Tailor's note: February 2020 - Finding the right Tuxedo
Designing your custom suit can be a tricky thing. Suddenly something you’ve only ever thought of as a whole item needs to be broken down into the sum of its parts.
These notes are based off conversations with customers and are designed to help make the process a little more familiar.
Disclaimer: These ideas are based solely on my opinion, please feel free to ignore, flout and disobey at every opportunity.
This edit is for a groom looking to stand out in black tie.
Black tie is a great option for a wedding. But as the groom how do you make sure your DJ is the best one?
One easy option is colour. With everyone else in monochrome, go bold. This groom is opting for a midnight blue barathea which will look amazing.
But I have a bit of an issue with all navy dinner suits. It’s hard to avoid looking like you’ve just whacked a bit of silk on your work suit.
For that reason I like a classic black barathea for the trousers.
This groom is going for a single breasted jacket so I’ve recommended he wear a cummerbund.
They fell out of favour for a while, but I’m pleased to say that they have been spotted on all the red carpets for the last few years (see Brad Pitt at Venice Film Festival). It is particularly advisable if you, like too many men, wear your trousers quite low. The cummerbund adds a little height to the waistband, making your legs look longer and hiding the bottom of your shirt, thus avoiding the triangle of terror.* It should always be the same colour as the trousers.
The challenge of black trousers and a blue jacket becomes finding a blue which doesn’t clash with black. Look for a shade with a greyish undercurrent. Bateman Ogden has some gorgeous options, in every weight and weave you could want.
For the lapel silk, I’d advise sticking with blue, I’m sure plenty of people will disagree with me but I think that unless it’s a very dark blue, black silk lapels will make it look cheap.
Traditionally, black tie comes with peak lapels and a single silk covered button at the front. This makes the decision making a little more straightforward. That’s not to say you can’t go against the grain with it. But if you are looking to narrow your options, traditions can help.
When it comes to the pockets, conventionally they are double-jetted and made up in the silk of the lapels. However, if you are going to use your pockets rather than having them sewn shut, I would advise having a flap added. It will cover the mouth of the pocket and keep it looking smarter for longer.
This should get you started but if you would like to discuss any of this further, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.
* The triangle of shirt sometimes visible between the fastened button of the jacket and the waistband of the trouser. It’s hard for this not to look scruffy and often makes the suit look like it doesn’t fit.