Tuxedo - A style guide

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Attending a formal bow tie party anytime soon? Here’s how to wear a tuxedo and avoid ending up in the rookie corner.

 

Whether your style is classic or vanguard, a tuxedo represents the best formal evening wear. And yes, there are ways to assemble an elegant tuxedo that allows your own sartorial personality to shine through. However, before you reach for that eggplant colored velvet, let’s skim through certain guidelines that ought to be adhered to as faithfully as possible.

Did you know that in several European languages the tuxedo is called a “smoking”. The term actually refers to the Victorian smoking jacket, which is a functional garment English gentlemen wore in the cigar room to protect their clothing from smoke and falling ash.

The tuxedo, also known as a dinner jacket or smoking, is to be worn exclusively in the evening after 6 o’clock. This piece is traditionally made in black or midnight blue fabric. An ivory dinner jacket would only be worn in the summer, aboard ship or in tropical climates. The jacket can be single or double-breasted, with silk-faced peaked lapels or a shawl collar. Formal trousers are always strictly black or midnight blue, depending on the jacket, never cuffed and feature a thin black satin stripe down the side of each leg. A formal shirt should be in an off-white or ivory color and made of the finest cotton dress fabrics. Traditionally, the shirt features a French spread or bat-wing collar, with or without a pleated front or piqué insert. The cuffs, simple or double, are always fastened with formal cufflinks. A tuxedo is best paired with a pair of highly-polished black oxfords.

 

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When choosing the fabric for your tuxedo it’s critical that it respects the formal occasion as well as your personality. The fabric should embody the qualities most suited to formal wear imperatives, comfort and the varying needs of changing weather conditions. At Sartoria Vanni you’ll only find fabrics made of the most precious raw materials and the utmost care and attention to detail, including a range of fabrics for shirts and vest that allow for mixing and matching according to personal taste, as well as option of adding a touch of whimsy to even the most formal occasion. 

 

Now that you have some guidelines to hold on to we suggest you take the time to invest in an elegant tuxedo that you can make your own for many years, decades even, to come.

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