6 Suit Mistakes to Avoid
Cut out these simple errors to take your dressed up look to the next level.
Look sharp for the dressiest time of the year (without going broke).
Whether it's a winter wedding, an elegant New Year's Eve party, or the annual charity gala to which you give generously, we're entering the thick of black tie season. These are the occasions that call for a fresh shave and a well-tailored tuxedo. If you're a reader of Valet., you likely take your style seriously, but for even the most sartorially conscious gentleman, this can be a tricky look to pull off. You want to look crisp—classic yet cool—not like an unwitting dude stuffed into any standard penguin suit.
Truth be told, things haven't really changed in the last 50-60 years: dark pants, dark jacket with satin or silk lapels, a black bow-tie (more on this in a moment), a pristine white shirt, and patent leather shoes. Yet, many an otherwise handsome garçon find ways to bungle the look. They key is finding a quality suit that makes you look and feel like a million bucks without having to drop too much money on a look that, in all practicality, only gets a few nights out a year. That's where our good friends at Suitsupply and The Black Tux come in to save the day.
I was recently invited by Suitsupply to visit their Georgetown store in Washington D.C. and be custom-fitted for one of their eveningwear collections. From start to finish and top to bottom, the service was impeccable and tailoring exquisite. While I chose one of the most classic of black tie looks, their Black Tie Package comes with your choice of navy or black tuxedo, a pair of patent leather lace-up shoes, a silk bowtie, white double-cuffed shirt and studs all for the price of $799. Go to your local Saks Fifth Avenue, pick up those same items, and you're looking at close to $2,000.
The pictures you see here are of their gray wool tuxedo with black accents. A bit bold for the majority of us, but if you're looking for a statement piece and are eschewing the navy tuxedo, this is a great alternative. Back to mastering the look, though. With a standardized uniform like the tuxedo, the devil is in the details. And the details here are in the tailoring and accessories.
When everyone looks the same, you can always notice when someone has done it properly and someone hasn't. The jacket should be snug, but not too snug (just as comfortable buttoned as you are unbuttoned), with just a touch of shirt cuff peeking through at the wrist. The pants should be a more classic fit than you've probably seen in the magazines recently. Ask your tailor for a ⅛" to ¼" break in the legs.
$12 at Etsy
$12 at Etsy
Got a vintage pair of studs from Grandpa? Or your significant other gave you a brand-new pair of cufflinks? Wear 'em! These are the spots to add some personal flair to the look, and can be used as a conversation starter while in line at the bar. We've seen people using a standard necktie in lieu of the bowtie, and while this might've been a stylish look at one time, we can unequivocally say this is a no-no. Black tie attire = bowtie. No further discussion gents.
Maybe you're not ready to splurge on a tuxedo. Perhaps you want to switch up your style from event to event. Need one in a jiff for a last-minute invite? The Black Tux is a reliable and affordable online tux and suit rental operation. And its fashion director, Brice Pattison, has built a statement-making collection for 2017 and 2018. Channel the leading men rocking bold tuxes on the red carpet and take your black tie game to the next level with these elegant and elevated options.
"Black tie optional" means you should wear black tie
One should choose to be overdressed rather than underdressed
Bow tie only = no neck ties
You want a sleek, slim watch with a bezel that lays flat on the wrist
If it's below 60°, going sockless looks ridiculous
Suspenders or cummerbunds? One or the other (or neither)
Avoid pocket bulge: one credit card, your I.D. and a little cash
You need at least two drinks to untie the bow and unbutton that top button