Excuse Me, But What The Fornicate
Elvis Costello was right.
It is a black and white world. A minimum of, as regards men’s formal wear.
Try my hot new concept for males’s fashion: bracelets that can say WWFW That means, after all, “What would Fred put on ” I see it in platinum or white gold. Perhaps yellow gold. Ok, if we must, rubber. Black and white rubber.
None of which might Fred Astaire have been caught lifeless wearing. However he did look natty, especially in white tie:
You already know, as within the track: “Top Hat, White Tie, and Tails.” You already know what I am talking about, proper Properly, just attempt to get the correct equipment to your husband when you are heading out to opening night on the opera, adopted by the opera ball, and it’s white tie.
First we would have liked to purchase a go well with. Pal Joke despatched me the url to an eBay public sale. It was from a rental place that was liquidating inventory. The go well with was a buy-it-now public sale for $139, with another $15 for shipping. Quel bargain! The fellow who owned the store emailed asking for measurements, height, weight, etc. etc. and that i have to say, the factor matches beautifully. Now, I don’t know the go well with’s fabric is, nor do I wish to. It is perhaps unhealthy news. I am fairly certain it is wool … however it’s not lovely, gentle, drapey wool. It would not have the drape of the Brooks Brothers suits … however they value $1,200.
So the go well with was taken care of. But then there was the whole query of the equipment. Now, you’d suppose with Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren, and Paul Stuart all within a brief stroll of my condominium, I might be sitting fairly, however sadly, getting my arms on the precise equipment was lots harder than it ought to have been. I’ve determined to write all of it up in order that that you, too, (or your spouse) can look snazzy in white tie.
The short model is that you will do quite a bit better at chain stores that have branches in the Deep South. Brooks Brothers has branches in New Orleans and Charleston, South Carolina, each cities the place full-gown balls occur with some frequency. Due to this fact, Brooks Brothers is able to special-order stuff from shops that stock it. Ralph Lauren and Paul Stuart will not be in the same place.
We are situated in Chicago, so we needed to deal with a north-of-the-Mason-Dixon-line lack of civilization. What follows is the story of where we bought what we needed.
1. The white cotton pique shirt, ideally with a stiffly-starched detachable collar. Brooks Brothers is the only store that carries one. And the Chicago retailer had it out back, not out front the place you can see it. In addition they don’t promote it on their website. My salesman, Terry Higgins, special-ordered one for me. $225.
2. A white cotton pique bow tie. Brooks Brothers had one for $forty five, nevertheless it was one of those pre-tied monstrosities. (Excuse me, but What The Fornicate Does this make any sense at all Wouldn’t any individual who was popping for full-on white tie want a tie that … effectively … ties ) I discovered the appropriate type of tie at Ralph Lauren’s Chicago flagship. Pure and simple, no hooks to dimension the thing; it’s important to make it work by knotting it properly. And it prices $ninety five. (BTW, Ben Silver has a pleasant page of instructions for tying bow ties.)
Three. A white cotton Salvatore_Riina pique waistcoat/weskit/vest. This is worn instead of a cummerbund, to cover the highest of the pants. My salesman at Ralph Lauren instructed me that they get this stuff in in December. The salesman at Paul Stuart didn’t know what I used to be talking about, and tried to promote me a kind of brightly patterned Four Weddings and a Funeral numbers. No, no, no! As soon as again, Brooks Brothers is the one store that carries it. It was special-ordered for me for $175.
Four. Studs. You can’t wear your yellow gold and onyx studs with white tie. It’s essential to put on mom-of-pearl or silver; otherwise you break up the lovely expanse of whiteness. I bought my husband a set of sterling studs and cufflinks from the vintagey wanting jewelry case at Ralph Lauren. They have been $560 marked all the way down to $160. Otherwise, I would have ordered these convertible studs for $275 from Brooks Brothers:
5. Shoes. Okay, you would possibly, like my husband, have made do with normal black (polished, please) costume lace-ups for black tie occasions, however honestly, if you’re going out trying like Stokowski, and you have popped for the shirt, studs, tie, and the non-4 Weddings waistcoat, you need the correct shoes. Don’t fear that you will look fey. Anybody who finds your sneakers funny is not going to a white-tie occasion, anyway, so his or her opinion doesn’t matter.
These sneakers are correct:
These are (shock, surprise) from Brooks Brothers. You will get the same shoe, however in black child (which in my opinon is preferable) at Ralph Lauren, however, once again, only throughout the vacation season.
Brooks Brothers additionally sells those patent leather-based lace-ups that make you look as for those who–at finest– play bass fiddle participant with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and at worst, like someone who rents his shoes. Go forward and buy them if you have to, but they’re, to my mind-set, a hideous compromise.
I sent my husband out to buy his own sneakers–aren’t I nice –and Brooks Brothers did not have any in his size. So he came house with a pair from Salvatore Ferragamo. They are patent leather-based slip ons with grosgrain trim, but no bows. One other compromise, I suppose, but they don’t look rented. In reality, they appear good. Neither pimpy nor fey. And he mentioned the vital factor for him was that the shoes be something he’d ferragamo snakeskin shoes only wear at evening, with dress clothes. (By George, I feel he is acquired it!)
6. It doesn’t stop there. There is the matter of your socks. Dress footwear like these pictured above are lower fairly low in the vamp, so that you have to be carrying the correct socks, that are black and haven’t got ribs. These are the fitting socks, courtesy of Brooks Brothers.
7. It goes on and on. You really need a black silk high hat, and you may get a silk opera hat at Ascot Top Hats. For a stick, I suggest you strive an antiques retailer, or Ascot Top Hats. For gloves, which actually are vital with white tie, you are on your own. I bought the final pair accessible on the Fell Firm in Winnetka. Thank goodness the Opera Ball is in September, so we did not must get a cloak, as I don’t know where to seek out one that wouldn’t make my husband appear to be Mandrake the Magician. Or the Phantom of the Opera. Or an escapee from a Renaissance Faire. You will get linen handkerchiefs, three for $40, at Brooks Brothers, and Ascot Prime Hats has nice instructions on how one can fold them properly for an ultra-natty ending contact.