007 Your Life: A Gentleman's Guide to Tuxedos - Part 2
With social media these days, do you really want to be the friend/guest/groom/businessman who is not bringing his tux "A" game? Of course not! Last week our Men's Lifestyle Editor, Jon Rich, led readers through his tuxedo fit ands style tips. This week he continues to spread the style love. Keep reading for his musings on tuxedo colors/looks, trimmings (Not sure what that means? Don't worry we didn't know either.) and how much cash you should realistically drop on a tux. Dare to be debonair. Take it away Jon.
Color/Look: Black is easy and looks great, especially with a crisp white shirt, bow tie and pocket square. The contrast is unbeatable. Shades of blue are gaining popularity, specifically navy and midnight blue, the latter which looks blacker than black under artificial light. If you want to stand out from the crowd, say if you’re the groom, then go for it. Those colors look great and remember, “black tie” shouldn't be taken too literally. Other interesting colors include, of course, white and grey.
White tuxes are very old-school fancy shmancy, and will undoubtedly make you stand out. However, the only real, stylish way to pull that off is by only getting a white jacket, also known as a dinner jacket (an all white tux has the potential to bring you into Dumb & Dumber territory). White dinner jackets typically should be worn with a peak or shawl lapel (most certainly not notch), but the shawl looks especially dapper in white with a black bowtie. The pants would be traditional black, navy or midnight, but of course, you can have fun with the color, within reason.
Speaking of dinner jackets, another separate formal jacket is called the smoking jacket. These are very cool because they’re less formal than a regular tux jacket and can be other hotter colors, like red, brown, maroon and burgundy. Plus, they can have cool details like jacquard or paisley pattern trimming. If you really want to complete that look, grab a pair of monogrammed slippers and pack a pipe. But, let’s stay on track here and focus on the basics.
Trimmings: By this I mean the details – first, how many buttons are on the front of your jacket? It really should be ONE, single, lonely button to close your jacket. That is the most traditional and formal. It just is. While I won’t harm you if you choose a two-button jacket, I will scoff because again, it’s not a business suit. It’s a tux. But, even I admit, if you happen to be a taller man, then two buttons might not look that bad. But generally, opt for one. Trust me, it looks suave.
Second, let’s address the vent - the split in the back of a suit jacket. I know you won’t believe me when I tell you, but the most traditional and formal (and most badass) jackets DO NOT HAVE ONE. Yes, you heard me. No vent, just a single, seamless piece of fabric covering your derrière. But, again, I won’t care that much if you get a jacket with a vent because to me, it’s not that noticeable. Still, if you can, go for a single button sans vent because there is a chance, even a slim chance, that you will meet your soul mate at whatever event you’re attending.
How much to spend: From what I’ve seen and what I know, a good price for a perfectly fine tuxedo is anywhere between $600-$1000. See, that’s not horrible. I have personally combed the entire island of Manhattan, seeking out the best selection of tuxedos at prices that won’t make you feel insecure about your financial situation. However, you can’t be that cheap because tuxedos are generally more expensive than suits for a reason - they’re special. Well, they are. Keep in mind that a tuxedo is the most formal item of clothing that an average man can wear. You want to spend a little more than you would on a suit to ensure that you get the best quality fabric and detailing possible.
If I see some dude wearing a cheap tuxedo, or a notch lapel for that matter, I automatically assume he thinks Stella Artois is a craft beer. Don't let your life spiral out of control like that. Spend the meager amount of extra cash. You won't miss it.
Next week, tune in for Jon's picks for bow ties, shirts and shoes so you can end up on the best-dressed list.
Mr. Porter - Dolce & Gabbana Blue Satin Trimmed Velvet Tuxedo Jacket
Jon Rich is In the Midfield's Men's Lifestyle Editor. He is also a practicing attorney in NYC.