do my best! But my budget, conformity and availability of the items might limit me


As of this moment I am thinking of going with:

- My day-to-day overcoat, which is black, SB and long enough, only lacking the velvet collar. (An opera cape would be awesome, but I don't know where to get one, if I could afford one nor do I think I would have the courage to wear one. Since I am 19 I think it would look remarkably missplaced on me)

- White silk scarf (It's to cold not to have a scarf with the way my coat is cut)

- No hat (Again, I think I lack the age and confidence to wear one)

- Patent leather oxfords (I'm just not man enough to wear pumps/court shoes, and it'll be more cost efficient since they will go with black tie attire which I will have to get later on in the spring anyway)

- For shirt I am going on a hunt for a detatchable wingcollared, single cuf shirt with starched front. If I am unable to get all these in a single shirt what should I prioritise?


Finally thank you for all the help this far


Well done sir, for being at the young age of 19 and having such an intent on doing things the right way. My first white tie affair was also at 19 (just 2 years ago for me!)

For the shoes, take a look at this site. A blogger I trust very much had a pair made there and they were wonderful (albeit running a little on the smaller side) for an absolute steal at that price. For what it's worth, pumps are also the correct footwear of choice for black tie, even though many do opt for patent oxfords. If you are intent on doing it right though, nothing is quite like the proper pair of pumps.

The proper collars can be purchased here or here.

Several shirts are available from the first retailer I listed for the collars (link here) at a lower price than the Brooks Brothers one. I'm not sure if all the exact details would be present, but it's a great price.

The waistcoat should never be longer than the covering of the coat. It would not cost too much to have the waist coat properly tailored to ensure this.
 

Incognito

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Originally Posted by Unregistered;4085149
For the shoes, take a look [URL="http://www.broadlandslippers.co.uk/handmade-evening-pumps.html"
at this site.[/url] A blogger I trust very much had a pair made there and they were wonderful (albeit running a little on the smaller side) for an absolute steal at that price. For what it's worth, pumps are also the correct footwear of choice for black tie, even though many do opt for patent oxfords. If you are intent on doing it right though, nothing is quite like the proper pair of pumps.

While I now have come to terms with the fact that pumps probably are a better inevestment, I just can't get over the feeling that they have a feminine touch to them... :/ On the other hand they are the correct footwear, and I'd like to do it "right". On the other hand I'm not likely to wear patent leather at other times than this annual white tie event and the annual black tie event... This is turning into the single hardest desicion yet
 

Unregistered

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Originally Posted by Incognito
While I now have come to terms with the fact that pumps probably are a better inevestment, I just can't get over the feeling that they have a feminine touch to them... :/ On the other hand they are the correct footwear, and I'd like to do it "right". On the other hand I'm not likely to wear patent leather at other times than this annual white tie event and the annual black tie event... This is turning into the single hardest desicion yet


I do know what you mean
To me though, everytime I simply look down at the pumps against my trousers, I am completely satisfied, as opposed to seeing a relatively chunk oxford looking back!
 

Incognito

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Originally Posted by Unregistered
I do know what you mean
To me though, everytime I simply look down at the pumps against my trousers, I am completely satisfied, as opposed to seeing a relatively chunk oxford looking back!


That's atleast some solace if they look different in context of trousers. I guess I'll try to found some shiny-high-heeled slippers with a bowtie attatched to them then...
 

landshark

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I think you are mistaken. At 19, you should probably be able to get away with a top hat. Get a collapisble one so you can fool around with it and show others.
 

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