trousers (pants) should feature no pleats or cuffs and have straight pockets
following the side seam leg seams, in order to make them less visible. Tuxedos
should never be worn with belts. If you need help keeping your pants up
where they belong, use suspenders (braces). The front closure should be
clip-only, avoiding the button. Classically, the trousers will have a
satin silk stripe or beading along the outer side seam of each leg to
compliment the lapel facing. This is a very classy detail, but nowadays
sometimes considered old-fashioned.
The Waist Covering
The shirt should
not be visible at the waist, which calls for a something covering the gap
between trousers and jacket. Most
gentlemen will wear either a cummerbund or formal vest. Traditionally, this is non-negotiable, but
these days you often see people wearing no waist covering at all. The times
they are a’changing.
The shirt should
be plain white cotton or silk. It should have a ‘bib’ running down the front
which provides stiffness (i.e. a higher level of formality). This is made
either with vertical pleats in matching fabric or by attaching a textured pique
fabric. The collar can be a normal laydown variety or a wing collar, which has
little points turned down where the collar would be, exposing the collar band.
The cuffs should be double (French cuff), to accommodate cufflinks. Most people
also forego the buttons on evening shirts in favor of jewelry studs (often
matched with the cufflinks). Finally, please don’t even consider a black or
colored shirt unless you are attending the Grammys or an MTV award show.
The Bow Tie
This is THE crucial
accessory: bow tie. Elegant, rich and ideally self-tied, as pre-tied ones tend
to look artificial. With the bow tie, you can play around a little and add some
subtle color, texture or pattern, but remember to pay due respect to the dress
studs should be simple luxury metals and mother-of-pearl or onyx insets are
nice touches. The shoes should be black patent leather. The style is personal
preference, with slip-ons and plain lace oxfords are both acceptable. If you
can’t bring yourself to buy a pair of patent shoes, make sure you spit-polish
your dressiest black pair flawlessly. A slim wrist or pocket watch and
boutonniere are other possible accessories. Finish it off with an elegant
pocket square. You can fold it any way you like, but we’re fans of the simple “puff”
That’s it; you’re
ready to take your next Black Tie event by storm! If you have any questions or
would like to be certain that you are perfectly attired, just call your
formalwear specialists at Tuxedo Fashions.