October 14, 2010

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

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”

http://www.insidesocal.com/tomhoffarth/espys_timberlake_show.jpg

http://www.accesshollywood.com/content/images/71/230×306/71959_justin-timberlake-hosts-the-2008-espys.jpg

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October 13, 2010

Men’s Formal Wear at the Upcoming Spike Scream Awards

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.

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October 7, 2010

Men’s Formal Wear and the Full Visual Effect

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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October 6, 2010

Will Spray On Clothes be next Men’s Formal Wear Trend?

Fabrican Spray on Tuxedo

Spray on Tuxedo???

It may sound like something out of a sci-fi novel or a Terry Gilliam movie. Imperial College in London has announced and demonstrated something called Fabrican. It if fabric in an aerosol can and it is also fabric that “can” be made. Inside the spray can is a special liquid that is sprayed on the body to make the fabric.

How it Works

Spanish fashion designer, Manel Torres, who is in residence at the college, said “When I first began this project I really wanted to make a futuristic, seamless, quick and comfortable material.” He added, “In my quest to produce this kind of fabric, I ended up returning to the principles of the earliest textiles such as felt, which were also produced by taking fibers and finding a way of binding them together without having to weave or stitch them.”

Basically, the spray on fabric is made up of small fibers that are sprayed on the body. The fibers also have a liquid and polymers in them, which, once they touch the body solidify as the liquid evaporates. The small fibers link together in a crossing pattern to form the fabric, which may be peeled off the body and stored with other clothes.

Different types of fibers can be used, including natural and synthetic, making the material produced very versatile. Fabrican is presently in its experimental phase, but it does offer some interesting possibilities.

You Become the Designer

First of all, you become the designer. And the great thing is you don’t have to know how to sew. You basically need to be able to use a high power, spray on applicator and have an idea. Although it is still in the experimental stage, you can make a formal scarf with it.

Informal Approach to Men’s Formal Wear

Although it may sound ridiculous now, there may be a way to make men’s formal wear using Fabrican. There’s no proof that you can at this point, but if the creation of the aerosol material can be perfected so that all aspects are controlled and if they can make it less form fitting, there may be a way to create your own tuxedo. If molds and/or patterns can be develped that will help form the liquid fabric and that will at the same time create the proper fit for a person’s body, you too may become a men’s formal wear designer.

What label are you wearing? Well, like people have done with beer and wine, you may simply be able to reply, “My own.”

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