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Thread: Shawl Collar Tuxedo

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    Question Shawl Collar Tuxedo

    So I have a formal wedding coming up in December and am I own the Suit Supply peak-lapel tuxedo package from my own wedding a couple years ago.
    I was planning on wearing my J. Crew velvet shawl blazer instead of the peak lapel jacket.

    As for the accessories, what's the best option?

    A) None
    B) Cummerbund
    C) Suspenders
    D) Cummerbund + suspenders

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    Suspenders shouldn't be seen, so they're primarily a functional choice; if your trousers will stay in place without them then you can dispense with them. If you do wear them, I'd argue the cummerbund becomes pretty much a requirement. An exposed trouser waist is a departure from black tie, exposed suspenders and trouser waist compounds the informality, and to my eye at least looks more like ignorance than deliberate rule-breaking. Besides which, properly worn suspenders should like underwear: not visible.

    That said, velvet and shawl collars are both on the informal side of black tie. Under black tie such a relatively informal dinner jacket means hewing tightly to the other traditions of the dress code, and even then it's iffy. A velvet shawl collar, even in black, is derived from a smoking jacket and those weren't meant to be worn outside of one's home. If the wedding is traditional, formal black tie (no creative fluorishes such as matching groomsman vests to bridesmaid dresses), then such a jacket may not be appropriate.

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    I always hide my suspenders under a vest when I wear a tux, (which is about 5-6 times a year). I would have the issue of my shirt blousing out over the top of the cummerbund, and then have to re-tuck, which was too much of a hassle. The vest eliminated that completely for me, and I haven’t looked back since.
    I do agree with the velvet opinion though. While sharp, it’s not ‘too the letter’ black tie.
    Do you have a specific role in this wedding, or just as an attendee?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Galcobar View Post
    Suspenders shouldn't be seen, so they're primarily a functional choice; if your trousers will stay in place without them then you can dispense with them. If you do wear them, I'd argue the cummerbund becomes pretty much a requirement. An exposed trouser waist is a departure from black tie, exposed suspenders and trouser waist compounds the informality, and to my eye at least looks more like ignorance than deliberate rule-breaking. Besides which, properly worn suspenders should like underwear: not visible.

    That said, velvet and shawl collars are both on the informal side of black tie. Under black tie such a relatively informal dinner jacket means hewing tightly to the other traditions of the dress code, and even then it's iffy. A velvet shawl collar, even in black, is derived from a smoking jacket and those weren't meant to be worn outside of one's home. If the wedding is traditional, formal black tie (no creative fluorishes such as matching groomsman vests to bridesmaid dresses), then such a jacket may not be appropriate.
    The dress code states formal, but doesn't say explicitly state "black tie". The suggestions for guys says, "Dark, formal suit" and "evening gowns" for ladies. This is not a Congressional gala, so I don't have to follow the strict tuxedo guidelines, hence my velvet sport coat.

    Quote Originally Posted by tayloreuph View Post
    I always hide my suspenders under a vest when I wear a tux, (which is about 5-6 times a year). I would have the issue of my shirt blousing out over the top of the cummerbund, and then have to re-tuck, which was too much of a hassle. The vest eliminated that completely for me, and I haven’t looked back since.
    I do agree with the velvet opinion though. While sharp, it’s not ‘too the letter’ black tie.
    Do you have a specific role in this wedding, or just as an attendee?


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    Attendee (cousin-in-law getting married).

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    Gah, properly formal means black tie, but if they're specifically mentioning dark suits -- informal -- then I'd agree a velvet jacket variant of a tuxedo would work on an attendee.

    Little unfair to ask the women to wear gowns, since those are both hideously expensive and generally not rewearable. A dark suit on the men would be matched in formality (and reusability) by cocktail dresses on the women.

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    If your velvet jacket is a dark color (black or dark navy) I think you'll be fine. Since the invitation specifically mentions "dark suits" I would think 95% of the men will just be in a navy or black suit and tie. Assuming that's the case, I'd skip the full tuxedo accessory package (vest, suspenders, cummerbund, etc.) and just wear your jacket with a black bow tie.

    The jacket and bow tie alone will probably have you better dressed than most, and adding in the tuxedo accessories might end up making you look like a member of the wedding party which you probably don't want.

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    Quote Originally Posted by abh159 View Post
    If your velvet jacket is a dark color (black or dark navy) I think you'll be fine. Since the invitation specifically mentions "dark suits" I would think 95% of the men will just be in a navy or black suit and tie. Assuming that's the case, I'd skip the full tuxedo accessory package (vest, suspenders, cummerbund, etc.) and just wear your jacket with a black bow tie.

    The jacket and bow tie alone will probably have you better dressed than most, and adding in the tuxedo accessories might end up making you look like a member of the wedding party which you probably don't want.
    I agree here, you’ll probably be better dressed than most, however, do try to not outshine the happy couple. That being said, a velvet shawl collar jacket will look excellent on your date, when/if they get chilly.


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    It depends on your Tuxedo trousers, traditional trousers are meant to be covered by a vest or cummerbund and have features like suspender buttons on the outside.

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    Cummerbunds are why I find the idea of a double breasted tuxedo jacket to be appealing (I saw a photo of Trevor Noah wearing a DB tuxedo and it looked great)...no need for a cummerbund or vest if the jacket is a DB jacket. I don't own a tux as I never have occasion to wear one but if I did I think I'd look for a DB one, though I imagine they are not easy to find.
    “Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” – Mark Twain

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    Quote Originally Posted by mark4 View Post
    Cummerbunds are why I find the idea of a double breasted tuxedo jacket to be appealing (I saw a photo of Trevor Noah wearing a DB tuxedo and it looked great)...no need for a cummerbund or vest if the jacket is a DB jacket. I don't own a tux as I never have occasion to wear one but if I did I think I'd look for a DB one, though I imagine they are not easy to find.
    Black Lapel will make a DB tux jacket for under $500. Figure about $650 for coat and trousers if you need them.

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