1. Thread galleries are live! Please let us know what you think of them in the thread in the Observation Bar.

Putting Together a Black Tie Rig

Discussion in 'Suits' started by mattmaybloom, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. mattmaybloom

    mattmaybloom New in Town

    Messages:
    20
    Good Afternoon Gentlemen,

    I have recently acquired a beautiful 1930s tuxedo, single breasted with wide (by todays standards, anyway) satin peak lapels and matching trousers with an intricate braid running down the legs rather than the satin strip. I've always believed (which may be stupid) that a tuxedo is an item which every man (if possible) should own.

    Now that i've gotten the most important part taken care of, Id love some advice cultivating a truly classic rig.

    I really love the look of the old school stiff front shirt with detachable stiff winged collar how ever i'm not sure if there are any places to find these in the U.S. I was also interested in pairing it with a white pique waistcoat. I'm wondering if this option might be considered too formal.

    What else am i missing fellas?

    Thanks for the help,
    Matt
     
  2. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,268
    Location:
    New Forest
    Compliments to you on your tuxedo acquisition, so, to go with it you are going to need.
    An overcoat, if you live in an area that's cold enough for a coat. A dress shirt, look at Darcy's website: http://www.darcyclothing.com/shop/shirts.html Find the style that you like and start looking locally to you.
    To get your suit trousers to hang right you are going to need a pair of braces/suspenders. For authenticity go for a wide type, don't forget they must be buttoned on, no clip ons. The white piqued waistcoat is a great idea.
    For shoes and socks, you can't beat a patent leather shoe and a black sock with a discrete fair isle pattern.
    Don't forget accessories, you will need your vintage wrist watch, or better stll, a fob watch on a chain. You will also need a pair of cuff links, a white silk scarf and of course, a black bow tie. I left the tie until last because you need to know how to tie a bow tie. You can get away with a pre-tied tie, but not if you select the wing tip shirt that you spoke of. It will let all and sundry see the clasp, and you don't want that. So how do you tie a bow tie? Let Charles help you, and keep doing it over and over until you crack it. You may want a hat, my preferred choice is a black fedora, but a straw boater looks very good with a tuxedo. Don't forget to post a few pics when you are done.
     
    PeterB likes this.
  3. mattmaybloom

    mattmaybloom New in Town

    Messages:
    20
    Thanks so much for the reply,

    I forgot to mention that I already acquired a stud/cufflink set as well which includes studs for a waistcoat. I was trying to decide between patent leather oxfords and opera pumps for my shoe choice, ill probably save that for last. The trousers have buttons on the outside for braces and i was thinking of getting formal white braces to go with the white pique waistcoat and stiff front shirt (maybe I'm trying to assemble a white tie rig at the same time). I wear bowties all the time for work so that will not be an issue. I was thinking a single end bowtie which would give a sleeker appearance.

    Matt
     
  4. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,268
    Location:
    New Forest
    My choice of shoes always gets a reaction. People think that I am wearing spats, but it's just the effect of two tone, patent leather. correspondence shoes. Not for everybody, I know, I have always been on the flamboyant side.
    shoes 19.jpg
     
  5. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    19,227
    Location:
    London, UK
    I bought my first pair of co-respondents back in the day for wearing with black tie. Nowadays I tend to stick with the traditionally 'correct' plain black patent shoes, but I'm not against playing about with black tie; the effect is, of course, best when you keep it to one variation, otherwise it can veer into "creative black tie" unpleasantness. :)

    A pique white waistcoat is fine with black tie, though certainly in the more formal end of black tie (it would have been typically worn in the 20s and into the early thirties as the DJ first appeared and then the notion of what black tie actually constituted gradually codified.

    I don't know about sources of shirts in the US, but it would be worth considering ordering from Darcy (especially with the strong US dollar v the pound at present) - http://www.darcyclothing.com/shop/shirts.html - scroll down for the stiff-front evening shirts. All the effect of a 'real' boiled front, but machine washable. You can get them wither with a wing collar (very much the formal end of black tie, but not out of place for 30s) or designed to take one of Darcy's separate, detachable collars (stick with the wing type for this - again, boiled front is wrong - too formal - for a turn-down collar). The separate collars are available in a machine washable version, which is very nice, and you can't honestly tell the difference when worn.
     
  6. mattmaybloom

    mattmaybloom New in Town

    Messages:
    20
    Hey guys, just doing some research and noticed that brooks brothers has a stiff front shirt with a detachable collar, do any of you guys have experience with it? is it quality? It would be much easier to get to brooks brothers then to order a shirt online and have to deal with the headache of shipping.

    Matt
     
  7. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,268
    Location:
    New Forest
    Brook Brothers have a UK outlet, I have just checked their website, £185 for a shirt that won't get that much wear is more than I would be willing to pay. Huntsman of Savile Row charge around that price. But if the shirt is handmade then you won't get it much cheaper. I know this because my wife makes my Aloha shirts. All the fabric, pattern and notions comes to about sixty pounds, it takes her ten to twelve hours to make. Ten times £20 @ hour, equals £200. You see how easily costs can rise.

    If you are happy to pay Brook Brother's price then go for it, you will probably have a shirt to be proud of for years to come.
     
    Edward likes this.
  8. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    19,227
    Location:
    London, UK
    BB quality seems good, certainly, but their UK prices are rather beyond what I'd be open to paying.
     
  9. mattmaybloom

    mattmaybloom New in Town

    Messages:
    20
    It is pretty expensive, I wish there was another place in NYC that I could go and see the quality firsthand

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
     
  10. Zoukatron

    Zoukatron One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    136
    Location:
    London, UK
    Just something to think about with regards to shirts with detachable collars - if you want to undo your bow tie at the end of the night and wear your collar open (I remember a specific picture of Tom Jones looking amazing like that), attached collars look better than detachable collars in my opinion.
     
  11. Mathematicus

    Mathematicus A-List Customer

    Messages:
    345
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    You shouldn't.
     
    Tiki Tom and Hal like this.
  12. Zoukatron

    Zoukatron One of the Regulars

    Messages:
    136
    Location:
    London, UK
    ;)
     
    Tiki Tom likes this.
  13. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Practically Family

    Messages:
    934
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    I thought I was “old school”, but I bow to the master.
     
  14. Mathematicus

    Mathematicus A-List Customer

    Messages:
    345
    Location:
    Coventry, UK
    You're too much!
    Anyway, it's not a matter of being old school: if you want to wear a dinner suit, the only moment your collar should be open is when you undress. After all there will be no camera filming your "amazingness" after the party is over, won't it?
     
  15. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    19,227
    Location:
    London, UK
    I rather like the loucheness of an undone bow at the hotel bar at the end of the night, when it's time for a nightcap with the boys before bed, the last few guests who aren't staying at the venue have left, and the function suite is in darkness. That, however, lends itself to an attached collar: if you're going to bother with the formality of a separate collar, why would you want to wear it informally?

    Personally, I would never remove the bow during the event: I remember going to black tie events in my youth and the guys who made a show of wearing undone bows during the night were.... well, they were the same guys who'd wander the office at their first job with their tie puled loose, sleeves rolled up, and their shirt tails hanging out over their suit trousers - not because they thought it was cool, bu because they wanted everyone else to know they weren't some stuffy square. Even worse were the guys who would buy matching pre-tied and untied bows, wear the former, and at some point during the evening switch the two. I don't know who they thought they were fooling...
     
  16. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,268
    Location:
    New Forest
    Ah-ha! I caught out one of the Transport Corps at the Goodwood Revival doing exactly that. We were in the hotel bar on the Sunday evening, as guests of Lord March, not him personally but his team who always say a big thank you at the end of the event. Said guy disappears for five minutes and came back with an untied bow hanging loosely around his neck. Normally I wouldn't comment but I knew him well enough to tease him. "You made a good job of unpicking the clasp," I said. To his credit he smiled and said: "If you don't tell, I won't," then asked how I knew. I untied my bow and retied it in front of him, explaining that there's no taughtness that pretied bows have. The following year we spent an hour tying and untying bow ties until he finally cracked it. And if you are lurking here Jim, you also finally know who GHT is.
     
    Edward likes this.
  17. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    19,227
    Location:
    London, UK

    I've mentioned this in other threads i the past, but it fascinates me how you never see anyone - other than, say, really young children or people for whom it's an 'elf an' safety thing (police, security) wearing a clip-on four in hand, yet the pre-tie has become the norm for bows, and even cravats.... Some twelve years ago, or close to it, a friend go married and they ordered "cravats" to be made for the men to match the bridesmaids' dresses. What came back from the maker was a collection of pre-tied confections, that imitation now apparently being the standard rather than the real thing. I'm sure they have their place but, eh.... for me it's a bit like wearing a fake sgian dhub with Highland dress. I think the thing is because most people might only ever wear them once or twice in their life, they seem to assume that these pre-tieds are indeed the norm, or maybe it's that the wide availability of fake versions creates the false impression that they are hard to tie - moreso than a four in hand knot. In truth, in my very early twenties I wore a pre-tied bow for the reason that I didn't then like the look of an untied bow, and I knew I'd never tie one as neatly as a pre-made. Of course, by my late-mid twenties, I realised that the lack of uniformity, and a little off-perfection of a self-tied bow is much of its charm. I bought my first real bow tie for an ex-girlfriend's graduation ball some time back in the early 2000s, and learned to tie it myself. Well.... her pals were impressed, but she gave me dogs' abuse for it on the night (despite me having cracked it by then!), and apparently had spent the week before that rolling her eyes about it to her housemates. Maybe that's what did for us in the end - over a year later when we split up it was still something she used to criticise me behind my back. :D Glad she's long gone, while learning how to tie my own bow has served me well for years - especially since about 2009/10 or so when I got into wearing a bow tie much more often than just for evening-wear! It's really one of those arts we need to actively preserve before it's lost forever. Like wearing hats and pipe-smoking, really.
     
  18. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

    Messages:
    5,268
    Location:
    New Forest
    Sounds like you dodged a bullet there Edward. Like you, I too like wearing not so formal bow ties, and one of my favourites has to be Gatsby. Not from the movie, but from a generous offcut of material. My wife had made me this shirt with images depicting the Gatsby period, with the offcut she made the bow tie. It ties so well because she used the stiffener that she uses to line the lapel part of the shirt. I love it.
    shirts 145.JPG Hats 036.JPG
     
    Edward likes this.
  19. Edward

    Edward Bartender

    Messages:
    19,227
    Location:
    London, UK
    A lucky escape indeed! How much so became apparent a while later. Love your bow - what's particularly nice is how your Mrs clearly went to the effort to cut it so that the pictures lined up nicely on the bows, rather than random clips from the cloth.
     
  20. Tiki Tom

    Tiki Tom Practically Family

    Messages:
    934
    Location:
    Vienna, Austria
    GHT, where does your wife find those amazing fabrics? (Rhetorical question, no need to answer!) But that Gatsby fabric is fantastic. The bow tie more so. Regrettably, I have to confess that I wear bow ties so seldomly that I pretty much have to relearn how to tie them for every occasion. I am however a fan of the untied look with the open collar... but it must be well past midnight and a cocktail must be in hand! As for those who swap the factory-tied version for the real thing as the clock chimes midnight, Would it really take that much effort to learn how to tie it yourself?? I’m mainly thinking of the self-respect to be gained. And, yes, Edward certainly did have a close call. Reminds me of once (a long time ago) going on a date with a young lady who had ZERO knowledge of either history or geography. So much so that at first I thought she was kidding. Of course, in her eyes, the evening must have mainly highlighted the superficiality of my knowledge of then current pop culture, movie stars, etc. The date was a disaster.
     
    Edward likes this.

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.