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Thread: Black Tie Event with No Notice - Alternatives

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    Black Tie Event with No Notice - Alternatives

    Hey, a friend of mine got named Miss [My College City] this past weekend and wants me to be her escort/date to her first charity dinner event tomorrow. I first heard about this around 8pm tonight. It is black tie, but I don't own a tux because I'm a 26-year old grad student and have never needed one before (Someday... http://www.magnoliclothiers.com/skyf...dos-p-515.html). I do, however, own a few three piece suits, some french cuff shirts, cuff links, and ties, as well as the AE Park Avenues I'll be shining and wearing tomorrow. My best fitting 3-piece suit is an Indochino Gray PoW check, followed by a Navy pinstripe (say what you will, I've had nothing but great luck with them). I do own a black pinstripe Tommy Hilfiger Trim Fit 3-piece as well, but it doesn't nearly match the other two in quality, fit or general 'wear-ability.'

    I figure I can just wear one of the two better fitting 3-pieces, cuff links, shined oxfords and get by, for a few reasons:
    1, I'm escorting Ms. [City] and no one will notice I exist next to her
    2, everyone at this $200/plate dinner will be older and therefore not take judge me as someone who should own a dinner jacket, and
    3, my good suits are perfectly fitted (a la the Sainted Daniel Craig in Quantum of Solace), so I'll probably be perfecting the fit vs. label battle that this site seems to so ardently support.

    So what I'm generally asking is whether you see my intentional aberration as acceptable or not? Or should I pack it in and wear the black TH one to fit in a bit better?

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    Josh, I'll be frank: if it's a strictly black tie event then you are screwed. If it's black tie optional, then you're fine. The best advice that I can give you is to ask your friend what she would like you to wear.

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    Super Moderator LesserBlackDog's Avatar
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    Is it possible to rent a tux this quickly? (I really don't know.)

    My suggestion would be to wear your darkest, most conservative suit with a white shirt and a plain dark tie. As long as you're wearing a tie and jacket, you probably won't get kicked out of the venue, at the very least. You're also probably right that people will be paying much less attention to you than they will to your friend, who is presumably some kind of guest of honor.

    Depending on the subtlety of the pinstripes on your black suit, you could theoretically fake it with a tux shirt and a bow tie. I wore a fitted black suit in place of a tuxedo for years as a performing musician (though, to be fair, I'm a hornist and always sit way up in the back where people wouldn't be able to see my lack of satin lapels and trouser stripes anyway).
    BenR

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    Ask a friend in some sort of performing ensemble who is a similar size to you if you can't rent one this quickly, perhaps?

    Otherwise... I vote for the black. But you're screwed nonetheless...

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    Super Moderator greg_s's Avatar
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    I mean, screwed seems a bit harsh. Let's be real, most people don't own a tux. I'm guessing there will be a variety of people that take the "black tie required" rather loosely. If the pinstripes are subtle and you have both a dark tie and white shirt, I think you'll be ok. Not great, but ok.
    "You don't need money to dress better than you do" - Salvatore Romano

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    If it is not black tie optional, then it will be far from a la Daniel Craig of QoS to show up in a suit, perfectly fitted or not. Rent a tux.
    Last edited by Duvel; February 9th, 2013 at 07:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by greg_s View Post
    I mean, screwed seems a bit harsh. Let's be real, most people don't own a tux. I'm guessing there will be a variety of people that take the "black tie required" rather loosely. If the pinstripes are subtle and you have both a dark tie and white shirt, I think you'll be ok. Not great, but ok.
    Greg, have you ever been turned away from an event because you were not appropriately dressed? It happens, and I would rather let him know now to save him the embarrassment of it happening in the future.

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    I've seen tuxedo's in the $200-300 range at Macy's. Might be able to get something that fits well enough off the rack that you won't need tailoring. Probably better to spend your money towards a tux if you're going to be dating Miss [Your College City].


    This may also work for you if you can find pants that go with (not match) it. I think grey with a white stripe down the side is pretty traditional?
    Last edited by Redford; February 9th, 2013 at 08:03 PM.

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    I might, as I'm sure might Daniel Craig a la QoS, also think thinking at this point: How much class does this dame have to ask me to a black-tie event at the last minute? Call her up and ask her if she has your dinner jacket ready. If she balks, tell her to find another date.

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    ^ Really? You've got to be kidding me right? That's not a matter of class/lack of class. She's probably his age and has never been in this type of a situation before either. Also, what you're calling 'class' is developed through experiences such as this. Got to give people a chance to grow up.

    Do it in this order:
    1. Figure out if it's strict black tie or black tie optional; if it's optional wear your darkest suit
    2. Call all of your orchestra-type friends and tux rental places
    3. If you can swing it, go to Macy's or Dilllards
    4. If you can't, then fake it. There's absolutely no shame in calling the event organizers and explaining your situation politely and respectfully. They will either know somebody who can hook you up on short notice or tell you its fine. Seeing as this is a special event, it's likely that the place or at least part of it has been rented out for the occasion and you're not going to be upsetting other patrons with your appalling dress (I mean that with complete sarcasm). Bruschetta is about needing the appropriate wear for certain places, and of course a tux would be ideal - but bending rules in your favor is what makes life fun! Also, if this charity is renting out a hall or restaurant, and the place itself is black tie only - well that place wants the business of the wealthy charity members, and I don't think they are going to turn away anybody at the risk of upsetting future customers. If it's at a private residence, nobody's kicking you out. You've got a gorgeous girl on your arm and a great fitting suit that almost blends in.
    5. Don't cancel the date. Look good, don't make a fool of yourself, and make her look good. Do that and she'll keep bringing you along, and that can always turn into something more permanent.

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