January 11, 2013
This Season’s Armour: The Tuxedo
The winter has drawn upon us fast, and now is the time to celebrate all things festive. Dressing for the party means enjoying the party, and nothing marries smoother than a gin-based drink and a well-dressed man. This season, we’re welcoming the tux back with open, cufflink-laced arms. There’s a definite statement to be made with the stylish and distinguishingly male Tuxedo. A once treasured essential, the tux has recently seemed more like a struggle to fit into the trend routine. However, with the return of the sophisticated wardrobe, the tux is on its way back bigger and bolder than ever.
The recent birth of Skyfall (twenty-third in the James Bond series) has elevated our interest in all things suave, and we must give credit where credit is due. While Bond may play the role of a secret agent, he’s no more a secret agent than he is a fantastic life stylist. Cars, money, and toys – everything a man could want, and he poises himself upon these luxuries in a suit of charm and valour. With the added ‘suit up’s thrown at us by today’s sitcoms (think Boardwalk Empire to Barney Stinson from HIMYM), it’s safe to say that the tux is back.
When you think of the tuxedo, don’t let your mind wonder to the unlawful marriage of the cummerbund and bowtie. The tux has evolved and unless you are, in fact, part of a weekly wedding party, disregard the urge to splurge on this dated notation. Distinguish yourself by playing with different pieces of this timeless classic. ‘Suiting down’ is the more approachable option.
Pair your tux jacket with a casual chambray shirt, or button down a dress shirt to relax your look. A ripple of burgundy is one of AW 12/13’s favourite right now, and pairing your jacket with this warm shade in a shirt or cigarette trouser would be a stylish way to waltz through the winter. However, it is worth saying that the tuxedo wasn’t just built on the jacket. Try ditching the outer layer and matching your favourite leather coat with an unbuttoned dress shirt and trouser for a casual allure to this statement piece. Use these images below as inspiration. ‘Suiting down’ adds a whole new element to an already stated look, and throwing in unexpected pieces will break up the tuxedo monotony.
While we love the charisma that the tuxedo delivers, we can’t forget about the stylish toys that come with. Shirt studs, pocket squares, bow ties and scarves; they’re all imperative to this unique look and must be treated as so. While experimenting with these pieces, remember that moderation is key. A statement pocket square would speak for itself, but pairing it with an emphatic tie would only drown out its stylish whispers. A single-tone silk square or tie would be appropriate.
When you’re tux-hunting, you’ll learn that almost all tuxedo dress shirts have French cuffs. Answer their calls and complete these with a pair of gold cufflinks. Match these with a golden watch for a meticulously worked look. Below are some visual examples of how you can utilize your accessories to their best while retaining their modesty:
Shaping Your Look
While opting for a peak lapel is a classic way to shape your look, it is also the finer and should only really be worn with a bow tie. If you are approaching your tux-shopping mission with the goal of snagging a more wearable piece, consider choosing a shawl collar lapel on the narrow side. It can be more forgiving to today’s trends and a straight tie compliments it equally as well as a bow tie.
Remember, a man should never look better than he does while wearing a tuxedo. While quality is preferred, fit is essential. This classic piece is worth your investment pennies, but don’t break the bank for a slightly ill-fitted suit. It is better to spend within your means and get a timeless piece that will fit you perfectly.
There’s a great variety in today’s market for tux-inspired pieces and here are some handpicked additions that will add to your wardrobes finesse: