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Affordable Outfit for Nutcracker Ballet

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    Affordable Outfit for Nutcracker Ballet

    I'm going to the Nutcracker ballet next month and want to look awesome. I do not wear a suit often and do not want to spend much for a black one. I have been meaning to the check out the Thompson suit in navy and grey for sometime now but I have yet to see the JCrew Factory Thompson Black in person to know if it would be appropriate. I have worn a BR Tailored cotton jacket in 42R, found the arm holes to restrictive and several inches would need to be taken out of the waist.

    Back to my question, is the fabric on the Thompson suit in black appropriate for a black tie event? Joe describes it as a bit rougher, more of a working man's suit.

    Opinions and alternatives appreciated.

    Suit and color in question


    You wouldn't happen to be attending the Joffrey Ballet Nutcracker at the Auditorium Theater in Chicago, would you? Because I can assure you I will be attending in December and dressed in my Factory Thompson, as well. And I will be wearing this charcoal version that you linked to. It is a rougher wool, but don't be fooled by that description. It in no way makes it look more like a working man's suit, it is more or less the feel of the texture (at least that is my translation).

    I think it all depends on what your aesthetic is and the company you keep. WIll you be viewed under a microscope? Are you truly picky about the texture of your attire?

    I am planning to dress below black tie standards, myself.



      lukemw, does the event specifically state that it is black tie? If so, you're going to need to wear a tuxedo and not a suit. Here is an article that simply defines black tie attire.

      Note that a black suit is NOT appropriate for a black tie event. Black suits are usually reserved for the wait staff.

      If the event is not black tie, you would be better served by a navy, charcoal, or grey suit.



        The Nutcracker will also be in Atlanta, an event for which black tie is recommended.



          I've never been to a ballet, but I've been to a number of symphonies and an opera. Suits are common but tuxes aren't... But we're in Texas so what do we know.

          I just can't picture a scneraio in my mind where a dark wool suit wouldn't work unless you've been explicitly informed otherwise by an official source.



            Same as Alan, I've been to symphonies and an opera and saw many dark suits but few tuxes. In fact, I myself wore a dark suit and didn't have a hard time.



              Alan, it's my profession, and it's mixed. Generally, suits are the expected outfit. However, if the event specifically states "black tie" then you will be out of place in anything less than black tie.



                It's very rare to see people in tuxes at concerts, operas, or ballets these days, except at the most prestigious events in the biggest cities. I don't think either a tux or a black suit is necessary in this context. Wear a dark suit with a white shirt and dark tie, and you'll be dressed as well or better than 98% of the audience.

                Oops... just read it's a black tie event. In that case, tux or go home. Honestly, though, you're going to be sitting in a chair in the dark the whole time. No one will be looking at you. You can likely get away with a very dark suit, a tux shirt, and bow tie... not necessarily recommended, but doable if actually buying a tux is prohibitive or impractical.




                  Notch lapels will look really out of place at a black tie affair. If it is truely a black suit and had some peak lapels, you could possibly get away with it. But for black tie I would follow the chorus and suggest a real tux. One button, shawl collar or peak lapels, straight black.



                    @bruschetta: What's your profession? What's mixed? I think I missed something. I'm always missing something...



                      Agreed that you need a tux for a black tie event, but I'm still waiting for confirmation that this is actually the case or just the OP's assumption.



                        @Alan - Agreed - hence my response. I was under the impression that black tie was assumed, but not a formal request for the event... simply because I am attending the ballet and black tie is not required.



                          @bruschetta, ballet is your profession? or music? Just curious as mine is music. (Fred G. Unn = phrygian)



                            The ballet will be at the Carpenter Theater in Richmond, VA. It does not state black tie and I have asked a few friends that have and they said semi casual to casual. Maybe it was black tie optional that you can get away with a black suit. It was more my impression/expectation that most ballets would be black tie. With the new info I will be trying on the thompson this weekend for fit check and will probably go with navy.

                            Thanks for all the input.



                              Honestly, for the Nutcracker you can just wear a nice shirt with a sweater and trousers. It's a family-friendly ballet so there will be lots of kids there. I just looked at the schedule and the performances are all matinees or a kid-friendly 7pm start. I wouldn't wear a suit unless you're coming straight from work. Just wear a sweater or a sportcoat without a tie. A suit would be overkill and black tie would make you look like an usher.