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Black Tie Options (Six Great Looks For The Holidays)

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Gentlemen, this is the time of year where we typically participate in holiday celebrations that often require wearing a tuxedo.  Black tie (formal attire) does not necessarily mean “stuffy” nor should it be intimidating.    As you can probably guess, this edition of the Style and Travel Daily Blog will address the finer details related to the “fancy” and rarely worn “Tuxedo.”; while providing you with several options to consider for your next holiday celebration. 


If you haven’t worn a tuxedo since your high school prom, let me be the first to inform you that the light blue tuxedo (with ruffles) has been put to pasture. Your jacket should only have one or two buttons.  More buttons than two and the jacket begins to resemble a trendy or boxy suit.  Stylish men avoid looking too trendy. However, as you will see below, there are several options available to men that have a more classic look and feel.



One of the most important silhouettes you create while in your tuxedo is based on the type of lapel you choose to wear.  Your choices are: Peak, Notch and Shawl.  The Peak is known as the most classic with very elegant styling.  The Notch has more universal appeal.  It’s difficult not to look good in a notch lapel.  Lastly, there is the Shawl which is experiencing a comeback and has been very popular in recent years.

Isaia Red Tartan Tuxedo Jacket

Tartan Tux


Now for cummerbunds…”Just Say No!”  Gentlemen, forget the cummberbund!  Unless you’re in a wedding party and the groom has specifically selected cummerbunds as the wedding party attire, go for a more sophisticated look and avoid the cummerbund and perhaps, even the vest. 

-Zegna Tuxedo-

Zegna Tux


The traditional bow tie is always a winner!  However, straight neckties can also work perfectly.  As a reminder, when wearing a tuxedo make sure you match the texture of the ties and lapels for that “polished” look.

-Pedro Stolz-

Pedro Stolz


Keep the shirts white and traditional.  Instead of the wing shirt, opt for a traditional semi-spread collar for an updated look.   Like your jackets, shirts should also have a fitted and tailored look.  Oh, and by the way, studs are also optional.

Red Tux Jacket


Slip-on loafers with a high vamp are acceptable when wearing a tuxedo.  Some men swear by the patent slip-on; I also think its a great look.  That of course is a preference.  I prefer a traditional elegant black lace-up with a perforated toe and solid leather sole.  Whatever you decide to wear, please do not wear a shoe with a rubber sole.  Enough said!

-Tom Ford-

Tom Ford Tux

Black Suits

Now, for the gentlemen that say…I don’t have the resources to invest in a tuxedo.  My response is just wear a black suit.  A number of men own black suits and wear them to formal events and look stylish and appropriate.  Just remember that the suit should fit as well as the tuxedo you could be sporting. Again, if the intent is to wear a suit that closely resembles a tuxedo, avoid three button and trendy looks that would spoil the effect.


JCrew Tux



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