Formal Wear Primer

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

  1. Faux Brummell

    Faux Brummell New in Town

    Messages:
    16
    I love this old discussion, I wish people were still regularly contributing to it. With that in mind, here is a photo of Adolphe Menjou in a notch lapel dinner jacket from 1925.

    Cheers,
    FB

    [​IMG]


     
  2. OldStrummer

    OldStrummer A-List Customer

    Messages:
    494
    Location:
    Ashburn, Virginia USA
    A marvelous thread, and I'm glad it's been revived. I have a black tie affair in Florida I attend in March every year. Now that I'm defining myself as a hat-wearer, I'm wondering what the best hat to wear to this event might be. Florida is warm in March, so no overcoat, gloves, etc. I'm thinking a black homburg would be suitable, but I'm not sure. Also, it's a dinner event, which means I'll have to be doffing it once I'm on premise.
     
    Faux Brummell likes this.
  3. Faux Brummell

    Faux Brummell New in Town

    Messages:
    16
    Homburg is the way to go.

    [​IMG]


     
    OldStrummer and Big Man like this.
  4. David Conwill

    David Conwill Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,782
    Location:
    Bennington, VT 05201
    Someday, when the kids are grown and the house will stay clean for more than 15 seconds, I will host a swanky NYE party and wear black tie. Until then... Well, I'll just enjoy this thread, I guess.
     
    Mr. Nantus and Faux Brummell like this.
  5. Faux Brummell

    Faux Brummell New in Town

    Messages:
    16
    Hire a babysitter and take your significant other to the opera?


     
  6. AEF17

    AEF17 New in Town

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    What to do about the 1910's-30's specific look of sporting a white waistcoat with a dinner jacket and there is that ever so slight strip of white from the waistcoat that shows either around the collar or is not covered by the dinner jacket? My dinner suit dates to December 1929, and I have four full-backed white or ivory waistcoats from the 1920's-30's. All have the issue to some extent. Ignore it, or does it derange the look? I saw some screenshots from early 1930's films in another thread: one with William Powell had the same issue, but what he could get away with, I can't. ;)
     
  7. MondoFW

    MondoFW Practically Family

    Messages:
    841
    Maybe it's just the young naivety in me, but I have always wanted to don formal wear agaon, specifically a 1920s/30s ensemble. I once wore my grandfather's 1950s Saks 5th Ave shawl lapel tuxedo, and that was it. Sadly Grandpa George didn't leave behind any tail coat!

    White tie has always fascinated me, witnessing it on the silver screen or through Apparel Arts illustrations. However, i see scarce opportunity for such an outfit, at least in North America.
     
    Faux Brummell likes this.
  8. Hap Hapablap

    Hap Hapablap One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    130
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    One of the main reasons I joined Freemasonry was to give myself such opportunities. I get to wear black and white tie – as well as daytime formalwear – pretty regularly, relatively speaking.
     
  9. Faux Brummell

    Faux Brummell New in Town

    Messages:
    16
    Pics!

     
  10. Faux Brummell

    Faux Brummell New in Town

    Messages:
    16
    (Especially pics of the daywear.)
     
  11. draws

    draws Practically Family

    Messages:
    548
    Location:
    Merrimack, NH
    As for there being scarce opportunity for such an outfit, may I suggest joining one of many regional and local Vintage Dance societies. There are numerous occasions where white tie and tails or other 20s/30s day wear are required for participation. For example there are several in southern New England alone. A great chance to learn vintage dance steps as well as great dance fellowship with like couples.
     
    MondoFW likes this.
  12. MondoFW

    MondoFW Practically Family

    Messages:
    841
    People have recommended that I try out those swing dancing classes (40's more than 20's/30's). However, in my opinion these just reek of the swing fad of the late 90's, and I was never interested. 20's/30's dancing may be a bit more open to authentic wear and less zoot suit crap that I was never really a fan of. Thanks, draws.
     
    draws likes this.
  13. draws

    draws Practically Family

    Messages:
    548
    Location:
    Merrimack, NH
    Yes, especially those events geared specifically to the rag time era was rife with white tie and tail look and may be just what you're looking for. Often include wonderful formal dinners prior to an evening of dance. Good luck and keep us posted.
     
  14. AEF17

    AEF17 New in Town

    Messages:
    28
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    You hit the nail on the head about most swing dancers, especially where I live. I can only hope that the situation differs in CA or NY or somewhere else. Very little appreciation for anything before the 1960's among male dancers, and those who try anything earlier fail miserably. Zoot suits would doubtless attract more attention than true Golden Age tailoring. And no, they don't even want to learn a more correct look for vintage-themed events. Clip-on suspenders, cheap hats, skinny and low-rise trousers (androgynous is more like it), attached collar formal-wear shirt with a non-self tied bow tie and no waistcoat or jacket. Seriously, bums dressed better years ago. They don't really appreciate ragtime, jazz, or big band music unless it's some new group; definitely not the original recordings (yet they say that dancing is the best way of appreciating the music). Fox-trot is too "ballroom" to the swing snobs (my non-snob partners like it, though). My three-piece suits, 1930's suits, 1920's-40's ties, vintage fedoras (that I do NOT wear indoors), and even the detachable collars that I sport--wasted. --and I'm 40, but get 30-35 all the time. It's lonesome out there to be a guy and have this commitment, I'll tell you. Exceptions, happily (among the ladies): many of the non-snobs/those not part of a dance clique, and those who have done some other form of dance before trying swing.
     
    draws and MondoFW like this.
  15. draws

    draws Practically Family

    Messages:
    548
    Location:
    Merrimack, NH
    2012 08 01 TEA & OCHRE COURT (21) small.jpg
    My interests lie mostly in the turn of the century formal attire era where time passed a bit more slowly. This included even the late 19th century era. Wearing formal attire was an art. Here in New England, several organizations focus on meticulous attention to details and accuracy to the look and feel of the times. I found it most difficult to sway away from contemporary approach to interaction with others since that era demanded formality rather than a fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants that exists today. I am still attracted to that era but haven't been that active lately. Here are two examples of how I approached my involvement up to a few years ago. Still have all of the accouterments however and may pull them out again, if I can slow down and pay more attention.
    Mondays Events & Balls (48).JPG
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2018
  16. David Conwill

    David Conwill Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,782
    Location:
    Bennington, VT 05201
    As a fellow New Englander, I sure would love to know the names of these organizations!
     
  17. draws

    draws Practically Family

    Messages:
    548
    Location:
    Merrimack, NH
    The vintage Dance Society of Bloomfield, CT and The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers are two I'm aware of. There may be others. I am a member of the Commonwealth Vintage Dancers but haven't been a participant for a while. Both of these groups can be found via the search engines or in FB.
     
    David Conwill likes this.
  18. David Conwill

    David Conwill Call Me a Cab

    Messages:
    2,782
    Location:
    Bennington, VT 05201
    Thank you!
     
    draws likes this.
  19. MondoFW

    MondoFW Practically Family

    Messages:
    841
    According to several people, my black sports coat and light blue pinstriped trousers is a tuxedo :rolleyes:
     
    Faux Brummell likes this.
  20. 1mach1

    1mach1

    Messages:
    15,254
    Location:
    Arlington, Virginia
    Wow! Perfection.
     

Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.