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October 28, 2010

The Dinner Jacket and Less Formal Occasions

Filed under: Formal Wear — Tags: , — Formal Wear Expert @ 3:57 pm

The Dinner Jacket and Less Formal Occasions

The Dinner Jacket and Less Formal Occasions

It started in earnest about a year or so ago and it has become more common. What is it? It’s men wearing formal dinner jackets to less formal occasions. Rather than opting for a suit, some men are putting on a tuxedo with either a shawl, peak or notch collar.

The point is to wear a formal dinner jacket to an event that does not call for one. In doing so, you lift the rules and regulations (dress code) that describes what other elements should be included to make your ensemble conform for formal wear standards. But it also does something else.

It allows guys to get away with wearing tee shirts, jeans and sneakers with the formal jacket. There’s no need for a tie either. Why? Because the dinner jacket dresses your frame to the nines while it allows the rest of your body to be attired in matching or complimentary colors.

If you’re wearing a black dinner jacket, then an informal black or white shirt, some dark jeans and a black pair of informal shoes all look fine. You can even get a little creative with the shirt, going with a light blue or hot pink, and finding footwear that might catch the attention of others, such as flip-flops or cowboy boots.

As some formal events seem to be attended by men in less traditional formal attire, some events that would be considered to be less formal have men donning formal dinner jackets. It’s a way to spiff up without wearing a tie, formal dress shirt or trousers or dress shoes. For the right occasion, a date or a night out dancing or even a party, this can be a very classy option. Consider the dinner jacket the next time you’re going out to a less-than-formal event or gathering.


A formal dinner jacket with bow tie is not your only option.

October 27, 2010

Men’s Formal Wear Buying Tips

Filed under: Formal Wear — Tags: , — Formal Wear Expert @ 2:14 pm

Classic Formal Black Tuxedo

Classic Formal Black Tuxedo

Sometimes we take things for granted in terms of a man’s basic knowledge regarding what he should consider when purchasing a tuxedo. Here are three tips that you can use when buying men’s formal wear. They are designed to ensure that you purchase a tux that will be appropriate for as many occasions as is possible.

First, let’s consider color. When we think of men’s formal wear, the most common color we think of is black. Black gives you the most versatility. Black was deemed to be the most appropriate color for formal events back in the 19th century and that still holds true today. The other color that would work would be dark or midnight blue, which is as close be being black as a color can be without actually being black.

Our second tip involves fabric. It’s best to purchase a tuxedo that is made of lightweight material. The primary reason for this is comfort. Heavier materials can be difficult to move in and after a lengthy duration can start to feel uncomfortable.

Also, lighter materials are cooler. If you’re in a stressful situation such as having to deliver an address, you’ll appreciate wearing a tux made from a lightweight material. Also, such materials can be comfortably worn on hot days as well as cool ones.

Finally, consider jacket style, trousers and shirt and tie. These are really the foundation of your formal wear ensemble. The best choice when it comes to versatility is either a single or double breasted dinner jacket. The dinner jacket may be worn to virtually any formal event.

With the jacket, you’ll have a choice of shawl, peak or notched lapel. The shawl is the most traditional, while the peaked can give you a look that makes you stand out a bit more. Go with one of these two. As far a body type goes, the peak is more slimming, while the shawl will fill you out more.

Your trousers will be formal too, which means they are black, uncuffed and feature a satin stripe going down the outside part of each leg.

Choose a white formal shirt with either a wing or turndown collar. Once again, the wing offers more of a classic, conservative feel. Either, however, is appropriate. For you tie, purchase a black bow tie.

One thing to remember is that when you buy something that is traditional, you can always add some zest and variety to it by purchasing different cufflinks, vests, and ties. The jacket, shirt and trousers are your formal wear foundation and making a solid foundation is a good way to make sure that you own a tuxedo that you can wear to any formal occasion.


Classic black dinner jacket

October 26, 2010

Jonas Brothers Fashion at “JoBros 3D” Premiere

Filed under: Formal Wear — Tags: , , — Formal Wear Expert @ 5:40 pm

Jonas Brothers Fashion at “JoBros 3D” Premiere

Jonas Brothers Fashion at “JoBros 3D” Premiere

Here are Kevin, Nick and Joe Jonas of the Jonas Brothers. They are at the premiere if their rock concert movie. This Hollywood red carpet moment happened back in 2009, but it’s worth considering as it offers three contrasting looks. You may or may not be a fan of these three brothers, but there’s no doubt that they have become a pop culture force.

Kevin, who is to the left, has the formal peaked collar jacket with a fairly hip, glossy black tie and an open white shirt. It’s formal but cool. This is something that you might see on anyone at a Hollywood premiere ranging in age from teenager to near-retirement age adult. Nice outfit.

On the right hand side stands Joe with a satin jacket that sports a very conservative shawl lapel. The black, button down formal shirt has a bit of a ruffle and the gold tie offers a nice show biz feel. Note that his shirt is buttoned at top but the tie hangs loose. In some ways, this is a bit more conservative than Kevin’s outfit but it is also showier. That is one shiny coat he’s got on.

In the middle and thick of it all is Nick Jonas. Nick went to the premiere dressed for the prom and that’s fine. The black bow tie and white formal shirt with its top button closed are ultraconservative. But the light blue jacket with traditional shawl collar is a beacon between the two brothers in black. It begs us to look at Kevin and so we do. Kevin has also pulled his sleeves up on his jacket, which is stating that he’s got something casual happening.

This photo reveals that although these Jonas Brothers are each a part of a band, they are also individuals when it comes to taste in men’s formal wear togs. Which do you prefer—Kevin, Nick or Joe?

October 25, 2010

Red Carpet Men’s Formal Wear

Filed under: Formal Wear — Tags: , , — Formal Wear Expert @ 4:08 pm

Emile Hirsch in Formal WearHere’s actor Emile Hirsch with Brianna Domont as they walked down and posed on the red carpet for the premiere of Taking Woodstock a little over a year ago. We’re always interested in what type of formal wear “looks” and styles men are wearing. Hirsch looks pretty spiffy for a guy attending a premiere about the first mega rock festival ever.

What says it all is the ensemble itself, which includes a formal dinner jacket with black informal shirt and dark jeans. Add the red sunglasses and you’ve got a youthful and fairly informal look that offers a connection to men’s formal wear tradition. The traditional connection is in the formal jacket.

The satin lapels are eye-catching and Hirsh’s decision to go with a tasteful but more conspicuous peaked lapel is interesting. The shawl lapel is considered to be more conservative and since the actor has decided to be anything but conservative with his outfit, the upward sweeping points of the peak reinforce the idea that he is going against tradition.

The flair of the attention-getting peaked lapel with its glossy allure says, “This is a special event and I’m acknowledging it,” while the rest of the ensemble says, “but I’m showing my individual style through my shirt, pants and sunglasses.”

It’s a good ensemble for the actor and the event.

October 18, 2010

Star Formal Fashion Choices at The Expendables

Filed under: Formal Wear — Tags: , — Formal Wear Expert @ 8:31 pm

Star Formal Fashion Choices at The Expendables

Star Formal Fashion Choices at The Expendables

There were four male Hollywood stars on the red carpet for the August premiere of The Expendables and each was attired in their own fashion. So, which looks the least “expendable” when is comes to their fashion choices? The four guys, from left to right Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis, Mickey Rourke and Kellen Lutz, offer quite a contrast.
For sheer comfort and that sports bar look, Lutz wins hands down. The guy is buff and young and looks good in anything. But he also looks like he might be Rourke’s gardener or pool boy.
Rourke went a very interesting way. The three-piece suit says, “I am open and casual.” That’s because the jacket is open, the shirt collar is open and the cuffs on his rather gaudy shirt are open and flowing out from under his jacket sleeves. Then there’s the vest. That part of his outfit is confining and, in a way formal, as are the chains that loop down from the sides of his jacket. The brown shoes work with the multicolored shirt. This isn’t formal. It’s just Mickey being Mickey.
Willis went semi-formal with the black dinner jacket, black formal pants and shinny black loafers. The white shirt, totally open at the collar, is conservatively casual. It makes me think of him on Moonlighting with Cybil Shepard.
Finally, there is Stallone. At 64, he’s by far the oldest of the four. Sly looks like a guy who was made to wear a suit. The black jacket and pants have a slight pin stripe that tapers Stallone’s frame nicely. The jacket offers a longer cut that solidly frames the lower part of his trunk. The white shirt with cufflinks and gold tie give him a formality above and beyond the other three.
Stallone wins the “least expendable fashion award” at this summer’s premiere of The Expendables.

October 14, 2010

What’s Your Take on Men’s Formal Wear?

Filed under: Formal Wear — Tags: , , , — Formal Wear Expert @ 2:20 pm

Justin Timberlake in Men's Dinner Jacket

Justin Timberlake in Men's Dinner Jacket

It’s stuffy, it’s uncomfortable and it’s limiting. Aren’t those some of the common takes you get from guys about men’s formal wear? That’s one way to look at the old tuxedo, which is sometimes referred to as a “monkey suit.” (Actually, it’s referred to as such in 100s of movies.)

But the fact is men’s formal wear, when worn properly and fit correctly, can be amazingly hip, suave, hot and cool. There’s a reason why Justin Timberlake, Hugh Jackman, Johnny Depp and many other handsome Hollywood men look so darn good when dressed in black tie. Check out the photo to the left of Timberlake in his dapper white dinner jacket. With the idea in mind that you can look dapper and debonair in formal wear, let’s consider the three complaints noted above.

“It’s stuffy.” Really? Men’s formal wear comes in a variety of styles and it is made to reflect simultaneously class, modern trends and classical design. It’s true that you wear a tuxedo to a formal event; that is to a special occasion that requires a dress code. The event may be a tad “stuffy” in that it is guided by certain rules, but that doesn’t mean that the formal wear you’re going to be dressed in has to also be “stuffy.”

The first thing that you need to do regarding your tuxedo is to relax a bit. Be positive and prepare to enjoy the new you that’s going to be created once you put on formal attire. Revel in your transformation!

“It’s uncomfortable.” Well, actually, if it has been measured and tailored properly men’s formal wear tends to be extremely comfortable. You may find the bow tie a bit confining if you’re not used to having your collar closed or the idea of wearing a dinner jacket may seem to be inhibiting, but once you ease into your tuxedo, you’ll soon find that it’s designed to make sure that you look and feel good when you stand, sit, walk, dance, etc.

The key is really proper fit and that first starts with choosing the right kind of tuxedo. It should look good on your body type. That may mean going with a vest rather than a cummerbund or choosing a cravat over a bow tie. All bodies are different and some men, because of the type of frame they have, will look good in any style, while others are more limited to what looks good on then. The right style and accessories will help make you feel comfortable. And, as mentioned before, you need to be measured correctly for the tux to fit right. If that happens, after a short period of adjustment, you’ll feel good. (Think, “James Brown.”)

“It’s limiting.” Funny, but even if you’re going with a traditional dinner jacket, you still have plenty of choices from which you can choose to make your tux a bit different or even unique. Some of these have already been discussed, but others include various choices when it comes to tuxedo stud sets and the color of your shirt and even the color of the tux itself. You have two different types of tuxedo shirt collars, two different types of lapels and various accessories from which to choose.

In many ways a tuxedo is no less limiting than a men’s suit and in some ways it actually gives you a bit more freedom since some tux designs are meant to go totally against the grain. If you’re attending an event where you are not the center of attention, then you probably don’t want to wear that powder blue tux with the matching ruffled shirt, top hat and spats. But even black tie will give you some interesting choices.

When you’re called upon to dress formally, you can make two choices. You can look at it as being akin to a prison sentence or you can prepare to enjoy a unique experience where you are able to create and refine the new formal you. Which do you prefer when it comes to men’s formal wear?

Caption for pictures

“Justin Timberlake had formal wear fun at the ESPYS”×306/71959_justin-timberlake-hosts-the-2008-espys.jpg

October 13, 2010

Men’s Formal Wear at the Upcoming Spike Scream Awards

Filed under: Formal Wear — Tags: , — Formal Wear Expert @ 6:53 pm

Men's Formal Wear at the Upcoming Spike Scream Awards

Men's Formal Wear at the Upcoming Spike Scream Awards

If you want to see a range of men’s formal wear, then check out the Spike Scream Awards Show coming up in a few weeks. Pictured here you see some of the people associated with the hit HBO series True Blood and the group indicates the range of styles and looks you’ll see. Actually, they don’t because some of the folks are really out there.

The Spike Scream Awards help raise the question how formal should an awards show be? The answer is—that really depends upon the awards show. How cutting edge or off-the-wall is it? Is it a well-established, longtime formal event? What are the expectations concerning attire?

The Oscars, Emmys, Screen Actors Guild and Golden Globes tend to offer the formal wear glitz and follow the rules that govern men’s formal attire. Of course, there will be fashion trends, nuances and statements made by certain men at those ceremonies. But those shows are the most conservative and this conservatism is often expressed by what people are wearing.

Something like the ESPYs are also often quite formal with all men wearing black tuxedos, while stuff like the upcoming Spike Scream Awards will run the gamut from edgy to semi-formal and perhaps even formal. The Spike Scream Awards honor the best in sci-fi, fantasy, horror and comics. They’ll be held October 19 at 9 PM on Spike TV and a vast array of celebs and stars have committed to it. We’ll offer a blog on that show after it airs.

October 12, 2010

Tuxedo Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make

Filed under: Formal Wear — Tags: , — Formal Wear Expert @ 3:30 pm

Tuxedo Mistakes

Tuxedo Mistakes

When you go to a formal occasion and it calls for black tie there a certain rules that govern what you wear. These rules are dictated by the dress code, which, in essence, may give you certain options concerning your attire while it negates others. Here are some mistakes that men make when wearing a tuxedo.

Perhaps the most common mistake is wearing the cummerbund upside down. That would be with the pleats facing down. The pleats of a cummerbund should always face up. There are various stories as to why the cummerbund was created and these stories illuminate why the pleats go up.

One is that men’s formal trousers in the 19th century did not have pockets and the gentlemen used the cummerbund to hold their theatre tickets. Another story says that the device was designed to catch crumbs at formal dinners, keeping them off the trousers. Whatever the case may be, if you remember either story your cummerbund will always face up like your smile.

Another mistake you definitely don’t want to make is wearing anything but black formal shoes with your black tux. Brown, white or any other color with black tie is deadly, If you’re trying to be a rebel, wearing the wrong shoes is not the way to go. Your shoes should be polished and look impeccable.

White socks are also a no-no. In some ways, you’re better off wearing no socks at all. That says rebel—you’re breaking the rules—but white socks signal that you have no idea what you’re doing.

One thing to remember before you decide to break any rules is that you should first know the rules. If you’re going to go against the grain when attired in men’s formal wear, you should do so with full knowledge of what you are doing and why you are doing it.

October 8, 2010

Men’s Formal Wear as A Gift for the Boyfriend

Filed under: Formal Wear — Tags: , — Formal Wear Expert @ 2:50 pm

Men's Formal Wear as  Gift

Men's Formal Wear as Gift

You’re considering what to get your boyfriend for his birthday or perhaps another occasion. You don’t want to go the same old route (whatever your same old route is). One thing to consider is giving him a certificate for the purchase of men’s formal wear.

You may be thinking, “But this guy never dresses up.” Fair enough, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t point him in that direction. Also, if you do give him a certificate for formal wear, it doesn’t mean that he has to purchase a full tuxedo.

If he’s more of a casual guy, he can use the gift to buy a nice tux shirt and cufflinks and studs. Or he could decide to go with a dinner jacket and tux pants. With those, he might wear a white shirt with an open collar.

Of course, he could decide to use your gift to purchase a full tuxedo. Although it’s true that men’s formal wear can get expensive, it’s also true that you can purchase a tuxedo package for as little as $135! With those packages, he will get everything he needs to create a full formal wear ensemble (except for the black shoes).

By the way, please don’t try to pick the tux out for him. Could you imagine if he tried to choose your next formal gown or dress? That’s not a good idea. You want to let him make decisions regarding what he likes, what he looks good in and what he wants to wear.

This does not mean that you can’t be involved in the process. But don’t push. You can make suggestions and help him make decisions if he wants such help. Encourage him to have fun with the various choices he has at hand.

October 7, 2010

Men’s Formal Wear and the Full Visual Effect

Filed under: Formal Wear — Tags: , , — Formal Wear Expert @ 3:02 pm

Hugh Jackman with Tieless Tuxedo

Hugh Jackman in Tuxedo

Hugh Jackman at the world premiere of X-Men in April 2009 provided a vivid example of how the tieless formal look can payoff if you do everything just right and you can also manage to look impeccably perfect.

At the X-Men premiere, Jackman is pictured wearing a black tuxedo, white shirt and a big white smile. Where’s the black tie? Obviously, it’s not there. The collar on his white shirt is open, signaling that Jackman’s idea of a formal premiere is less formal than others.

But what makes this work as a fashion statement is Jackman’s unshaven look. That’s the topper. That deep, black growth, which is not really a beard yet and should have been shaved if dressing in full formal wear, telegraphs to all that Jackman is not interested in going with the total look a buttoned shirt and bow tie would give him.

This is a good example of a guy setting limits for exactly how formal he’s going to look by making strong choices. (Of course, good actors are known for making very clear, strong choices when they play a role.)

Consider what you’re wearing to a formal occasion and remember that you are creating a total picture. It’s not only what formal wear accessories you decide to include, but it’s also how you decide to wear your hair, whether or not you shave and how you display the clothing on your body. You’re creating a strong visual image and by ensuring it’s consistent, you’ll be able to create a unified look.

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