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Thread: First navy tuxedo

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    First navy tuxedo

    Just placed my first order for a navy tuxedo. How much leeway do I have for something other than standard white shirt, studs, and black tie??? Planning on something non traditional for shoes, i.e., not patent!! I still want to remain somewhat traditional.

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    Depends on the event and how much you wish to comply with societal norms. If say a company party that's black tie I'd follow traditional rules since it's not my own event. If say your wedding then it's up to you and the look you want to portray.

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    Depends upon the event, and the shade of navy.

    Such tuxedo jackets became popular because under early 20th-century artificial lighting (gas and electric) midnight blue actually appeared darker than black (hiding lint too). Under sunlight or colour-correct lighting the blue becomes apparent, so if at a truly formal event you'll want to adhere even more tightly to tradition. Under black tie optional you have some leeway as you'll be compared to people in suits, and under creative black tie it's pretty much anything goes.

    If you want to appear traditional, don't forget the waist covering of a cummerbund or deep vest.

    Studs are an area where some flexibility is allowed except under the most formal codes. A plain-front shirt (no pique nor pleats) is the least formal and should use mother-of-pearl buttons.

    Also, shirts with plackets covering the buttons have become more common. Properly that lesser formality is balanced with the more traditional shirt material. A stiff pique bib (along with pique clar and cuffs, aka Marcella) is still more formal than the pleated front, never mind the plain soft front. Pleats, even the tiny ones preferred post-WW2 and today, are typically found on soft-front shirts; it's a matter of argument whether such shirts should fasten with mother-of-pearl buttons rather than studs.

    Then you can get into collar styles, etc. All that text, and it's back to the first sentence: it depends upon the formality of the event and the shade of blue.

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    First navy tux

    Good response!! Heading to the Met Opera in October with girlfriend and want to look nice. I totally agree on the bib shirt. Would like to consider something other than a black tie. Isn't there a open collar, white formal shirt (almost shawl-ish) out there somewhere one could buy? Would that be too much? I don't want to run afoul of good tastes!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Galcobar View Post
    Depends upon the event, and the shade of navy.

    Such tuxedo jackets became popular because under early 20th-century artificial lighting (gas and electric) midnight blue actually appeared darker than black (hiding lint too). Under sunlight or colour-correct lighting the blue becomes apparent, so if at a truly formal event you'll want to adhere even more tightly to tradition. Under black tie optional you have some leeway as you'll be compared to people in suits, and under creative black tie it's pretty much anything goes.

    If you want to appear traditional, don't forget the waist covering of a cummerbund or deep vest.

    Studs are an area where some flexibility is allowed except under the most formal codes. A plain-front shirt (no pique nor pleats) is the least formal and should use mother-of-pearl buttons.

    Also, shirts with plackets covering the buttons have become more common. Properly that lesser formality is balanced with the more traditional shirt material. A stiff pique bib (along with pique clar and cuffs, aka Marcella) is still more formal than the pleated front, never mind the plain soft front. Pleats, even the tiny ones preferred post-WW2 and today, are typically found on soft-front shirts; it's a matter of argument whether such shirts should fasten with mother-of-pearl buttons rather than studs.

    Then you can get into collar styles, etc. All that text, and it's back to the first sentence: it depends upon the formality of the event and the shade of blue.

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    Good response!! Heading to the Met Opera in October with girlfriend and want to look nice. Would like to consider something other than a black tie. Isn't there a open collar, white formal shirt (almost shawl-ish) out there somewhere one could buy? Would that be too much? I don't want to run afoul of good tastes!! I purchased it to have for social events.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EricLGrimes View Post
    Good response!! Heading to the Met Opera in October with girlfriend and want to look nice. Would like to consider something other than a black tie. Isn't there a open collar, white formal shirt (almost shawl-ish) out there somewhere one could buy? Would that be too much? I don't want to run afoul of good tastes!! I purchased it to have for social events.
    Wear the tie.

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    Back when I used to wear more French cuffed shirts, I used my cufflinks to express my individuality. I could be in a conservative charcoal gray suit, black or dark brown shoes and a light blue shirt, but my guitar pick cuff links (not real ones, mind you) were my subtle way of broadcasting that not everything was as it seemed!

    Maybe that's where you can stand out while still fitting in.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sportocasin View Post
    Wear the tie.
    Seconded ... I wouldn't look for a formal event as a guest as a way to significantly buck trends. I'd tailor the look like @MediumTex indicated to add personality.

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    Wear the bow tie.

    Open collar and formal don't go together in Western society. The closest you'll come is a band collar, also known as a mandarin collar, which is a short stand-up collar without wings or a turndown, worn with a decorative cover about the size of a nickel over the top button.

    You can see a jacket version of this collar on male US Marine dress blues.

    A Nehru collar (named in the West for the first prime minister of India who popularized it as acceptable fashion in Europe) is similar to a band collar but has a narrow opening. It accommodates high temperatures better than the British-based closed collar, for obvious geographic reasons, but has never become a part of European formalwear. You won't find a Nehru collar shirt with a pique bib and cuffs, and it should be paired with a Nehru jacket. While such jackets are available for formal wear, unless you're from South Asia this would at best be "creative black tie" and easily veers into costume territory (see Blofeld or Dr. Evil).

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