Terminology lesson: Black Tie, Dinner Jacket, Tuxedo all mean the same thing. Tuxedo is American (the name derives from the short formal jackets first noticed at The Tuxedo Club in New York). Dinner Jacket is British. Black Tie is the correct term for the entire dress code (i.e. what your invitation will have written on it so you know what to wear). Whatever you’re calling it, it is pretty baller. So smash it. In for a penny, in for a pound, right? (More Britishness right there). Here are some details to take note of so that next time you get to go big, you do it with style. Like a true Don.
When you buy your tux [and do buy. Don’t rent. Nothing kills the swag buzz like having to return your suit to the rental place. Dons should be rocking Black Tie a lot, frankly, so invest, and you’re good to go again and again] nail the lapels. Like these two Dons above (1898’s finest), you want to have either a Peak or a Shawl lapel. Standard business suits have a Notch lapel, so this distinction elevates a Tux to something much more grand and formal. You’ll stand out for sure, and the only notches you’ll be thinking about will be on your bed posts. Peak or Shawl only guys. Them’s the rules.
Silk button facings
Another pointer to bear in mind when buying: the buttons on a Dinner Jacket (both the main buttons for doing it up, and the buttons on the sleeve) should be covered in silk. If they aren’t, avoid. Plastic buttons will kill your vibe, so just take note and add silk buttons to your tux-shopping check-list.
Tie your own Bow Tie
Credit – Howcast
This is an absolute deal-breaker. The least Don thing in the world is a clip-on bow tie. Don’t be that guy. It’s like putting training wheels on a Harley. Follow the above instructions, and nail it. We reckon it takes about an hour to master, but then you’ve got it locked in for life. You’ll look tons better for it, and you’ll get a big boost from knowing you’re killing it amid a sea of chumps. Which is what being a Don is all about. Bonus points – untie it at the end of the night and look louche. The ladies love it.
Wear a buttonhole
Black Tie is the perfect opportunity to add the little flourishes that will help you stand out. Generally, the ladies get to shine brightest at formal events, so to stand out from the sea of penguins it’s all in the details. This is a big one. Any good florist will be able to get you a small flower to fit the button hole in your lapel (will cost you about a dollar). Tradition dictates that you stick to red or white carnations, or blue cornflowers. Drink in the compliments.
Men and boys time now. Pictured above are patent court pumps. Sound like your thing? Probably not. But when tied in with the whole ensemble, this is really where it’s at. Reasons? The patent leather reflects light from your feet when you’re dancing, while the silk bow compliments the silk details on your suit. If you’re not ready to pump it up yet, plain Oxfords will do, but polish them to death first.