The British Academy of Film and Television Awards or BAFTA's are nearly upon us, and with the awards season in full swing this is a great time to give you the low down on one of the most iconic of men's clothing items - the dinner jacket or Tuxedo.
First, learn to tie your bow tie and then we can start to discuss the subject of the Dinner Jacket. I will admit that back in my youth I wore a ready made bow tie but after seeing the visible difference in appearance I was converted to the importance of learning the skill of tying oneâ€™s own. Perhaps the most significant point is that as the evening progresses and others discard their bow ties you gain a definite advantage by simply untying yours and letting it drape around your open shirt collar. You are immediately a cool style icon who can only be compared with James Bond.Now that we have covered that, the next discussion is on the words Tuxedo and Dinner Jacket. Leaving Henry Poole to give the definitive history of the Tuxedo I should now draw your attention to Hardy Amies (below) comment in his 1964 publication ABC of Menâ€™s Fashion - â€˜Tuxedo: what the Americans call a dinner jacket.â€™
That established we can now proceed to discuss and define the attributes of the Dinner Jacket. Since the change from full evening dress we have seen the Dinner Jacket develop into the most popular item of clothing for formal evening wear. The most important point concerning the Dinner Jacket is that it is the perfect compliment to whatever colour and design of evening dress the female is wearing. By looking incredibly turned out and yet playing second place to your partner you are immediately in good favour.Whilst there is always the choice or hiring or purchasing your own dinner suit the frequency of occasions when you are required to dress formally for the evening will enable you to decide whether this purchase is necessary. Generally, if you going to require its use more than twice a year then in the long term a purchase is the likely decision. Of course, by having you own dinner suit you will be able to respond to invitations at a moments notice providing you have taken appropriate care of your wardrobe.
Apart from the dinner suit you will also require a white dress shirt, bow tie, black shoes (Oxford style, patent leather optional) and cuff links. Other options are braces to ensure the trousers hang correctly and a white silk evening scarf. After each outing the shirt should be laundered, the suit pressed (only dry clean if necessary) and then hung ready for the next occasion. It has been known for multi-coloured waistcoats to accompany the outfit, but these should be worn with caution. Likewise a cummerbund, and again quoting Hardy Amies, â€˜a sash or girdle worn round the waist - need I say more.â€™Generally,the material chosen is black with the addition of satin or silk on the lapels and trouser side seams. Midnight Blue is also an acceptable colour as in artificial light this can look blacker than black. For summer cruise wear a white â€˜Tuxedoâ€™ can be worn with black trousers.For the 150th anniversary of the Tuxedo in 2011 Henry Poole and Dormeuil Fabricâ€™s sponsored a project with the BA (Hons) Bespoke Tailoring students at the London College of Fashion to design a collection of 21st Century Tuxedos.mens shoes online