The Forward Formalists
For These Men, Looking Good Is Black And White
We’re living in the golden age of the tuxedo: The mobster black-on-black look is out and the Sinatra traditional look is back—but not so much that you can’t tweak tradition. These gentlemen grace the red carpet with a style that’s the perfect balance of formal and personal.
The New Rules of Black Tie
Although tuxedos have gotten more casual in recent years, that doesn’t mean you should coordinate your bow tie with your date’s gown. A tuxedo should be black. The shirt should be white. And yes, you should buy one. Here’s the new formal formula.
Do the Math
Factor in the rental cost plus the time spent on fitting, picking up and then returning the tuxedo, and you might as well buy. The Italian-made Ludlow tuxedo from J. Crew costs about $700 and will serve you at all three of your weddings.
Bow Tie Not Required
You can wear a normal tie with a tuxedo that’s cut on the slim side.
Pass on the Pleats
A crisp white dress shirt looks sharp and can be worn with a regular suit the rest of the year. Nothing says senior prom like tuxedo studs in a pleated shirt.
Whether you rent or buy, emulate George Clooney for that classic old-Hollywood look: single-button jacket with a notch lapel, bow tie, no cummerbund.