Multiple tuxedo styles, countless shirt options and challenges of a bow tie, there are many elements to think about when it comes to smart evening wear.
We like to keep it simple so for a black tie dress code you will need a white dress shirt, a black bow tie, an evening waistcoat, a dinner jacket in which the lapels are a different shade to the rest of the jacket, matching trousers and a pair of black high-shine shoes.
Ideally you’ll have a couple tailor made for you which may seem extreme, but trust us a well cut classic will last you for many years to come. If you want something off-the-rail, look for a slim-fit.
The tuxedo jacket (or a dinner jacket) should be wool barathea, mohair or a mix of both. For warmer climates, wool and silk mix works too. Look for clean silhouettes with a closed back and for one-style-fits-all, black is your best bet – but don’t disregard navy.
The trousers should match the jacket, unless you have decided on a decadent velvet style. They have to be hemmed, with no belt loops and with a single braid down the side.
The Dress Shirt
Keep it minimal and timeless with a white shirt in the highest-quality fabric available. Traditionally you would choose a shirt with a wing tip collar, but nowadays you can get away with a simple collar. But whether you opt for studs or buttons, cuffs must always be double.
This is optional, but if you’re going all out you might as well include a waistcoat in your ensemble. It’s a great way to add some personality to an otherwise classic look.
The Bow Tie
Getting to grips with tying a bow tie can be frustrating, but once you do it a couple of times, it’s the most authentic way. However, if you don’t want the fuss there is nothing wrong with buying a ready-tied one too.
You don’t need a pair of Oxford’s as long as the shoes have a high-shine finish. For something more youthful, got for a slightly narrow round toe.