Classic menswear and the fine life

Dinner Suit and Tuxedo – About evening wear and black tie

In the 20s and 30s, the tuxedo replaced the tailcoat as the most important item of clothing for official occasions – namely Black Tie. The tuxedo is the correct answer to the question of evening dress and is just as suitable for 20s theme parties.

However the rules can be interpreted more freely. The result is then commonly called Creative Black Tie. You will find an overview of ideas of 1920s fashion (e.g. for parties) here: 1920s Men’s Fashion.

Tradition and modern times

Traditionally, a tuxedo is combined with a shirt with a strengthened chest (more British), concealed button facing (modern) or pleated shirt front (more American). When the button facing is open, separate shirt studs are worn. A low and round cut vest or a cummerbund hide the waistband. The waistcoat is the more traditional version. The cummerbund (originally a kamar band from Persia) is a souvenir of the British colonial rulers from India and is particularly suitable for summer occasions. In addition, the tuxedo always includes a bowtie.

Waistcoat, cummerbund, bowtie and even the stockings are usually black. Creatively interpreted, however, you can also choose colored variants and take a vest with black-watch tartan (see below), for example. By the way, lapel flowers can be a welcome addition to a tuxedo – even with a conservative interpretation.

Smoking mit Blackwatch-Tartan-Weste, weißes Hemd, schwarze Fliege.
Tuxedo with tartan waistcoat and separate wing collar on the shirt

The shirt collar also allows for creative freedom. The wing collar is the more American variant. In Great Britain, Kent collars (see article picture) are preferred with dinner suits – as is the case with the British royal family. A spread collar should be avoided for evening dress.

The shoes should definitely be black. A good choice are properly well polished, simple Oxfords*. Even better are black patent shoes*.

Purchase tips

You will find durable and beautiful stockings at Falke*. Tuxedo vests, on the other hand, can be bought at Charles Tyrwhitt*. Whole sets are also available at Amazon*. Shoes can be found at Shoepassion*. Patent shoes and high-quality tuxedos off the rack are available at SuitSupply*.

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