In light of today’s Oscars I thought it would be a good opportunity to chat about Black Tie, most notably the do’s and the don’ts of the dress code. It’s crazy to think that among some of the world’s most rich and famous people, who can wear/buy any Tuxedo they want, that so many men still cannot get Black Tie right, it absolutely baffles me.
For me Black Tie is all about traditional tailoring. A tuxedo should be kept simple and understated. Flashy elements have no place in this dress code, or should they any time you’re wearing a suit. When the dress code says Black Tie it means a tuxedo and bow tie, never a neck tie and never a normal black suit. Trendy cuts, lapels and designs should also be avoided, like all fashion items these will date as trends change. Essentially, you should be able to buy one Tuxedo and wear it for the rest of your life – that’s the value of Black Tie, it’s timeless.
A few main points I’d like to make in regards to Black Tie are:
– Tuxedo should have a Peak or Shawl lapel, never a Notch.
– Bow Tie should always be worn, no excuses.
– Preferably jetted besom pockets, no flaps or flaps tucked in.
– Preferably single button on a single breasted jacket, two button is fine but the bottom button should never be buttoned up (Leo).
– Satin or grosgrain faced lapels and piping on the trousers.
– Traditionally the waistband of your trousers should be covered – this can be done three ways, a waist coat, a cummerbund or with a double-breasted jacket.
– Real traditionalists will opt for a patent leather pump with bow, less will opt for patent Oxfords and less again will opt for a black Oxford with no brogueing.
Keeping in mind my penchant for traditional Black Tie I’ve grabbed some images from today’s Oscars to discuss the Do’s and Don’ts of the Dress Code and added some commentary.