Friday, December 23, 2011

Men's formalwear classifications

I dream of men in tuxedos. I dream of marrying a man that needs to own tails, a tuxedo and a dinner jacket, dream of it. So what's the deal? Here's the skinny on the best ensembles a man can ever put on. Most of this info comes from my general knowledge and my memory of reading my favorite menswear resource Gentleman's Guide to Grooming and Style (a designer must have).

Tom Ford workin' it like the boss that he is.
White tie, evening dress or full evening dress is the (obviously) most formal ensemble a man can wear. An invitation will say "white tie" if it is required (and they mean required). Unless you're a diplomat, politician or other some such incredibly high powered man you will probably never have occasion to wear white tie (schade) as formal occasions in today's society are becoming fewer and farther between. White tie is only worn after 6pm. Day equivalent is morning dress, which is usually only adhered to in the UK.

White tie consists of...
:-:A tail coat, or swallow tails in black or midnight blue (not an option for me personally) with silk satin lapel facings.
:-:Matching trousers with two braids (satin stripes) along the outseam held up by white suspenders.
:-:White winged shirt (detachable stiff winged collar most desirable) with French cuffs and pique or tucked front
:-:Conservative cufflinks, shirt studs optional
:-:White pique bowtie (do I even need to say that you tie it yourself?)
:-:White deep cut pique waistcoat
:-:Black knee high socks or stockings
:-:Black patent shoes, either oxfords or pumps (the kind w/ the bows)
:-:Black overcoat for weather
:-:Black silk top hat (if you insist on head wear, but nowadays no one but the coat check will see it)

double breasted black tie
Bradley Cooper opting for a waistcoat
 Black tie is a step down from white and is the most common formal classification, think red carpet.

Black tie consists of:
:-:Black or midnight blue tuxedo jacket with satin facings, usually single breasted. Known as a dinner jacket in the UK.
:-:Matching trousers with one braid, worn with suspenders.
:-:Black cummerbund or low cut waistcoat
:-:White plain shirt with French cuffs and turn down collar. I'm saying that you cannot wear a winged collar with anything but a white tie. We shouldn't see the tie band, it's a HUGE pet peeve of mine.
:-:Conservative cufflinks, shirt studs optional
:-:Black self tie bowtie
:-:Black knee high socks or stockings
:-:Black patent oxfords

jacket looks a little pink, can't tell, but everything is so right.
Dinner jacket is the North American term for a white tuxedo jacket. Dinner jackets are worn for black tie in open air after 6pm events. The black tie elements are all in common, except a white or ecru (between natural white and light beige) tuxedo jacket is worn.

When in doubt reference Tom Ford. He's the bomb at menswear.

1 comment:

  1. Um, this is random, I know. I know your sisters Caitlin and Whitney (I lived in Omaha for 3 years). Caitlin posted about your dating application and enough people commented how funny it was I had to check it out. Then I was intrigued by how much we have similar tastes in some of our movie viewing. And, you are clearly hiLARious! I have a friend who actually owns a few tuxes. And one of his coats totally has I'm glad to know you have been dreaming about him.