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Formally Yours - Advice to avoid the fashion police!

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Fashion Police

Fashion Police Test
White Tie - Black tail coat, black pant white pique shirt, white pique vest, white pique bowtie. Used today for very formal affairs and Titanic parties. (click here for picture)

Black Tie - Tuxedo, formal shirt, bow-tie & cummerbund (or vest). (click here for timeless tuxedos)

Wing-Tip Formal Shirt - Traditional formal shirt with short triangle collar. (click here for picture)

Lay-Down Formal Shirt - Collar is like a regular dress shirt, pleated front. (click here for picture)

Shawl Collar - Rounded lapel on jacket, very sophisticated (click here for picture)

Studs - Jewelry to replace the shirt button, very cool. (click here for picture)

Cummerbund notes - Folds always face up (traditionally to create a pocket to hold your theatre tickets)

Never cuff a formal trouser, plain bottoms only! (Besides, it's almost against the law!)

So why does the pant have a stripe down the leg? Holdover detail from military uniforms to hide the outside seam.

* Clothes and The Man: The Principles of Fine Men's Dress by Alan J. Flusser, Random House

Formally Yours Responds:
Q: Is it correct to wear a black bow tie and a formal white shirt with a black suit instead of a tux? A. Wearing formal accessories with a black suit just might get you arrested by the fashion police! It is the clothing equivalent of having your vertical and horizontal holds off - you can still see the picture but something ain't right!

But on a more serious note, mixing formal accesories and a black suit sends a distinct message - that you know you're attending a formal function, but are trying to get away without wearing a tuxedo. I'm sorry to say, but it will come off looking a bit odd. If you are attending a black tie optional affair and prefer not to wear a tuxedo, then wear your black suit with a dressy white shirt, French cuff (cuff links) would be preferred, along with an elegant necktie. Bottom line - if you want to go formal, you have to go all the way. If you don't want to wear a tux then don't try to "cheat" by wearing formal accessories with a suit.

Q: I have a 5pm wedding that is being held in the Cayan Islands. Should I wear a tuxedo or a dinner jacket? When wearing a dinner jacket, what kind of trousers should be worn? Can I wear a vest with a dinner jacket? What are the best colors of cumberbund, bow tie, vest to wear with a tux/dinner jacket. Help, help, help! A: We recomend wearing a white dinner jacket with formal trousers (satin stripe down the leg) for your wedding. Just a brief note, if your wedding were earlier in the day, perhaps noon or 1pm, we would recommend a black cutaway morning coat with hickory grey striped trousers. If your wedding was in the evening (after 6pm), we would recommend a black tuxedo.

Accessories are far more variable - tradition suggests black accessories. If, however, you want to lighten up a bit, then red or light blue would almost work (albeit far more casual).


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