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Q: Blue Velvet Dinner Jacket. Does it need a bow tie?
I recently picked up a blue velvet dinner jacket for an upcoming black tie event. Question: Do I need to wear a bow tie with it? – Travis
For the black tie event, yes indeed. Open collars at a black tie event sorta defeat the purpose (hence, “black tie”). Could you wear a standard, black satin or muted silk necktie with it? Probably, but bow tie is what you want here. A velvet dinner jacket is pretty flashy. Best to anchor it with some tradition at the collar. Meanwhile, if you’re going to wear it somewhere else? You could skip the tie. If it’s a velvet blazer like the J. Crew Velvet Shawl Collar that pops up every year, and you’re gonna wear it out with some dark wash jeans, feel free to skip the tie. (Although, now that it’s warming up, you might want to opt for their new cotton version and some linen pants or chinos).
Q: What to wear to a “black or white chic” Summer Party
I was recently invited to a party over the summer that dress attire is “black or white chic.” Huh? I need help from what is considered “chic” (blazer? suit?) and maybe some potential purchase items? I’m a bit lost. – Justin
Colonel Sanders is gonna kill at this shindig. Sounds like one of Diddy’s Hamptons blowouts (although he certainly didn’t invent the “white party” idea) with a little more flexibility thrown in. You can always take inspiration from Vincent Cassel’s character in Oceans 12 (better resolution here), and go with a white suit, white shirt, black shoes (sleek loafers? more on those here) and striped tie. If you don’t want to invest in an expensive white suit (not many do), then consider this linen/ramie option from the trim fitting Macy’s house brand INC. For about a hundred bucks (and maybe a little tailoring), you could look pretty sharp. Remember to choose your underwear wisely.
Q: Smaller Diameter Watches?
I own that blue hand, plain face Skagen you reviewed a while ago and love it. It’s perfect for me because I’m small (5’2, 125 lbs) and while it’s not minuscule, it wears small. I recommend it to anyone near my size or with small wrists that’s looking for a watch. However, I’ve worn it just about every day since I got it, and it’s high time I looked to add another watch to my rotation. However, everything else I try on looks like a monster on my wrist. Do you have any recommendations for those of us who are just smaller than most, or, happen to prefer a more classically sized (under 40mm, if not well under) wristwatch? – Craig.
It’s true that watches have expanded in size over the last decade or two. BUT… that trend seems to be slowly reversing, and the proof is that brands are making smaller versions of already successful designs. For Example, the Kickstarter project Rossling & Co is coming out with a new 36mm version in the not too distant future (watch their site for the pre-orders). Christopher Ward launched a 38mm collection when they re-did their 40mm Tridents. And Tsovet’s newest retro design clocks in at just 35mm (hat tip to Eric H. for pointing that one out). Want a weekend casual automatic? You won’t go wrong with the 37mm Seiko SNK8 series.
Q: What about Target’s button down polos?
Looks like Target introduced button down collar polos from their Mossimo brand. Saw them in store, but the collar looks dreadfully unsubstantial and floppy for a style that requires a solid collar. I didn’t have time to try it on though. Have you? What were your impressions? – Ryan N.
Stumbled across these as well, and like Ryan, I didn’t bother to try them on. A little bit of polyester in some fabrics is often a good thing (like the DRY fabric in UNIQLO’s button down polos) but these were mostly poly (like, 65%) and it seemed less of a technical choice and more of a cost cutting measure. The fabric, at least to me, felt awful. It felt itchy and stuffy in my hands. So, never tried em’ on. I’d stick with the UNIQLO button downs for now.
Q. Wool Trousers. What are my options?
I’m headed back to school for my MBA and need to transition into more business wear and would love some input on some tailored wool or non iron cotton pants. Since I’m in school, I need something dependable and long lasting. Thoughts? – Morgan
The standard here seems to be the Lands’ End Year’rounder merino wool dress trousers. Available in a tailored fit & flat front, they’re slimmer, but still appropriate for a conservative business environment. They’re cut from 80s merino wool, and you can get them hemmed within a quarter of an inch for free. If you want to try a made in the USA trouser, look at Jomers. $48 – $58, nice fabrics, but they’re perpetually sold out. Might want to get on their email list. Review here.
Q. Summer wedding… on Maui?
I have a summer wedding in Maui and I have no clue what to wear. Ideas? – Michael P.
Baby powder. Good luck.
Kidding… well, kinda. You’ll want to consider dusting certain areas that potentially could get swampy with some baby powder before heading out, but you’ll obviously want to wear more than just the powder. Unless it is one. freaky. wedding. Try summer weight chinos or linen pants, and an unstructured, unlined blazer. The less lining the better here. If you know what the groom is going to wear, then dress a step below him and you should be fine. More summer wedding style scenarios here, and tips on how to stay cool while dressed up are here.
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Hand to Zeus that’s the exact text of the email. Cripes.
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