Chanel-style slingbacks are also good additions for daywear. Informal undress , " dress clothes " Cocktail dress Lounge suit Service dress uniform Pantsuit. Does this same rule apply is the shirt is entire white?
Match your shoes and belt. And, yes, square toe shoes should be avoided. DO NOT wear that outfit. You will begin to play with the rules. Then, one day, you will find your equivalent to loud socks. YOu will find that one thing that attracts attention, but you feel confident about it…and interestingly…people will comment favorably.
Cheap shirts look just like that. Like a cheap shirt. I know it sounds crazy to spend a couple hundred buck on three shirts, but wait for the Brooks Brothers buy three sales and snatch them up! Get two whites and an oxford blue. Then, as soon as you can do it again, do it.
Get another oxford blue, a pink, and one pattern. When wearing suits and ties everyday, you can get away with wearing the same five suits with the same five shirts week after week…. Mix them up, have a good assortment. You can spot that from a mile away. You can spend a couple hundred bucks and more on just one quality dress shirt at Neiman Marcus and other high end stores. For a perfect fit, you can get bespoke shirts especially from London that go up from there.
If your resources permit bespoke clothing, and you have a highly refined taste in clothing, you are reading the wrong the web site and should be reading the A Suitable Wardrobe web site. Would be curious what you would have to say about a ventless, double breasted, bespoke, suit jacket. You seem qualified to say. I enjoyed the post, but really disagree with the no square toe shoe rule. I find they give a nice clean cut end to your suit, and most of the shoes now are pretty narrow with a slimmer squared-off tip.
Thank you for the advice. I wish my son who just graduated college would sit and read the site. He does not believe what the old man suggests. Thank you once again! It has its high points, but it also has plenty of points with which I disagree, with varying intensity:. Thou shall not wear slip on shoes with a suit. In fact, they should be avoided.
With the right slip on shoe, it works just fine. In the case of shoes, I believe the horizontal created by the toe works quite well. Thou shall not wear a tie without a jacket…. Thou shall leave the bottom button of vest waistcoat unbuttoned…. One should always button that bottom button, as not doing so looks sloppy. Thou shall not wear a solid black suit for business or professional activities….
Black can easily be worn for business or professional activities, and need not be reserved for funerals and formal events. All criticisms aside, the many points with which I do agree are very solid.
But I do have one question: Skoogle- Business is a dark suit. Formal is black or white tie tuxedo or evening jacket , or morning coats if before noon. Casual is anything in your closet except jeans and t-shirts. There is no such thing as semi-formal. You can wear a jacket and tie in casual settings. My my ole chats. Quite an astonishing bit of wisdom I do must say. One must be properly attired and catered to with impeccable taste, mind you, and the fellowship of his heritage I might bit want to add here.
Nobility is keen, and thus I require my personal staff to render the best attire, as it is a must, for myself, and those whom frequent these palace grounds. Sir James has informed me of what has been said here and I see merit in much of your commentary.
Cheerio good chap…God save the Queen. Was that comment generated by a computer? If so, the program needs a lot more tuning. If not, you might want to consider reading your posts aloud before submitting them. Mostly a correct list, save the overdressed rule. It is far better to be underdressed if unsure. Can say the exact same in the opposite scenario. Always better to be overdressed. Not so bad to stick out instead of humbly pretending to minimize personal difference.
Groups are known to minimize internal difference to single out the different, hence the fear of sticking out, because it show that you as everyone are as different each other, among your group, as are those outside the group. Far easier to adjust downward an overdressed situation than adjusting upward an underdressed state. I wanna wear it at my weddn…thnx wtng 4 ur rply..
Why would anyone that spells like they are 13 years old and texting be asking about tuxedo? For you it should be a nike shell suit and a pair of kswiss trainers…. Might want to get those checked. I much prefer braces to a belt, but do not feel comfortable showing them in public. Do others feel the same, or am I too self-conscious?
Braces can be one of the most attractive and stylish accessories, and proudly shown. Not boring ones almost all the ones you find in stores. Wearing a black and gray ensemble, and white shirt, a pair of high quality silk buttoned, of course braces in a solid red or blue hue are an attractive accent and should be seen.
If you have an elegant patterned pair, say Italian and probably rather expensive, with appropriate matching and contrasting colors for your outfit, they too are made and worn to be seen. Anybody still reading these comments? Really old post, but does anyone else find it offensive to see so many striped shirts worn with a pattern tie? I was always taught to avoid that like the plague.
Dan, Oftentimes the dress code for an event is unclear so I find that when in doubt, over dress. I still follow these comments. Pattern on pattern is a no-no for me just because of my look. He works as a fashion editor for GQ. He can wear whatever he wants, including pattern on pattern, and he looks great.
I need to stick to classic, Mad Men style fashion. More men need to get to that point, well done. And I forgot to ask my question…I just notice the rule about ironing the collar. Can anyone elaborate about this? Does Justin mean the creased is too stiff? I work at a very casual workplace, people tend to bend his shirts, and i try to mantain the standard of proper dress for the business.
Can I still usimg the tie and the cufflinks under that enviroment or should I start using the jacket, even thought it will be overdressed?
JC, Cufflinks are fine in a casual environment as far as I am concerned. But your co workers may not care for them.
Either way, you should wear a jacket if you are wearing cufflinks. I cant tell you how many times ive tried to explain rule 48 to my friends.
For the most part I agree with your rules. The belt and shoe matching has relaxed somewhat over the last few years, and white bucks are not badass…….. Overall, your rules apply, but you seem somewhat stiff. A few comments in regards to the rules and the posts. Makes you wonder whether the teeth are brushed or the underwear is washed. The image of a well dressed man is viewed from the bottom up.
Do I have to mention that shoes trees are a must? A fine list brother sir. You won me over with 44 and 45 they are hilarious and very true. Fantastic list, not too pretentious. Find myself agreeing with point 9- if it has belt loops, it needs a belt! Point 44 is awesome, really made me laugh! I agree with the other person who alluded to this list being very conservative.
I have over 30 pairs of dress shoes all different colors. I love mixing it up and creating my own style. I have over 50 dress shirts and ties, and 15 blazers in the rotation right now. To anyone just starting out this may be a really nice way to start off, but as you continue buying dress clothes let your imagination take control. Look up the color wheel and learn to match hues. Mike, I certainly agree with you. The list is intended to be very conservative, foolproof if anything.
Sounds like you have a well built wardrobe. Can you just wear a tie with just a waistcoat or does it have to be jacket? Evan, A lot of men wear a vest or waistcoat without a jacket.
But that is not a look I like or really support. Any pair of trousers can have suspender buttons attached to them, any tailor should be able to do it for a few dollars or you can do it yourself pretty easily. Just make sure the pants have a longer rise and sit higher on the waist so that they look better with suspenders. Your pants waist the top where a belt would go should be horizontal, even if you have a beer belly.
Nothing looks more slovenly than pants at a 40 degree downward angle, hanging over maybe hiding a belt at the same or lower angle. Oh dear, dear me. These should never be worn — ever. Any that exist should be melted down as the plastic waste they are and recycled into something with more appeal and style.
Something like joke dog turd or a plastic wart. This trio of ingredients is all that is necessary for awesome shoes or boots. My burgundy Monks shine like rubys. They take time and patience but the effect is worth the wait. Is it acceptable to wear a pocket square with a red and white pattern, and a bow tie that is solid burgundy together? Could you recommend a tie and pocket square combination for a navy suit, white shirt and brown gucci loafers?
Robert, It all depends on how classic or not classic you want to go. If you want to keep it simple just go with a white pocket square and a solid navy or burgundy tie. The good news is that you can pair almost any color with white and navy — you could do anything from a pink paisley tie to a purple silk knit tie.
Colored socks are a no no!! Real men wear dark socks to match their dark suit pant. Colored socks can be one of the few interesting options for a touch of style in a conservative outfit. Check out A Suitable Wardrobe web site, which is an extremely high end clothing adviser and purveyor, and which one would expect to be ultra-conservative and it is. There you will find the proprietor wearing a bespoke dark suit, bespoke shoes, and….
There is a very famous concert pianist noted for wearing patterned hose in bright colors during concerts, and such hose are popular with church and concert organists. Properly chosen patterns and colors e. When wearing a patterned bow tie and brightly colored pocket square, does a loafer with a bit and striped band become to distracting from the rest of the ensemble? Jake, I assume you are referring to the Gucci bits with green and red stripe behind the bit.
The shoes themselves will not distract. However, if you have a lot of other stuff going on like a patterned shirt, jacket or pants that could easily tip things over. Just purchased a navy suit with the perfect fit however I want a matching waistcoat.
I know the waistcoat should always be the same thread and colour but if not is there any other colour that may look the part? Wedding is in 2 weeks appreciate the help. Definitely a reception for a more dressed down look and I even wore one to my sons high school graduation with a sporty thin bow tie.
My favorite is a navy pinstripe suit with a solid matching fabric waistcoat. These are my own opinions and some consider me old fashioned but I like it that way. Find out the dress for the wedding before settling. You still have the contrast of the expensive tie against the suit.
The only difference is that you are now extending the Color of the Black suit by wearing the Black Dress Shirt. Then you wear a bright colored tie in contrast to it. You can also wear a Charcoal Dress Shirt that matches your Charcoal suit and wear a different color tie in contrast.
Works best with dark or dark medium colored suits. Wow that was odd. Regardless, just wanted to say fantastic blog! I do not agree with this statement — Ralph Lauren makes some awesome pinpoint oxford shirts that make suit. A nicely colored shirt with the polo logo looks great when the jackets come off especially in extended meetings.
I have always received compliments. So please lighten up. Lorenzo, Ralph Lauren and even some other brands that feature their logo on the shirt does make some great off the rack dress shirts. But I cannot disagree with you more on your insistence that wearing a logoed dress shirt is at all appropriate for a business setting, especially with a suit.
A logo is the last thing someone should see on a man when he is wearing a suit. A suit and the man wearing it are supposed to speak for themselves, not have the logo of a brand speak for them. The watch chain, watch and fob should be of the same color metal gold r silver. The chain should appropriate in length as so not to be too long to liberally dangle about the frontage of the body. Additionally, for a business suit with a lapel hole, a pocket watch with chain and fob may be used.
A pocket watch and wristwatch should never be used in conjunction with one another although the Prince of Wales was once photographed doing so. Hats may be worn with either tux or business suit to complete the wardrobe ensemble.
When wearing hats, accompanying gloves are to be worn. Top coats and outer wear are optional, given the preference of the man, the occasion and naturally the weather.
Top coats of a Navy blue or black material, preferably wool, are most acceptable. Trench Coats with a brim hat are also acceptable especially in temperate, rainy weather, however, trench coats are not to be worn with formal wear. Writing instruments and other ancillary business apparatus are not to be openly seen, carried or worn in such a manner as to present themselves with an obvious attraction to others. Always use a handkerchief whenever possible out of the sight of others; otherwise, excuse yourself and quickly turn around and use the handkerchief, then immediately take the opportunity to excuse oneself to the mens room or bathroom.
Avoid overly bulging wallets, noisy keys and other personal items that may cause irritable noises or wardrobe anomalies. Before an event, empty your wallet of all frivolous items, this will maker both your wallet and appearance slimmer, in addition being being more comfortable to carry. Pair your keys down to only those that you will need to access your vehicle or office, your other keys you can keep locked up in your desk drawer or automobile. When at last I rationalized the number of keys, lost their chunky fob, and slimmed down to a two-fold Belroy wallet, my lines became much smoother.
I was wondering if you ever considered changing the layout of your blog? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better.
Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 images. Maybe you could space it out better? Try navy or light grey trousers. Awesome and awesome — all points in taste and great humor.
I shall be looking into some white bucks shortly. Set trends and be brave in your dress sense and! As the webpage say… fine young gentleman. I saw a man with light blue straight laced up shoes. I think was patent cuz shine as sun, but could be just nice leather. With… light blue shirt and tie, shine also, maybe silk or polyester mix.
And a light grey suit. Pants and nice jacket with pointy lapels. Also handkerchief light blue like the tie and shirt, in the jackets upper pocket. So far looks like a school boy. And the man got like 50 or 55 years old! His face… hairstyle… shittt… forget the color, that guy was a fine badass for sure. Summer badass, we can tell. I get married in 5 days. I have a grey morning suit but I only ever wear brown shoes and I want to buy a new pair of brown shoes for my wedding. However, oldies and traditionalists are saying that I should wear black.
Darren, Congrats on getting married. With a morning suit I would also recommend going with black shoes. This is all good stuff, especially for a commoner like myself.
However, I find it hard to take seriously, even if I came into money, because the language and grammar are ridiculous. Rule 6 saves the day! According to this rule, I can wear white socks with a dark suit as long as I also wear a white shirt! Exceptional post however , I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this topic?
I am attending a wedding reception this week only the evening, party type event. I am considering dark blue, very smart jeans, brown brogues, brown belt, blue formal shirt and a blazer with a patterned pocket square. Do you think this will pass, or is it necessary to put on a suit. After five days a week in suit, shirt and tie, its good to get a change!! However do not wish to look out of place.
Cful, It all depends on what the requested dress is. Nor would I ever advise anyone to wear them to a wedding reception, no matter what the dress. I would say just suck it up and wear a suit or at least some dress trousers. Another reason the loafers would have […]. Are we just talking typical business suit jackets here? Id agree if so, however on a casual jacket.. I think this rule is open for breaking depending on these factors but in casual terms only! There is no disputing that fact.
Can you wear a brown waistcoat with a black overcoat, or is that too bizarre? If you can, what colour must the tie be? But I would not wear a brown waistcoat with a black jacket blazer, sport jacket or other. I applaud the effort put forth to transcribe these rules from the original stone tablets and look forward to future post industrial revolution rules. I wonder, does the current over utilization of pocket squares, make you reconsider rules 32, and 33?
I would say that the way some men wear them is over done, however. Which, as you note, can give the whole thing a bad name. If wearing a top hat to an event, does the color of the top hat need to match the trousers? Or does a black top hat go with any formal dress? Bryan, A black top hat will go with any formal dress — black tie, white tie, morning dress.
I am getting married this December and I will be wearing a navy blue suit with a black lapel, navy blue matching pants n waist coat and a white shirt….
I will be wearing burgundy shoes or brown shoes, I also intend wearing brown belt or burgundy belt…my question is this… What color of socks, and bow tie would complement my dressing? I was thinking of wearing a 2 piece blue sharkskin suit with a light charcoal vest for my high school prom. Does this sound like a good combination? I am in the process of choosing a suit for my high school prom, and would like to wear a 2 piece blue sharkskin suit with a light charcoal vest.
Is this a good combination? Mr South, I think that combo will be fine, if you can, have the vest be of a different texture than sharkskin to give a little textural contrast. Is anything other than black acceptable? I was originally going for a dark blue dress pant with a light bright cardigan type look or light grey dress pants with brown belt and shoes with a simple paisley designed bow tie.
But I now I think it will just look tacky. Should I scratch the idea and go for black? A little help would be appreciated! Jason, Yes, many other things are acceptable. They also used a lot of heavy fabrics like tweed, I think.
Adnan, Black pants and grey jacket are fine, but dont wear a black shirt. Wear a white one instead. Dear God, I sincerely hope the commenters extolling the virtues of a black suit, black shirt and colored tie are joking. That combination is indicative of three things: They are not mutually exclusive. As for the square toed shoes — if you were to examine the offerings of a high quality shoe maker you will not find a square toed shoe in their collection. Dress appropriately for your context.
If you are doing business in Japan, a black suit is not horrific, it is mandatory. A gentleman even of the American persuasion would be loathe to use it. I think there needs to be an addition to the rules regarding — collar stays. Most respectable dress shirts now have the slots for it and some even provide you with a set.
They keep the collars crisp and straight and give the dress shirt a sharper and more professional look. If you forget to insert them in the morning and notice it in the office, use a paper clip. Horsebits with a suit?
I have a pair of light grey suede shoes, would it be acceptable to wear with a tie, vest and dress pants vest and pants black? Traditionally, one wore a tie only with a full-sleeved shirt.
For some years now, and mainly due to weather conditions, ties with half-sleeved shirts are acceptable, so long as one does not wear a jacket. While striped suits, or striped trousers with a plain shirt look good, avoid checked trousers. They do not look as elegant. The tip of the larger, outer blade of the long tie should sit on the middle of the belt buckle, not middle of the stomach!
A nice guide that at the showed me some things I have been doing wrong, but even better it showed me what I have been doing correct. That said there is still some things I am somewhat unsure about and that is when it comes to shoes. Other than hearing that many make mistakes when wearing brown shoes I never actually know what those misstakes are, so I always find myself second guessing my choices in wearing brown shoes. Never really know what to treat them as but they look great either way.
Could these be worn with black dockers and a black belt, or do the brown soles scuttle the deal? Or does it depend on the shirt? We at Computer Guys wish you a great year ahead with lots of personal growth. Firstly, I find even the thought of white bucks as midly insulting.
Whoever wrote this article needs to take a long hard look in the mirror before handing out advice so easily. It is absolutely preposterous that one thinks black shoes and brown is not acceptable — who are you? And horizontal ties…are you kidding me. I started reading this expecting to disagree with most of the rules.
I agreed with them all. Thank you for the very informative post. Believe me on this, I follow all of your 51 rules already and it does make a difference. The largest ambiguity is, however, cleared up in the conversation above.
I do NOT think that Rule 29 should be interpreted to mean that one shall not wear a white shirt with anything but a suit and tie another ambiguity that emerges from how poorly it is written. The all-white shirt with no tie and a sweater or jacket is very IN right now. That look is quite common today among well-dressed gentlemen. That shirt Lamonis wears is available on-line. Forgot who makes it. Here is a rule for the gentleman who writes well: Doing this actually advertises your insecurity.
Rule 13 should be seen as one for America only. Go to Japan or Europe or Singapore or Hong Kong and you will see guys in business casual dress with cuffed shirts and cufflinks with no jacket. He looked — and is — totally sharp, and definitely not a hipster. I predict we will see more of this in America over the next few years.
Rule 13 is weak and may fade away altogether. Perhaps this man does have a sense of style. Yeah, but that rule is only applicable in america. True, but that doesnt matter. Shthay something im giving up on you. Honestly, I disagree with more than half this list.
Largely it lacks imagination that usually comes with the snobbery lists like this almost invariably have. You place far too much importance on jackets. You can wear ties and braces just find without them.
Braces, too, are for utility as much as style. On that note, braces with with clips are preferable to ones with buttons. Anyone who places too focus on shoes is a fool and shallow one on that. Yes, they should be appropriate for the outfit and they should match, but beyond that they should be an after thought. Anyone who cares too much about shoes needs a hobby to occupy their excess time.
Again, utility and comfort are as if not more important than fashion. If square toe shoes are more comfortable for the wearer, they are preferable. Also, a person who thinks white bucks are anything but hideous loses the right to dictate fashion. In regards to buttoning the bottom button, be it waistcoats or suit jackets, is matter of the image you want to project.
You lost all credibility the moment you said that loafers with tassels are bad-ass. I think you should re-consider your position on square-toed shoes. Just because they are a newer development does not mean they are wrong. Perhaps they do not work for most men, but I think a blanket statement saying that they are always terrible, is simply unjustified. Perhaps not specific to the enumerated Rules of Dress, but I will comment on the common combination of khaki pants and the solid light blue shirt; typically a button-down oxford shirt.
I have no idea why these two came to match. The look is frumpy, boring, and unimaginative. To me the color combination just does not look good. Least of all, is not a style, as in: This blog is very interesting. I noted a lot of ideas which I can share to my brothers and friends.
For more ideas visit our site http: I came to this page trying to find tips written in a serious and mature manor. I wanted to know if a navy blue shirt on a camel colour pants with light tan shoes and dark green suspenders would match…. I never heard of your tie should coordinate with your trousers. I never heard a tie should coordinate with your trousers. A tie should coordinate with your socks. They should not match, but pick up a color or coordinate with a color. Your trousers should match your suit coat unless you are wearing odd trousers and a blazer or sport jacket.
Regarding the question from Alex: I would not be surprised if much of the negative feedback to this rule comes from a misunderstanding of your intent, rather than the spirit of the rule itself.
You do explain the rule in at least one of the comments, but there are several and they can be difficult to wade through. Thou shall always wear a jacket when wearing shirts with both a white collar and white cuffs.
Thou shall always wear a jacket with shirts of both a white collar and white cuffs. The above rules such as: I, for one, have attended the finest boarding school in England, whereby most of these rules become second nature, and never once been told to curb my usage of such term. Rule 34, however, I must disagree with. A bagpack backpack , is entirely suitable with a suit.
Although, I must add, it is a designer bag and one designed to look at home next to my Gucci two piece. I have bought two options for the under-shirt, either a light blue or white both with a subtle pattern. Now, here is my dilemma.. I wanted to wear my brown shoes, brown belt and brown leather strapped watch with the suit.
All the brown items are matched in colour. Please let me know what to do here? I recently attended a piano recital for a young man in my neighborhood who studies music at a local university. A gentleman always uses proper grammar when writing for the public, and pays for proofreading if he cannot stand to do it properly himself.
Suprised watch position was not addressed. You need to add the males watch should ONLY be worn on the left wrist. Period , no exceptions. What color suspenders and tie go with a somewhat brighter navy blue suit paired with a white and light pink checked dress shirt?
Id say match the jacket. Granted im not a professional, I was just in Mens Wearhouse and most of the time they seemed to match both the jacket AND the pants, but for me personally I would rather have the vest match the jacket than the pants. I think it makes you look a little more neater and sharper. I guess it would also depend on the color as well.
I have Allen Edmonds, but consider them office shoes. A guy wearing a black suit with a black dress shirt, especially with the top two buttons unbuttoned, is classically sexy. I enjoy wearing suspenders braces with my suits. The issue is maintaining the proper placement of the waistband of the pant on my hips. But, not having tailor made clothes, my pants come automatically with belt loops. I never use them, but have my tailor add buttons for the braces.
Should I have him remove the belt loops, per your rules which say that belt loops should always have a belt?
Because for now, I just wear them empty. Certainly, I am not going to put a belt in them with suspenders. That is one of the biggest fashion faux pas I see. It always makes me laugh. I am going to an event this weekend and my date is wearing a black dress. Can I wear a blue jacket, white shirt, kahki pants, brown shoes and brown belt?
I am constantly hitting stumbling blocks when dressing for consultations, gigs, and presentations. Im still trying to figure out the vest thing and should shoes be if similar color to the suit if the suit is anything other than black or white. Havent found the poor mans guide to looking professional yet. I am attending an outdoor beach wedding in 3 weeks — would grey pants be acceptable to wear? If so, what color s jacket would work? A gentlemans tie should coordinate with his hosiery.
It does not have anything to do with the color of ones trousers or anything else for that matter unless you are wearing a dark blue dinner jacket and black tie. How do you think menswear designer? Ralph Lauren made his billions.
If your lucky, your Dad can be a big help. These are the zombies walking around middle class malls wearing t shirts untucked with writing on them. Shorts with cargo pockets and either white leather running shoes or sandals without socks.
Those are some stereotypes about hippies. Actually some hippies were actually very dandy, depending on their philosophy and their clothing was quite researched although unconventional and of course far from formal: Is there a rule to this? I overall agree with dennes. So I only follow a few rules, the main ones. But never say never there might be some exceptions.
Sure, with brown shoes or loafers I always match socks with pants or tie, with black or very dark shoes I prefer matching my socks with shirts, most of the time. Any way, yes, I alternate with penny loafers, the same ones I wear with shorts: I go for white shirts most of the time, but I like the other colors and some patterns too. Btw shirt patterns, can generally be reproduced with socks, but just the general tone and carefully.
If you take this seriously, or post an actual comment — your salary is bigger than your dick you bunch of wankers. You should all join a club where you can match your socks and belts and wank each other off.
Jason, it might seem you are counterconformist and I agree, substance counts more than clothes which still I consider a form of art, but anyway , but I think you are just a troll and unoriginally uneducated. I just broke a basic rule, got me a dark navy marine formal shoes with a matching belt, now i have no idea how to wear it. With navy suit it doesnt give enough contrast, with brown it looked weird, oddly it looked best with a grey suit or a lighter colored blue suit.
What do u gents think? What can he wear? My son needs to attend a fashion extravaganza. What can he wear. Navy and white striped shirt I know is a must. When can men wear white pants? I dunno, maybe greenish pants and blazer, http: Inappropriate comment about Bono, he must wear a special type of sunglasses. He has an eye defect. Otherwise, I like your information and have sent it to my three boys. I am attending an all white event.
I am wearing an all white suit with a dark orange like shirt and brown shoes. What color belt should I wear,Brown or black? The bow tie is tied using a common shoelace knot , which is also called the bow knot for that reason. Often, members of wedding parties wear pastel bow ties with their dinner suits; this is inappropriate in a black tie context because it dilutes the formal integrity of the outfit, thereby reducing it to a party costume.
Black tie trousers traditionally have no cuffs turn-ups in British English or belt loops. The outer seams are usually decorated with a single braid of silk or a material that matches or complements the lapel facing. Traditionally, braces suspenders , hidden by the waistcoat , are used to support the trousers. Belts should not ever be worn with black tie trousers. Evening trousers can be flat-fronted or pleated today; pleats first coming into fashion in the s. Whilst flat-fronted trousers are more fashionable at present, pleated trousers may be considered more comfortable by men who have wider hips and a narrow waist.
A waist covering should generally be worn as part of a black tie ensemble. Either a low cut waistcoat or cummerbund may be worn, but never both at the same time. Although the English authority Debrett's consider that wearing a waistcoat is smart, they no longer consider either waist covering to be essential. A low cut waistcoat should be worn when wearing a single-breasted coat.
Waistcoasts come in the 'V' or rarer 'U' shape, in backless or fully backed versions, double or single breasted , with or without lapels.
Single breasted styles typically have three buttons, and double breasted ones three or four rows. Before World War II, while black tie was still gaining acceptance, men would wear a white waistcoat , along with other details now associated primarily with white tie , such as stiff fronted shirts. However, this style, though increasingly viewed as an affectation, is still acceptable in the United States.
The waistcoat should be made from either the same fabric as the dinner jacket traditional or the same silk as the jacket's lapels popular. When a waistcoat has lapels , they should be faced in the same silk as those of the jacket; in this case it is considered more refined if the body is made from the same fabric as the jacket. The buttons may be self-faced or covered in the same silk as the lapels.
Vintage waistcoats were sometimes closed with studs made from onyx or mother of pearl , which were often surrounded by a setting of silver or gold. A waistcoat is never worn with a double breasted jacket. Since this style of jacket is never unbuttoned, the waist of the trousers is never exposed, and therefore does not need to be covered,  though before World War II an edge of waistcoat was often shown between the jacket and shirt. A cummerbund may be worn with a dinner jacket in lieu of a waistcoat and, although it is considered slightly less formal, it is equally correct.
It looks especially well with a shawl collar dinner jacket but may be worn in conjunction with peak lapels. The material of the cummerbund should be silk satin , grosgrain or faille , or barathea to match that of the bow tie. It features upward facing folds, which were originally used to store theatre or opera tickets, and are now considered to be more decorative than functional.
Just like the waistcoat , cummerbunds are not worn with a double breasted jacket. As the cummerbund is seen as an extension of the trousers, traditionally it should the same colour, i. Some higher quality models feature a hidden pocket and an elastic loop to fasten to the trousers. Shirts designed to be worn with black tie are called "formal shirts," or "tuxedo shirts" in American English and "dress shirts" in British English.
In the earlyth century, a piqué shirt with a detachable wing collar and single cuffs such as is worn with white tie was used, and in the s and s ruffled bibs were popular, but neither styles are often seen today. The wing collar originally disappeared in black tie after the s when the appropriately semi-formal attached turndown collar shirt became preferred, but it has been popular with American men in a less substantial, attached form since the s.
However, many style authorities argue that the wing collar should remain the domain of white tie for aesthetic reasons. Although some style authorities consider the wing collar to be an acceptable option for black tie shirts, they should not be worn with double cuffs or a pleated bib,  and are better suited to the more formal single-breasted peak lapel jacket.
When a full dress shirt is worn in this fashion, it should be accompanied by the white marcella waistcoat ordinarily associated with white tie.
Debrett's do not endorse the wing collar as being compatible with the black tie dress code. The more formal marcella version of the shirt fastens with matching shirt studs. These are most commonly in silver or gold settings, featuring onyx or mother-of-pearl ; various geometrical shapes are worn, e. There has been no consistent fashion preference for gold or silver, but studs with mother-of-pearl are more formal and therefore often associated with white tie.
The soft-front pleated version of the shirt should be fastened with mother-of-pearl buttons, typically supplied with the shirt on a separate strip of fabric.
Alternatively, a fly-front shirt, appropriate with both the marcella and pleated bibs, conceals the placket for a more minimalistic look.
There are several types of cufflinks that may be worn with black tie. The most formal and decorative are the double-panel type, which dress both sides of the cuff and are connected by a chain or link of metal; this model conceals the mechanism by which the cuff is secured.
The most common, and least decorative, are the swivel bar type; whilst these are acceptable, they leave the inner side of the cuffs and mechanism exposed which is incongruous with formal dress. The most formal and traditional shoes are patent leather opera pumps court shoes decorated with grosgrain bows. The more popular alternative currently is the black lace-up Oxford shoe , in patent leather or calfskin , with a rounded plain toe.
Brogueing or any other decorative patterns should never be seen on Black Tie footwear. Shoes are almost invariably black and patent leather is considered more formal than matte finishes while pumps are considered more formal than lace-ups. Generally considered too informal for black tie are shoes with open lacing, such as the Derby shoe bluchers in American English.
Notable alternatives include the black button boot primarily of historical interest only and the monogrammed Albert slipper which was originally worn only at home. The black Gucci loafer in leather is also considered as an alternative, especially in urban British settings. Most etiquette and fashion guides of the current decade recommend keeping color touches and favoring a single color, usually dark; muted reds, such as maroon, are a traditional choice.
A handkerchief in linen traditional , silk, or cotton is usually worn in the breast pocket. A flower may be worn. Red and white carnation , blue cornflower , and rosebud have all been popular at times. In France , the boutonnière is usually a gardenia. Black-tie events do not involve outerwear and coats and gloves are no longer considered part of the dress code.
However, etiquette for what to wear in public in transit to and from black tie occasions was stiffer in earlier eras and remain an option: Matching overcoats are usually black, charcoal , or dark blue , and traditionally of the Chesterfield style.
A guards coat was also once popular, and a lighter topcoat can be worn in summer. Historically, an Inverness coat was also worn. Until the midth century, gloves and scarves were always worn, and are still occasionally seen in gray leather and white silk, respectively.
White kid gloves have never been standard with black tie, remaining exclusive to white tie dress. The 20th-century standard hat for black tie was a black or midnight blue Homburg in winter,   or straw boater in spring and summer. Black-tie dress does not require a hat today. Military, civil, and organizational decorations are usually worn only to full dress events, generally of formal governmental or diplomatic significance.
Unlike in white tie , where decorations are always permitted, the dress code will usually give some indication when decorations are to be worn with black tie. Traditionally visible timepieces are not worn with formal evening dress, because timekeeping is not supposed to be considered a priority. Pocket watches are acceptable.
Black tie is worn to private and public dinners, balls , and parties. At the more formal end of the social spectrum, it has to a large extent replaced the more formal white tie. The black tie code is sometimes classified as "semi-formal" in contrast to the "formal" white tie, or as "formal" in contrast to the "most formal" of white tie. Once more common, white tie dress code is now fairly rare, being reserved for only extremely formal occasions. Black tie's rough daytime equivalent is the stroller , which is less formal than morning dress because as with black tie it replaces the tailcoat with a lounge coat.
Curiously, in opposition to the trend seen in evening dress, the less formal stroller is now extraordinarily rare, whereas morning dress is still relatively common. When the dress code for an event starting at or after 6 o'clock in the evening is described as 'formal' with no further qualification, the invitee may choose to wear either black tie or a dark lounge suit with a tie. Traditionally, black tie should be worn to the opera although a dark lounge suit is also now acceptable.
Black tie is customary at English country house opera, such as during the summer Festival at Glyndebourne. Black tie should also be worn at a ballet or orchestra gala. At formal dinners on cruise ships the dress code will typically be black tie although a dark lounge suit may be worn as a substitute. Some university debating societies, such as at Oxford  and Durham  conduct at least some of their debates in black tie.
In the last few decades, in place of the traditional white tie or morning dress , black tie has been increasingly seen in the United States at formal day wedding. However, etiquette and clothing experts continue to discourage or condemn the wearing of black tie as too informal for weddings, or any event before 7 p. In the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe , although a minority accepts black tie at evening receptions , including some Jewish weddings ,  it is seldom worn at church weddings or civil ceremonies where instead white tie , morning dress or a lounge suit is normally favoured.
In some places, local variations of white tie etiquette may traditionally be worn, such as highland dress in Scotland. For formal dining, uniformed services officers and non-commissioned officers often wear mess dress equivalents to the civilian black tie and evening dress. Mess uniforms may vary according to the wearers' respective branches of the armed services, regiments, or corps, but usually include a short Eton-style coat reaching to the waist.
Some include white shirts, black bow ties, and low-cut waistcoats, while others feature high collars that fasten around the neck and corresponding high-gorge waistcoats. Some nations' armed services have black tie and white tie equivalent variants in their mess dress. In tropical areas, primarily in Western diplomatic and expatriate communities, Red Sea rig is sometimes worn, in which the jacket and waistcoat are omitted and a red cummerbund and trousers with red piping are worn instead.
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