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White tie

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Etienne, Mar 27, 2006.

  1. Etienne

    Etienne Senior member

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    I have recently been invited to a friend's wedding in a few months' time.

    I expect most guests to be wearing a suit during the day and a DJ at night, but my friend will be wearing a bespoke white tie at night (and possibly a morning suit during the day). Now, this could be just the excuse I needed to finally get my own (he hinted he would appreciate the gesture)...

    What would your advice be on where to get it? Now, this is an item I would probably wear 2, maybe 3 times in my whole life (my future own wedding included ?). I woud like to get a nice one, but sadly, my finances do not permit me to contemplate going to one of the top tailors... Even I cannot be as unreasonable as that. I remember seeing RTW morning suits at Hackett, but I have never seen a white tie anywhere, except on the web (http://www.eveningsuit.co.uk/catalog...ts.php?cID=1_2).
     
  2. YoungFogey

    YoungFogey Senior member

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    Hackett used to make RTW tails. Not sure that they still do, but they may.

    Tails are one thing that should really be bespoke unless you fit the maker's pattern perfectly. Most importantly, the bottom of the tailcoat MUST cover the waistcoat completely on the sides or allow no more than .25 inch of it to show.

    Because there is a hire market for tails, there are some cheap manufacturers out there. The cloth quality is poor, but what you should really be concerned about is fit. A properly fitting tailcoat covers many of its other sins. (If going down this route, make sure the coat has peaked lapels only -- I've seen some scary things in the States.)
     
  3. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    The only two places I can recall with certainty seeing RTW tailcoats are Hackett and Brooks Brothers. I have a dim recollection of seeing them at certain high-end NYC department stores, but these would have been much more expensive, assuming my recollection is correct.

    One other idea (very hit or miss): occasionally our own resident eBay sellers offer vintage Savile Row tailcoats. Obviously, you never know when they will have one, or if it will be your size. But that would be cool if it worked out.
     
  4. chorse123

    chorse123 Senior member

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    Others may disagree, but I'd just wear a suit during the day and dinner jacket at night. MAYBE rent one, but I think it'd be better to go with a dinner jacket. If you don't have one, it's a good reason to get one, and you'll get so much more use out of it than the tailcoat.

    If you must get a tailcoat, you might consider using one of the cheaper traveling tailors like Raja. They made me a few things, before I got tired of the poor service, and one of the coats (a herringbone tweed) is beautiful and fits very well. I think you could get tails for around 300/350 GBP, or significantly less if you had a fused coat--something that may be worth considering.
     
  5. YoungFogey

    YoungFogey Senior member

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    I have an old set of (US made) BB tails that has served me well for almost a decade. They were VERY cheap at the time (c $500 incl. the waistcoat), and luckily the fit was very good for me. Brooks (at least at 346 Madison) still sells tails, but they are now much fancier and made in Italy. In fact, I was amazed to discover that 346 now carries morning coats as well! (Italian made too, so a little different from the traditional UK style.)

    I think I remember that Ralph Lauren had some RTW tails for a while. They may drag them out at Xmas.
     
  6. LabelKing

    LabelKing Senior member

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    Gucci also had tails at one point, even being offered at one point on Bluefly.
     
  7. Etienne

    Etienne Senior member

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    If you don't have one, it's a good reason to get one, and you'll get so much more use out of it than the tailcoat.
    I have a DJ already. Your advice is of course sound and reasonable, but sound and reasonable is not what I am looking for [​IMG] . I fully intend to be crazy this time...

    Do they travel to France?

    Thank you everyone. My options then include: Hackett RTW if I can find it, e-Bay vintage sellers, or maybe a MTM or not too expensive bespoke. I have to look around a bit more, I am afraid.
     
  8. Vintage Gent

    Vintage Gent Senior member

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    I have four vintage tailcoats, three of which have the matching trousers. If you'd PM me your measurements, I'd certainly be willing to send you one (if it fits) on loan. One caveat though: three of the four are a very heavy wool, so they'd be both out of place and extremely uncomfortable for a summer wedding.
     
  9. jml90

    jml90 Senior member

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    I know this one. Hickey Freeman makes a RTW
     
  10. Etienne

    Etienne Senior member

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    I know this one. Hickey Freeman makes a RTW
    Indeed they do, thanks. So far I know they can be found RTW at HF, maybe at Hackett (and Brooks), and crappy ones on some websites. Other options include bespoke if I can find a way that is not too incredibly expensive, and vintage, possibly on e-Bay. Thanks everyone for the advice, and I will PM you Vintage Gent.
     
  11. Fritz

    Fritz Senior member

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    Wilvorst make RTW tails. (http://www.wilvorst.de/Kollektionen/Classics.2006.html) They have a lot of phantasy outfits as well though, so I don't know how credible they are as a supplier. They are probably the most widely known maker of formalwear in Germany FWIW, so you should probably think more of Boss in terms of quality rather than Attolini. On the plus side it is going to be relatively affordable.
     
  12. Etienne

    Etienne Senior member

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    They are probably the most widely known maker of formalwear in Germany FWIW, so you should probably think more of Boss in terms of quality rather than Attolini. On the plus side it is going to be relatively affordable.
    Thanks for the tip, Fritz. It does look promising, although unfortunately the model displayed in their photo displays a white vest poking under the jacket...
     
  13. YoungFogey

    YoungFogey Senior member

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    Thanks for the tip, Fritz. It does look promising, although unfortunately the model displayed in their photo displays a white vest poking under the jacket...

    Don't let a picture be dispositive on this matter. If you are shorter than the mannequin, then the waistcoat may not show. That's why you really have to try tails on to see how they fit.
     
  14. Etienne

    Etienne Senior member

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    Don't let a picture be dispositive on this matter. If you are shorter than the mannequin, then the waistcoat may not show. That's why you really have to try tails on to see how they fit.
    Hum, I had not thought of it that way. I am actually quite tall, so RTW tails might not work.
     
  15. Fritz

    Fritz Senior member

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    Thanks for the tip, Fritz. It does look promising, although unfortunately the model displayed in their photo displays a white vest poking under the jacket...
    Yes, I noticed that too. They also have some dubious advice on their website. In terms of rules, does such a thing as a long jacket ("Langsakko") actually exist? They propose it for semi-formal and parties. A friend of mine proudly told me about his long jacket, and I just quietly wondered what he was actually talking about. Well, now I know. Gist is, you really have to know what you want if you go that route, you can't trust their judgment, lol.
    And I agree that it will be difficult to get a good fit in RTW, you have to try the things on. That's why I threw in Wilvorst, it should be more accessible to you than the American brands. Also, though I have no personal experience with the brand, I would expect quality to be acceptable for something you won't wear all that often.
     

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