Tuesday, September 29, 2009

This Tux For You

Holiday party season is fast approaching, and it's best to be prepared. For the guys, that might mean getting a new tuxedo. The tuxedo alludes to Tuxedo Park, just outside of New York City, where a young tobacco heir debuted his new suit style, named after the Tuxedo Club. It's said that the origins of dressing in black for formal events come from the belief that only the distinguished look good in black.

How to Shop for a New Tuxedo

First, decide what kind of tux you want - something classic and traditional, or more fashion-forward? The basic tux is a black jacket, white tux shirt, and bow tie. This combination doth a gentleman make.


When choosing a shirt, make sure it's a slim fit. You want it to fit like you're not wearing a jacket over it, so when the jacket comes off to do the shag, you won't look like you're drowning in shirt. The collar should be wingtip or turndown.


The choice of a jacket collar is a personal one, but there are a few guidelines to help you in your decision.

The shawl collar - a throw-back to yester-year, this is a classic style that is now considered a bit retro.

The peak collar - this is best for slimmer, taller men who might want to look broader through the chest.

The notch collar - this is the most universal and common, best for all frames. I personally prefer the notch.

Make sure that the collar compliments your tie - satin collar, satin bow tie. The jacket (and pants) should be made of lightweight fabric, for dancing and moving, usually indoors. Light colored dinner jackets should only be worn in warmer months. Jackets without vents will slim you.


The pants should match the jacket - two stripes for tailcoats, one for any other jacket. If you've got on a tailcoat or a cummerbund, make sure that the trousers are high enough so that you don't see a gap in between. Pants should fit snugly without a belt, as they don't have belt loops. Vertical pockets dress it up a bit. They are not tux pants unless there is a stripe!!


Keep them simple! This is not a place to show off your fashion skills. They should be clean and classic - unless you want people talking about your studs (in not a good way) instead of you.


Simple. It sounds ridiculous, but no accouterments on the shoes - black tux, black shoes. No patent, wing-tips, or any other fancy bits. Plain toe, and with a high shine.


...to white tie or full-dress, that means a white bow tie and black tails. ONLY. This is the most formal of events, and you should respect the invitation.

...black tie, that means a tuxedo, not a suit. Any variation of a tux is usually accepted.

...black tie preferred, that means that the host wants you to wear a tux, but if you can't or don't have one, a dark and dressy suit will work. No tailcoats.

...black tie optional, that means that the host will be wearing formal dress and you can either wear formal wear or a dressy suit. Neither should make you feel out of place.

...semi-formal, that means a dark dressy suit or dinner jacket.

...creative black tie, that means that anything goes as long as the tux jacket is there. Does that mean jeans and a tux jacket? Feel out your host, who will most likely be horrified at the thought. This is an opportunity to wear a creative cummerbund or vest. Dress how you think the host will dress.

Any other issues that might arise - ask Emily Post! This is as much as I know.

Big kiss

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