November 29, 2010

CMA Awards Lady Antebellum Looking Good

Lady Antebellum putting on the Ritz at this year’s CMA Awards

Lady Antebellum putting on the Ritz at this year’s CMA Awards

Lady Antebellum proved to be a winner at the CMA Awards in two ways. They took home two CMAs and they also were winners when it came to formal wear. Charles Kelley, Dave Haywood and Hillary Scott were putting on the ritz at the 2010 CMA Awards.

Winners

The group won two more CMA Awards, making their total overall five. They have also won two Grammys and have a host of nominations since they broke through in 2008. This year at the 2010 CMA Awards they won Vocal Group of the Year and Single of the Year for Need You Now.

Traditional Formal Wear

Hillary Scott looked sweepingly dramatic in her red form-fitting dress. Both Haywood and Kelley wore black traditional dinner jackets with peaked lapels. Everything about them reeked of traditional men’s formal wear. The one thing missing was a cummerbund or vest. But everything else, from the black studs to the satin lapels to the black bow tie and tux trousers was in place.

Great to see some traditional men’s formal wear at the CMA Awards this year where the styles ranged from very casual country to formal black country to the Lady Antebellum look.

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November 26, 2010

Down Under 2010 ARIAs Offer Youthful Formal Fashion

“Operator Please did not phone it in when it came to their attire at the ARIAs”

“Operator Please did not phone it in when it came to their attire at the ARIAs”

Australia’s version of the GRAMMYS was held this week and there were some great and really terrible looks. One group that caught my eye, and the eye of many others, was the popular rock group Operator Please. As many reviewers noted, this youthful combination of guys and gals got it right in terms of their age and the occasion.

Off Beat Formal

Yes, pun intended, these musicians were a bit off beat in their fashion choices and yet appropriate and sort of traditional. Certainly not off the wall at all; what they wore reminded me a bit of what the Jonas Brothers might have on if they had a bit more taste.

And unlike some of their elders at the 2010 ARIAs, Operator Please dressed with respect for the occasion. As an example of those who did not, Angus Stone looked like Charles Manson on a bad day. He could have at least washed his T-shirt. And that lady singer MC Blu had some sort of homage to Betty Page going on while Ruby Rose looked like she was wearing a tablecloth from The Sound of Music.

Greys, Blacks and Off-Whites

Operator Please was attired in semi-formal wear that included dress jackets, ties and even a boutonniere for one member. They had this overall polished look that served their youthful exuberance nicely. Great job by this group as they walked the fashion tightrope on the ARIA red carpet.

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November 24, 2010

The French Cuff—Is it just for formal wear?

French Cuff Tuxedo Shirt

The French Cuff Shirt—Is it just for formal wear?

The French Cuff—Is it just for formal wear?

For a long time the French cuff has been a mainstay for men’s formal wear. Its elegant, rich texture adds depth to a man’s wrist area and creates a certain panache as those white cuffs that are adorned with cufflinks peak out from under the dinner jacket sleeve. But French cuffs aren’t just for tuxedo shirts.

These days as men mix and match at special events or redefine what it is to get dressed up, French cuffs are being seen in places where before they might not have been. Here are a few suggestions when it comes to these wonderful wrist trimmers.

What are French Cuffs?

A French cuff, which is also known as a double cuff, is a piece of material at the end of each sleeve of a man’s long sleeve dress shirt that extends beyond the length of the wrist. In essence, when it is free flowing it doubles the length of the cuff. The extra length, which has a band around it, is folded up and then fastened as a cufflink is passed through the four holes in the cuff.

The effect is the cuff on the shirt is now at the proper length. At the same time, it is thicker and dressier than normal cuffs. This effect is reinforced as the cuffs are held together by cufflinks.

Other than Formal Wear?

You don’t have to limit yourself to wearing French cuffs with formal wear. You can wear them with dressy jeans, a sport jacket or a suit. The trick is to choose the appropriate type of shirt that matches what you’re wearing.

As an example, a formal white tuxedo shirt with French cuffs won’t look right with a suit, sport jacket or jeans. Find a shirt with double cuffs that has the right texture and is the appropriate color.

The cuffs should always be fastened unless you’re going out clubbing or to another such place. They should always be held together with cufflinks. Some stores sell shirts with double cuffs that are held together with buttons. That really negates the whole reason for wearing these special cuffs.

One Final Note

Some say never wear French cuffs without a sport jacket. Jeans and double cuffs are fine as long as theirs at least a sport jacket involved. We’ll leave that up to you, your personal taste and your ability to pull it off.

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November 23, 2010

Fashion Tips for Men’s Formal and Not-so-Formal Wear

Fashion Tips for Men’s Formal and Not-so-Formal Wear

Pants too Short?

There are mistakes and there are mistakes. Men’s formal wear is governed by some basic rules and guidelines and, to a lesser degree men’s business attire also carries some rules of thumb (at least). Here are ten fashion faux pas you won’t want to make.

1. The Clash—No not the band. Your colors. Make sure they match and compliment and don’t pattern yourself to death with lines and designs that go every which way.
2. Shoes—Scuffed, wrong color, unpolished, wrong style. Shoes are very important. If people at an event are looking at your feet, there’s probably nothing wrong with your face. It’s your shoes.
3. Wrinkles—And I don’t mean the type that come with age spots. If you’re wearing an unpressed tux or suit, you should ask yourself why wear it at all?
4. Tie the Tie Correctly—Bow tie, necktie, string tie…make sure it is tied correctly and the right length, etc.
5. Pants too Short—You don’t want to look like your preparing for the next great flood with pants that are too high off the ground. Pants should cover your socks and cut along the top front part of your shoe.
6. Socks—Guys often forget about their socks in the same way they forget about their shoes. Socks should me matching, black if you’re wearing a tux and they need to cover the shin so your skin isn’t exposed when you sit.
7. Short Sleeves—Short sleeves aren’t meant to be worn with men’s formal wear or even a men’s business suit. Long sleeves are the style and look you want.
8. Hair!—Along with making sure your hair is clean it should be cut appropriately and brushed and combed. Not a lot of effort is needed but many men seem to forget that they have hair.
9. Belts—This is not martial arts. A belt should never be worn with a tuxedo. 10. Ill-fitting Clothes—If you feel like you’re swimming in your clothing, then you are and that doesn’t look good. Make sure your tux or suit fits you properly. That’s very important.

These are 10 of the most common miscues that men make when they are getting dressed up. Remember, when you’re going to attend a formal or semi-formal occasion or when you’re out in the business world, you want to look as good as possible. That doesn’t mean spending a lot of money but it does mean attending to many of the details that are often overlooked.

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November 17, 2010

Actor Jake Gyllenhaal—a Vision in Black?

Actor Jake Gyllenhaal—a Vision in Black Tie

Actor Jake Gyllenhaal—a Vision in Black....Tie?

Grauman’s Chinese Theatre was the setting as the new film by director Edward Zwick, Love & Other Drugs, premiered in Hollywood on November 4, 2010. Jake Gyllenhaal was on hand. Of the men at the premiere, he wore one of the more formal looking outfits.

Paladin?

Gyllenhaal’s outfit was a bit reminiscent of Richard Boone who played Paladin in the late 1950s- early 1960s TV series Have Gun Will Travel. I always liked Boone’s look. I thought he was very cool. He was dressed all in black and looked extremely intimidating. I like Gyllenhaal’s look too. That is to a degree.

Contrasts

The big difference between Boone and Gyllenhaal (besides the cowboy hat and gun) is that the former created some contrast with the white tie. It gave depth to his look and also, because it did contrast with the rest of his outfit, reinforced the black outfit.

With Gyllenhaal, there is no contrast in color. There are some interesting texture choices as the suit has a subtle pattern that is mimicked by the shirt, while the tie is plain black. There are three different black tones that are offered individually by each piece and this does create some contrast. But is it enough?

Matter of Taste

Gyllenhaal’s outfit is a matter of taste. (Isn’t everything?) It seems to be too dark for a guy sporting a black scruff of a beard and black hair. He needs to lighten up a bit. Add some color or at least some white. Maybe a pocket square if not a different tie? I mean, Paladin did, and he was a very serious guy.

It is good to see some actors like Gyllenhaal dressing for premieres. The women always do and usually look great!

Actor Jake Gyllenhaal wore all black to the premiere of Love & Other Drugs. Picture with the actor are actress Anne Hathaway, director Edward Zwick and actor Hank Azariaand.

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Richard Boone as Paladin
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November 9, 2010

The Slim in Men’s Formal Wear

Slim Fit Tuxedo

Slim Fit Tuxedo

The Slim in Men’s Formal Wear

The look these days in men’s formal wear from designers like Ralph Lauren, Calvin Klein, Jean Yves and others is “slim.” Slim as in tailored, close cut, forming a silhouette around the man in formal black. It’s a classic look that is reminiscent of the mid-19th century.

The Sleek Jacket

The jackets have a very tapered look and the lapels are trending towards peak. What the peak tuxedo jacket does, along with the traditional gloss of the lapel, is make a formal wear statement that calls attention to the person wearing the jacket.

Peaked lapels tend to pull more attention to the person wearing the tuxedo since they are more dramatic than the subtler shawl lapel. Of course, they are also more formal than the notched lapel, which is more appropriate for men’s suits.

Peaked lapels also conform to the whole tapered look as shawls tend to round out a person. The peak with the tapered fit looks good on guys with a medium build and can even work nicely on a man who is on the heavier side, especially if used with a vest.

But if you’re ultra slim, you may look über thin in one of the sleeker jackets. In other words, the style may make you disappear, turning you into a vertical line. A shawl lapel will fill you out a bit.

Flat Front Trousers

Pleats are less common and the flat front is the trend in trousers. Once again, this style is very slimming for all. Pleats can do a number on you if you have an expansive waist, expanding it even more.

Cummerbund Anyone?

The traditional cummerbund is part of this slim styling. It’s also a nice connection to the past, more traditional than the vest. However, it may not be a good choice if you’re on the hefty side. In that case, you should go with a vest that is properly fit. It shouldn’t be too tight or you’ll be bunched up in the front and look and feel very uncomfortable.

Trends Come and Go

Trends are just that. Just because something is in style doesn’t mean that you have to go with it. Especially when it comes to men’s formal wear where classic cuts and formal styles are relatively timeless.

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November 5, 2010

Jackass 3-D: Acting Stupid, Looking Formal?

The Less than Formal Red Carpet

The Less than Formal Red Carpet

Jackass 3-D: Acting Stupid, Looking Good

They were there, the Jackass immortals (okay maybe not immortals, really the crazy creators): Johnny Knoxville, Steve-O and Barn Margera. It was the premiere of Jackass 3-D. You know, that popular TV show and now movie series devoted to doing really stupid, dangerous things that might severely injure the participants and makes everyone watching the antics cringe and squirm.

You might think that the creators would look…well…like jackasses. You know, instead of dressed to the nines, dressed to the negative 13s? But the fact is the principals involved in the movie looked very good. At least, Johnny Knoxville did.

His Attire

Officially, Knoxville was not dressed in formal wear. However, he was looking very good in his dark pinstripe suit, black tie and white shirt. Knoxville is considered to be Hollywood eye-candy, along with being a tad warped and very rich. He really brought it all together at the premiere.

It wasn’t a tux, but it also wasn’t a T-shirt, ripped jeans and green sneakers. He wore what is appropriate to today’s Hollywood premiere.

The Less than Formal Red Carpet

Over the years as far as men’s formal wear is concerned, the Hollywood red carpet has gone from being ultra formal to very casual. You can also see styles that encompass everything in between.

In Hollywood, men’s formal wear tends to be reserved for the awards shows. Knoxville looked about as good as most guys do and as dressed up as most men get when attending a premiere.

The Standard

In a recent blog, we had a photo of Sly Stallone, Bruce Willis and Mickey Rourke at the premiere of The Expendables. Stallone exuded grace, charm and class. His suit was impeccable. Knoxville captured much of the same feel.

That look and feel should be the standard for a Hollywood premiere. These guys are after all “stars” and that means that they should dress as such. Sure the era of the actor-in-a-tux movie premiere is over, but that doesn’t mean the male stars can’t glisten and shine a little.

Johnny Knoxville at Jackass 3-D premiere

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November 4, 2010

Wristwatches and Men’s Formal Wear

Wristwatches and Men’s Formal Wear

Wristwatches and Men’s Formal Wear

The wristwatch has been a mainstay for centuries. There are ultra precise Swiss wristwatches, ultra expensive babbles such as those made by Rolex and ultra affordable watches made by companies such as Timex. Often when we talk about men’s formal wear, we are concerned about cufflinks and studs and, sometimes other types of jewelry such as rings. But what about the wristwatch?

Sport Watches

Have you ever seen a sport watch that looks fashionable? Sport watches tend to be the ugly the cousin of timekeeping when it comes to wrist wear. If you’re dressed in a dinner jacket you should not be wearing one of those multi-faced, ultra high tech, plastic pieces. If you do, you may as well throw the cummerbund on upside down and slip on some brown penny loafers.

Trendy Ceramics

There are various trendy watches, ceramics and composites, that are very contemporary and that may look right when you’re attired in formal wear. But that depends on the style of the formal wear and how trendy that watch is.

If you’re wearing something formal that goes against the dress code, that breaks the rules a bit, then a contemporary wristwatch that is tasteful and looks like it’s upscale could be appropriate. But if you’re going for the classic look in men’s formal wear then stay away some this type of timepiece.

Gold Standard

Classic fashion is classic fashion and if you’re going formal then your wristwatch should be coordinated with your tux. If you don’t own a dress watch, then simply forgo wearing a wristwatch. It’s that simple. The main thing is you don’t want to look like you’re completely together and then suddenly when you check to see what time it is break the illusion. Remember the wrist when wearing men’s formal wear.

Hi tech wristwatch, not a Rolex.

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November 3, 2010

Michael Sheen Always Looking Good in Formal Wear

Michael Sheen Knows How to Wear a Tuxedo!

Michael Sheen Knows How to Wear a Tuxedo!

If you’ve seen actor Michael Sheen at any awards show, the Oscars, DGA and this year’s BAFTA Awards, then you know that he’s one actor who simply gets the men’s formal wear thing. He’s a smart guy who is always smartly dressed, setting a standard for anyone else who appears in the camera frame or on the stage with him.

At Home

Sheen simply looks right at home in his tux. Compare him to Chairman of BAFTA Los Angeles Nigel Lythgoe on his right and director Tom Hooper on his left. All three look good, but Sheen seems to be a natural in black tie. That’s not an easy thing for many actors to pull off. It’s not that he simply looks good or spiffy or cool. The man looks comfortable. Like he’s been born to be in a Noel Coward play.

The Right Stuff?

Is it that simple? Does Sheen simply have the right stuff when it comes to donning men’s formal wear? That may be part of it, but the other part is he has got the right fit for his body.

The tuxedo jacket flows naturally from his shoulders down to below his chest where it buttons, framing the tuxedo shirt and tie perfectly. Neither Lythgoe in his tuxedo nor Hopper in his suit are able to pull that off.

Catch Sheen

You can catch Sheen and all the other celebs who were at the BAFTA Los Angeles 2010 Britannia Awards held at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on November 4, 2010 in Century City, California, on TV Guide Channel on November 7th, 2010.

It’s said that Sheen was the hit of the show. He tore up the place with a barrage of one-liners. However, due to their nature, they may not ne aired. In any case, you can see great men’s formal wear style in the accomplished actor. It may be worth a look.

“Chairman of BAFTA Los Angeles Nigel Lythgoe, actor Michael Sheen, and director Tom Hooper arrive at the BAFTA Los Angeles 2010 Britannia Awards.”

http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/fQBaCoc8Wag/BAFTA+Los+Angeles+2010+Britannia+Awards+Red/R3zY6b8iBAQ/Michael+Sheen

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November 1, 2010

Armani Men’s Formal Wear Makes Stars Shine

Armani Tuxedos Golden Globes

Armani Men’s Formal Wear Makes Stars Shine

The photo in this blog has three of Hollywood’s top talents, Robert DeNiro, Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio, in formal wear created by one of the world’s top designers—Giorgio Armani. Each of these stars looks like they belong on the Hollywood red carpet. They were dressed for the Hollywood Globes.

Actor Robert DeNiro, a classic himself, wore a classic Armani tuxedo. It is a style with which you can’t go wrong. There’s something timeless about this tux.

Director Martin Scorsese dressed in a Giorgio Armani one-button peak lapel tuxedo. The lapels were satin. His shirt featured a classic spread collar evening shirt. The rest of the ensemble included a bow tie and formal vest. Scorsese opted to secure the top button on his jacket, which obfuscated our view of his tuxedo vest.

Actor Leonardo DiCaprio looked sensational. He was very much at ease in the Armani Made-to-Measure two-button tuxedo with peak lapel. The matching five-button micro fiber vest, traditional white evening shirt and black bow tie were right on target.
If you want a constant reminder of what tasteful men’s formal wear looks like, then print this photo and keep it on hand. These men are dressed for the ultimate formal evening out and look dashingly impressive. And for those who say all formal wear looks the same just consider how each of these tuxedos is unique and helps to define the person wearing it.

DiCaprio looks stellar because he simply knows how to wear it. In fact, it looks as if he’s made for men’s formal wear. If anything the Armani Made-to-Measure tux really does conform to his frame, creating a picture that is synonymous with the dashing male physique that defines male Hollywood stars.

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