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Black bowtie with regular black suit for a semi-formal wedding?

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    Black bowtie with regular black suit for a semi-formal wedding?

    Hello all,

    I'm new to the forum and trying to figure out what to do with an upcoming wedding.

    I was recently invited to a wedding in LA for a good friend. The wedding is on the Queen Mary Boat and Hotel and will have an art deco theme, with a string and brass swing band. The wedding attire will be semi-formal, with the groom telling me that the more formal dress the better.

    I am wondering if I can get away with wearing my normal black ralph lauren suit with a black bowtie and a white shirt, or if this would look tacky. I'd prefer not to rent a tux, since I won't have much time to get fitted, etc...

    Other dress suggestions are welcome. Thanks for the feedback.

    Casey

    #2
    Well, I am thoroughly confused by the conflicting wedding attire guidance you're getting. Semi-formal definitely DOES NOT equal black tie or formal. Semi-formal is suit and tie or even sport coat and tie. Is the groom telling guys to dress more formally because he (or more likely, she...) doesn't think people will dress nice enough? Ordinarily, if you showed up to a semi-formal affair in black tie, you'd be the odd man out, and you don't want to stand out at a wedding - that is reserved for two people, and two people only. That would only be slightly better than showing up to a black tie event in semi-formal attire.

    So, I'd recommend getting better guidance. Is the event semi-formal or black tie? Or maybe black tie optional?

    If its either of the latter two, than sure, you're fine wearing a black bow tie with a black suit. Try to never rent a tux - its a colossal waste of money, and you will always look like you're wearing a rented tux...

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      #3
      Hi Jamie.

      I was confused as well, especially since there was not a dress code on the invitation. Speaking the groom more, he said that it is a formal event, but they are okay if people dress semi-formal. He said they are telling people the dress by word of mouth, which is strange.

      His suggestion to me was: Well, it's a formal event, so keep that in mind. Formal is better than less. I would recommend a white shirt (spread collar if possible), black bow tie, pocket square, cap toe Bostonian shoes (or similar).

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        #4
        For context, will the groom and groomsman be in tuxedos? The setting sounds as if black tie would be appropriate (yet optional on the invitation). If the groom/groomsman are wearing a tux, I think it's a safe bet to go ahead and go for the more formal end of the spectrum. Do you have any other friends attending the wedding? Possibly coordinate with them?

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          #5
          Hello PREID,

          The groom will be wearing his military uniform, and the groomsmen will be in tuxedos. I don't know any of the other guests going, so I won't be able to coordinate.

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            #6
            Originally posted by Jamie View Post
            Well, I am thoroughly confused by the conflicting wedding attire guidance you're getting. Semi-formal definitely DOES NOT equal black tie or formal. Semi-formal is suit and tie or even sport coat and tie.
            A sport coat and is not semi formal. No way.

            Here is a decent description of semi-formal: http://www.emilypost.com/everyday-ma...-to-white-tie-

            The description of what to wear isn't that confusing - a tuxedo if I had one, or a dark, dressy suit, white shirt, and a tie if I didn't.

            The only issue here is to bow tie or not bow tie with a suit. My inclination is "no" but that's just me.

            Comment


              #7
              With the conflicting guidance, I'd hit middle road. Where a black tie with your black suit. The bow tie would make it seem like you are trying to be part of the wedding party. The key for wedding attendance to me is not to stand out but be well enough dressed to fit in with the other attendees, not the wedding party.

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                #8
                Good advice. Sounding more like I should not try a bowtie and just get a nice black tie. Any other thoughts on making it look sharp and classy?

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by RangerCasey View Post
                  Good advice. Sounding more like I should not try a bowtie and just get a nice black tie. Any other thoughts on making it look sharp and classy?
                  Nice crisp pocket square, nicely shined shoes, and well fitting will make it pop. If it's going to be hot and you may take off the jacket, maybe a tie bar. Everyone's different but I normally don't wear a tie bar with a suit, for me it tends to break up the nice lines.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    If it was me what I would do is a nicely tailored black or grey wool suit, a crisp white spread collar shirt, a black knit skinny-ish (like 2-2.75") tie, a nice 1-1.5" silver tie bar, some polished black cap toes, a white linen or cotton pocket square and a nice dress watch. Sorta like this; http://kolonelmustard.com/wp-content...012/03/5_1.jpg
                    You can pick up the pocket square, tie bar and knit tie from thetiebar.com for pretty cheap;
                    http://www.thetiebar.com/product/22459SK
                    http://www.thetiebar.com/product/C779
                    http://www.thetiebar.com/product/PC000

                    I like this look because its classic but not stodgy.

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                      #11
                      Do it. I did it for my wedding, and it looked great. (see below)

                      http://kathleenhertelphotography.zen...E392#h38b6e392

                      I've posted this photo in another thread asking the same question. This was a $250 suit and I added the custom cut vest. The bowties are from The Tie bar, the shirt was MTM. I paid good money to have the suit's alterations done to perfection. Most people just assumed it was a tuxedo.

                      Lastly, if you're still having concerns just remember that you're a guest, not the groom...people will be focusing on the couple up front, not the guests. Don't over think it.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by RangerCasey View Post
                        Good advice. Sounding more like I should not try a bowtie and just get a nice black tie. Any other thoughts on making it look sharp and classy?
                        I clicked on the link by [MENTION=3077]JT10000[/MENTION] and I'm a big fan of the vest. I say try one out with your suit and see how it looks. That will add some sharpness to your look instead of the regular suit and tie appeal. And if it gets too hot, taking off your jacket will show off the vest even more and you'll still look sophisticated and sharp.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Black bowtie with regular black suit for a semi-formal wedding?

                          Do not wear a black bow tie with a black suit. It'll look like a fake tuxedo. If you want a tux, get a tux. Trying to fake it will look cheap and you could end up mistaken for the bartender. If it's an evening wedding with a deco theme I'd suggest the black suit, black toe cap oxfords polished until they gleam, a dazzling white poplin (as smooth as possible, no twill) shirt with French cuffs, vintage deco or deco-inspired cuff links, a silver grenadine tie and a badass pocket square.
                          Last edited by theplayerking; July 25, 2015, 09:40 PM.

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