VF Fashion Tips To Nail The Black-Tie Look
Choosing your tuxedo may be overwhelming with so many different traditional customs and options available to you. Nevertheless, we guarantee you will feel vindicated after this short read by having the fundamental knowledge to make an informed choice on a black-tie outfit, especially for you.
If you are attending a black-tie event, look no further than a traditional black tuxedo or white dinner jacket. Make a 007-inspired style with a classic slim-fit tuxedo with the appropriate amount of flexibility, ensuring that you can go about a dance floor with ease.
The fundamental difference between a tuxedo and the standard suit you might find yourself wearing to work comes down to the lapels, buttons, and pockets. A tuxedo is a ceremonial ensemble chosen to be worn on formal occasions such as weddings, award ceremonies, and/or prestigious galas.
You will have three options when deciding on the style of your tuxedo:
- Notch lapel
- Shawl collar
- Peak lapel
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A notch lapel is the least ceremonial cut of your three choices but the most versatile for any occasion (if there is no satin trimming along the lapel, buttons, or pockets). The notch lapel forms a V-shaped indentation along the upper breast section of the lapel where the lapel and collar meet. Depending on the formality of your black-tie function and since notch lapels are considered in some circles as less formal, we recommend gravitating towards your more formal options of the peak lapel or the shawl collar.
A shawl collar is crafted to achieve a seamless circular aesthetic on your tuxedo, forming an unbroken curving line. It is referred to as a collar rather than a lapel because there is no separation point between the collar and lapel in this construction.
A peak lapel is crafted to create a structure for the lapel to point upwards to your shoulders from the collar. It is more commonly found on double-breasted and dinner jackets. The peak lapel is synonymous with formal traditions.
A peak lapel is considered the most formal of evening attire, whereas the shawl is considered to be a more social style of jacket (do not discredit the formality of the shawl though). If you are attending a fundraiser, wedding, or gala, we recommend either a peak lapel or shawl with satin trimmings on the lapel. Satin buttons on the jacket should match the sleeve buttons to bring out the formality of the attire. Only having one button on your tuxedo is generally considered to be ceremonial, as opposed to having two (even though we only ever button the top button).
Satin should also be trimmed on the straight jetted pockets of the jacket and trousers to complement the fine details of the lapel and buttons.
Consider a beautiful, crisp white dinner shirt. A pleated or piqué bib is recommended by VF Menswear, which adds texture to your outfit, but plain white will do fine. Add luxury to your look by accessorising with exceptional quality cufflinks and shirt studs to bring the entire outfit together.
An elegant black bow tie will fit in beautifully with your outfit, but if that is not your style, then a classic black silk tie will work wonders.
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A cummerbund is a broad, belt-like accessory in black that is placed over a dress shirt to conceal the waistline and emphasise the V shape. Although not required, wearing a cummerbund is highly customary.
The functional components of a black-tie outfit, from buttons to seams, are frequently hidden for optimum sleekness. Wear a cummerbund around your waist with the pleated part facing up to flatten out any lumps and bumps, whether they are caused by the cloth or your body.
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The most crucial element of a sophisticated black-tie outfit is your choice of footwear. The most formal choice of footwear is black patent Oxford or Derby lace-ups. The effect of patent leather will complement the satin trimmings on your tuxedo, bringing together your entire outfit.
If you’re not fond of either style, then patent or polished black Venetian loafers are also acceptable to bring together your outfit.
Polished leather is also an option if you don’t like the brazen statement of patent leather, as it provides a more subtle finish with a fine texture, adding a sensational mid-shine to your footwear. This, too, will provide the formal touch to complement your tuxedo.
Shoes command the most respect in an outfit, and wearing inferior footwear sends the wrong message about you and your style to the world.
The French navy is also a colour of choice when deciding on a tuxedo; though the traditionally accepted attire is black, the French navy will do you justice.
As far as men’s fashion goes, this is the perfect formal wear option as a wedding suit. If you have a taste for the finer things in life, then consider a bespoke suit. There are many places where you can find bespoke suits in Sydney. If that option is not in your price range, fashion stores in Sydney also offer made-to-measure suits. Custom-made suits offer a similar experience as a bespoke suit when choosing which style and fabric you prefer.
Now that you know everything there is to know about what you should be wearing to a black-tie function, VF would love to hear from you and see what your choice was!
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