This time of the year is full of occasions when the dress code is total elegance and often formal. If you are invited to an event where you have to wear black tie, that is, a man’s dinner jacket, or if you want to know how to wear this item of clothing, this is the article for you.
There are primarily three variations of dinner jacket distinguishable for the kind of lapel on the jacket. The most traditional is the pointed lapel that attracts attention to the shoulders and by doing this gives the impression of a slimmer body. It is, therefore, ideal if you want to look taller. Then there is the shawl collar, the more formal and less common one, with its completely smooth curve that goes from the upper part as far as the jacket button. Lastly, is the Notch Lapel, one that resembles the pointed one but is more marked and adapts perfectly to any kind of physique.
Having selected the jacket, let us see which tuxedo shirt to match with it. It should rigorously be white cotton or linen. It is better if the buttons are concealed although you can choose a shirt with small, black buttons. The collar can be either Italian or French while the cuffs must be double with cuff link closure.
There are two essential accessories: the waistcoat and bow tie. The first aims to hide the upper part of the trousers, so if you are interested in a less formal look, you can replace it with an three-piece suit waistcoat that should, however, be of the same fabric and colour as the jacket. If you choose a waistcoat, remember to combine it with the colour of the jacket lapels.
The bow tie is traditionally combined with the tuxedo though it can be worn with a tie, de rigeur black, to add a modern twist to the outfit.
Lastly, you should choose the tuxedo shoes that must be in patent leather with a discreet lacing, preferably Brogues or Derby. If you choose the black tuxedo, then opt for shoes of the same colour and never brown. Even with the white tuxedo, we recommend you wear black shoes so they match the trousers, which in this case should always be this colour. Even if you pick a dark blue tuxedo the best combination is always with a pair of black shoes and better still, patented.
Lastly, remember the most important rule: the tuxedo should never be worn before 6 p.m.
Unless you are James Bond....
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