Friday, February 12, 2010

Tuxedo Knowledge - Part 1

A reader had asked a question about some black tie related specifics that I want to address in 3 parts. Part 1 is related to the anchor of the outfit. A detail that, if overlooked, can ruin what started as a good thing.

What's important in dressing for black tie is the consistency of the outfit. Making sure that each part works with the next and makes sense to those looking at you...because they will. What holds an outfit down, figuratively and literally, is the footwear.
A very common question is "Do I have to wear patent leather?

Really what you're saying is "I don't want to spend anymore money, can't I get away with something that I already have? Most of the time it has nothing to do with having to wear patent or not. It's just you being cheap.
The truth is, you should have footwear that is used specifically for black tie affairs. End of story. There are all kinds of formal shoes now so they don't have to be 100% patent leather if you think that looks to "shiny" (nonsense). Often times they are made of silk and patent leather. You could even wear velvet slippers (below) for those willing to be more on the forward side.
Those of you who have worn regular black leather shoes , the kind you wear to work (unless they are 1 piece leathers with zero stitching (see above pic) should be embarrassed. You might as well throw your pleated tuxedo shirt on the next time you need to wear a white shirt to work...... The point is - sack up and buy a pair of shoes to be worn only for formal events. You will appreciate having them, guaranteed.

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