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Formal Wear Primer

esteban68

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,107
Location
Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England
I found this single British made ?button shawl lapel the other day almost unused, can't think it's been worn more than a couple of times, no labels, dates or anything, size is rougly a 41" regular to long with 34" waist that appears to have been taken in so might let out to a 36"?;
2hnwga8.jpg
2qa4rq8.jpg

o0sbb5.jpg
311kmz5.jpg

2hn4daw.jpg
2ugp0ds.jpg


it has handworked button holes and pocket linings are heavy cotton, lighting wasn't so good as light was fading but it is very fresh and clean with no bagging to jacket pockets...oh how I wish it was a short fitting!
 

esteban68

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,107
Location
Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England
and the trousers;
t4xzdh.jpg
n18841.jpg

sxeide.jpg
2drfn0m.jpg

alnacj.jpg
2uy1xdg.jpg


I'm unsure on the age, there iare no brace buttons or belt loops just side adjusters, trousers have button fly and silk lined ? waistband...I'm guessing 1950's? however there is a slight amount of waist supression in the jacket....experts?
 

Rabbit

Call Me a Cab
Messages
2,561
Location
Germany
I'm unsure on the age, there iare no brace buttons or belt loops just side adjusters, trousers have button fly and silk lined ? waistband...I'm guessing 1950's? however there is a slight amount of waist supression in the jacket....experts?

With lapels as skinny as that plus the overall cut, it's got to be very late 50s to early 60s. As for the other specs - since it's tailor-made, just about any quirks are possible. I've seen those very side tabs with the hidden elastic band on earlier (early-mid 40s, I think) British tailor-made dinner clothes, too.
I'm actually not sure if they were originally designed to be functional side tabs for holding up the trousers; the narrow adjustment seems more like an option to slightly adjust the trouser waist very effectively without distorting the waistband. These particular tabs are very good for that purpose. Well, in the case of these trousers apparently they were used for holding them up.
 

lci419

Familiar Face
Messages
66
Location
Tennessee
I'd like to get some thoughts/opinions of others on this. I've got a function coming up in a few days where I'll be wearing my 30's DB peak lapel tuxedo. I know ideally you are to wear a black Homburg with this ensemble, but I don't have one, nor do I really look good in them. I've tried and I just don't think they work for me.

What really sticks in my mind though, is that in "Scarlet Street" c. 1945, Edward G. Robinson's character is at a dinner party wearing a tuxedo at the beginning of the film. When he leaves, he dons what appears to be a gray? fedora with a center dent, upturned rather than snapped brim, and front pinch. I rather like the look, and think it would suit me better, but would it be considered far to gauche? Robinson portrays a man of modest means in the film, would this just have been another way of portraying that? A man "making do" with what he had? If so, I am quite comfortable with that presentation as well since I am no fop. Would this have been something commonly done in the era?

Here are some photos of varying quality showing what I mean.

ScarletStreet_pickup.png


scarlet-street-620x350.jpg
 
Last edited:

Hap Hapablap

One of the Regulars
Messages
130
Location
Portland, OR
Whenever I see old movies where the proper overcoat or hat ISN'T worn with eveningwear, I assume it's because back then, men had to dress like that so often, that they cut corners out of reluctancy/indifference. Nowadays, it is typically a fun and rare occasion, allowing us to go all out and enjoy it a bit more.
 

Speakeasy

Familiar Face
Messages
62
Location
Toronto
One thing that seems to be less popular these days is the 'black lounge' or 'stroller' jacket worn with plain grey trousers. It's a sharp alternative to a regular suit.
 

Dirk Wainscotting

A-List Customer
Messages
354
Location
Irgendwo
and the trousers;
t4xzdh.jpg
n18841.jpg

sxeide.jpg
2drfn0m.jpg

alnacj.jpg
2uy1xdg.jpg


I'm unsure on the age, there iare no brace buttons or belt loops just side adjusters, trousers have button fly and silk lined ? waistband...I'm guessing 1950's? however there is a slight amount of waist supression in the jacket....experts?

The trousers are better than the coat. Standard construction for anything between late 1940s to the 60s. Daks top adjusters are fairly common for dinner suit trousers (and morning trousers); on German examples too. The jettings on the jacket hip pocket shown close up are uneven.
 

dnjan

One Too Many
Messages
1,690
Location
Seattle
It is indeed. It had been sitting in an Oxford vintage clothing shop (one that is renowned for being overpriced) for a few years, not being sold. Every year, thousands have descended upon it during Ascot season, but it fit none of them. Then I, a man lacking somewhat in cranial girth (only 6 3/4 to 6 7/8), put it on and it was like Cinderella's slipper. It was still overpiced, but having seen how much my now wife paid for her dress, I felt it was worth spending money on an excellent hat.
Catching up on old threads ...

Laughed when I read the line that I highlighted in bold-underline!
And chances are, when your (future) daughter gets married, you will be able to wear the silk topper!
 

MelancholicNostalgic

New in Town
Messages
49
Location
Somewhere in Time
My forte is usually ties, as that's usually what I come across... but I figured I ought to make an appearance here as quite recently I came across this vintage tuxedo shirt that as far as I can tell has the correct bearings of a 'proper' tuxedo shirt:
-band collar
-bib front
-single cuffs
-opens completely in back
-(very) stiff material


I'm always trying to learn, so any estimates on the age of this piece, or any other inputs, would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks!

Front of shirt w/bib front:
IMG_1353_zpstiwkwfy3.jpg

Single Cuff:
IMG_1354_zps8mly2e1n.jpg

Very translucent material:
IMG_1356_zpszn6rxppn.jpg

Bib front detail:
IMG_1357_zpsuxexgzc9.jpg

Only original tag:
IMG_1358_zpsregzxw5s.jpg

Thrift store tag:
IMG_1359_zps0q7bnncb.jpg

Back of collar detail:
IMG_1360_zpsoxv3u6vv.jpg

Button closure on back detail:
IMG_1361_zps89n2uzrw.jpg

Back of shirt Opens Completely:
IMG_1362_zps6yhmy3cj.jpg
 

Awesomest Guy

Familiar Face
Messages
51
Location
Land of Ooo
Here's my semi-formal evening-wear. DB 1930s dinner jacket and trousers with peaked grosgrain lapels, black satin bow tie. Sometimes I might wear a wing-collared pleated-front marcella dress shirt in place of the turndown collar stiff-front marcella one I currently have on. I often wear patterned handkerchiefs, just to mix it up a little. My shoes are standard black plain cap-toe oxfords.
SpaceDinnerJacket_zps3tdt5tks.png
 

Awesomest Guy

Familiar Face
Messages
51
Location
Land of Ooo
Hi,
I read this at the http://www.blacktieguide.com/Classic/Classic_Neckwear.htm, "A satin lapel calls for a satin bow tie while grosgrain facings require a ribbed or textured finish such as barathea or faille.".
I therefore wonder if it's acceptable to wear a peaked lapel dinner jacket with grosgrain facings, together with a barathea bow-tie and cummerbund?
Rules are made to be broken. I wear my plain satin bow with grosgrain lapels. As long as the bow is of the correct self-tying model, which you tie yourself, and the rest of your ensemble is correct, you'll easily be the best dressed fellow in the room.
 

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