Formal Wear Primer

Discussion in 'Suits' started by shindeco, Feb 25, 2006.

  1. Burma Schave

    Burma Schave One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    198
    Location:
    Glendale, CA
    Very nice, but in fact it's from the late '40s to early '50s.
     
  2. vintage.vendeuse

    vintage.vendeuse A-List Customer

    Messages:
    355
    Location:
    Somewhere near Motown
    Date on this black wool tuxedo, please

    Good day, gentlemen!
    My newest acquisition is this handsome tuxedo in black wool. The collar is ribbed like grosgrain ribbon from hats, is there a particular name for this? There are no labels whatsoever, not even a union label. The only inner pocket is hidden along the lining seam. As you can see, the jacket is skeleton lined, no back vent, the shoulders are only lightly padded, and the waist does have nice definition. Hong Kong finished seams.
    The trousers have no belt loops, just suspender buttons. There is a Talon zip with top button closure. Double pleats on each side of the zip, diamond gusseted crotch.
    Trousers: 36" waist, 14.5" rise, 33" inseam, cuff width 9.75"
    Jacket: 42" chest, center back length 30", sleeve 26"
    Approximate US size 38L
    It's in awesome condition, though it is a lint magnet!
    So... since I'm trying to get the hang of correctly dating menswear... I'm guessing 1940s?

    P1070896.jpg P1070897.jpg P1070898.jpg P1070899.jpg P1070900.jpg P1070903.jpg P1070905.jpg P1070907.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2014
  3. Rabbit

    Rabbit Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,419
    Location:
    Germany
    These are very nice dinner clothes, Donna, just the way they should be. The facings of the lapel on dinner clothes can be either grosgrain or satin, and that's what it's called, too. There's no special name for it. In passing I'll note that satin is a weave, but I guess you knew that.
    I suspect the facings are usually if not always made of silk (woven in either grosgrain or satin), so in that case the one difference to hat ribbons would be that the latter are typically a mixture of organic rayon and cotton. I'm not entirely sure if the jacket lapels are silk grosgrain, though. It could be the very same mixture as used for most pre-1960s hat ribbons, after all.

    A total absence of labels hints toward a bespoke garment, made without labels at the request of the customer. I don't think RTW labels or departments stores would have sold their products without any branding, but who knows.

    Based on the buttoning position (higher than what became fashionable by the mid 40s), the way the shoulder appear to be padded (well padded, but not overly so) and the liner material, I guess this one could be from the late 30s/ early 40s. Of course, bespoke garments were sometimes made to earlier styles, so it could be as late as late 40s.
     
  4. vintage.vendeuse

    vintage.vendeuse A-List Customer

    Messages:
    355
    Location:
    Somewhere near Motown
    Thank you very much, Rabbit. As always, you've been an excellent educator!
     
  5. BR Gordon

    BR Gordon One Too Many

    Messages:
    1,152
    Location:
    New Mexico
    I would like to wear white tie to a formal ball, but I'm concerned that it will look too much like a costume. This will be a function where the majority will be in black tie, with some dark suits, and maybe a white tie or two.

    Has anyone worn white tie and what are your thoughts?
     
  6. Big Man

    Big Man My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,731
    Location:
    Nebo, NC
    [​IMG]

    OK, so the photo is a little crappy, but this is what my wife, myself, my son, and daughter-in-law were wearing tonight when we went out for dinner and drinks.
     
  7. Fastuni

    Fastuni Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,259
    Location:
    Germany
    @BR Gordon

    As long as you are certain that several others will be wearing white tie, I think it´s ok.
    But black tie would probably be the safer bet.

    @Big Man

    Nice. You always seem to find a good occasion for wearing a tux.
     
  8. Burma Schave

    Burma Schave One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    198
    Location:
    Glendale, CA
    They can also be barathea silk, which is more commonly found on non-American evening jackets and tailcoats.
     
  9. Lensmaster

    Lensmaster One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    177
    Location:
    Saginaw, Michigan

    So many people say they would buy a tuxedo but say "I don't know when I would wear it." You are the perfect example of my response "make a reason."
     
  10. Big Man

    Big Man My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,731
    Location:
    Nebo, NC

    Exactly! We had an absolute blast getting all dressed up and going out. And, everyone we met complemented us on how good we looked. Were we "over dressed"? Well, a dinner jacket wasn't required, but it certainly wasn't out of place. Had we been eating at a fast food place or a steak house, then yes, we would have been over dressed. But for where we were, it was just right for our own party.

    It really is like you said, you do need to "make a reason" to go out like this. And you don't have to break the bank to do it either. Life is too short to eat bologna sandwiches every meal. :)


    [​IMG]
     
  11. Big Man

    Big Man My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,731
    Location:
    Nebo, NC
    This past week the family went to Folly Beach, SC for a vacation. One night we went out to eat in Charleston at High Cotton. It was a nice occasion to dress up a bit and enjoy the evening. My son and I both had on our white dinner jackets, and my wife, daughter-in-law, daughter and granddaughter all had on their nice dresses. Several people stopped by our table to ask "what's the special occasion?" My reply was, "it's Tuesday night." Almost without exception, everyone would say something to the effect that it was nice to see people dress so nicely to go out.


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  12. dh66

    dh66

    Messages:
    12,732
    Location:
    down south
    Again, Perfect!
    I love a shawl collar white dinner jacket. To me the are the epitome of classic.
     
  13. Big Man

    Big Man My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,731
    Location:
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    Thanks.
     
  14. Quetzal

    Quetzal One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    147
    Location:
    United States
    I've always loved a wide shawl with a generous roll. Speaking of shawl collars, were they ever faced with silk in the Golden Era? Many Peaked White Dinner Coats were faille-faced.

    -Quetzal
     
  15. Claudio

    Claudio Vendor

    Messages:
    377
    Location:
    Italian living in Spain
    well done - you all look amazing! I hope you had a great time
     
  16. Big Man

    Big Man My Mail is Forwarded Here

    Messages:
    3,731
    Location:
    Nebo, NC

    Thank you. We all had a blast. I had a steak as big as a '57 Dodge hub cap and enough Jamisons to fill a silo. After we ate, we listened to some really good jazz music. It was a grand time, for sure.
     
  17. Luftwaffles

    Luftwaffles One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    226
    Location:
    South Carolina, US
    A closer look at my formal getup
    Shirt studs, cufflinks, and Arrow shirt are from the 30s.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Watch is a modern Bulova.
    [​IMG]

    Wide trousers.
    [​IMG]

    To further characterize the informal nature of this midnight blue DJ, I decided to add striped cotton socks instead of more traditional silk hose.
    [​IMG]

    The jacket itself.
    [​IMG]
     
    Sir RBH likes this.
  18. Papperskatt

    Papperskatt Practically Family

    Messages:
    506
    Location:
    Sweden
    Nice. I'm not a fan of that particular bow, but really like your midnight blue shawl collar dinner jacket. How often do you find an occasion to wear it?
     
  19. Luftwaffles

    Luftwaffles One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    226
    Location:
    South Carolina, US
    Any time I go out somewhere really nice, say, the Melting Pot or something of similar prestige.
     
  20. dh66

    dh66

    Messages:
    12,732
    Location:
    down south
    Very sharp Luftwaffles. Exceptional jacket!
     

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