In modern menswear, the tuxedo has all but been relegated to the back of the closet. It is, too many men, only to be worn at one’s own graduation ceremony or wedding, and even then, often rented.
Perhaps this is the problem. Most men experience nothing but sloppy fit and archaic design in their tuxedos as they are at the average rental place. Most guys say they never need one so “why buy?” This isn’t so much because there are never occasions to wear a tux, but because of the casualization of menswear over the 1990s and the beginning of the 21st century, we have distanced ourselves from the need to have one. Even at the most formal of events men think the black suit will suffice. It’s gotten to the point that I recall occasions when older gentleman would bring younger men by the menswear store I used to work at just to show them what an actual tux looked like. This is slowly starting to change, however.
Men tend to be dressing more formally recently and this gradual move up the fashion food chain has resulted in a desire to pull on the tuxedo every now and then. So we’re starting to see more of them, but not in as traditional a form. The casualization of clothing for men has had a positive effect in that more creativity is being applied to the classics, and the tuxedo is being worn in new ways: tux jacket with jeans, sometimes with slim sneakers, and now in many new colours such as a subtle cerulean.
I expect that the tuxedo will become much more mainstream in the years that come, albeit in new ways that appropriate its formal sensibilities and take them to the street. As it is though, every designer tends to make one, so enjoy the photos and have a happy new year everyone.
I don’t have much spare time to post right now, but rather than completely neglect those who enjoy reading this blog, I’m going to just upload some photos for now and then fill in the text for them in a day or two. It’ll give you something to do with your spare time now, and a little something to look forward to.
Last year around this time I found myself in a heated discussion with a young lady who told me that men could not be elegant. She said that men could be tough, look sharp, and be at times sensitive but, to her, elegance was the domain of women only.
Elegance is only a refined grace, a beauty in the way of doing things. I don’t find that this is outside of the bounds of masculinity by any stretch. For all of our, at times, brash behaviour, men have the ability to tame our brute nature and to move and act with grace. There is a masculine elegance, and it does not whiff of femininity. It is the finding of beauty in the beast, and of exhibiting a stunning self-control over one’s mind and body. In honour of our elegance, then, I will pay tribute to the tuxedo and its modern incarnations as this year comes to an end and the new year, and new decade, approaches. Bringing with it the celebrations and libations the last night nourishes, and the opportunity to pull out our more formal attire.
I had a friend ask me the other day if he should add a vest to his suited collection. He said he’d seen them on guys a lot more lately. He’s definitely right, and I told him he should definitely get on it. The vest has come back over the last couple of years in a big way, driven by fashion icons like Justin Timberlake strutting on stage with the look.
Vests typically come in two types: perhaps in the soft sweater vest form (remember Carlton from Fresh Prince? Kind of like that but, you know, not like that), or in the suited version, the illustrious third element in a 3-piece ensemble.
Both sorts of vests provide a lot of versatility and are interchangeable over a polo, t-shirt, henley, dress shirt, etc. or under a jacket. Throw one on to dress up a casual look or add a little bit of detail. They tap into classic masculine archetypes, always a plus because the women will notice, trust me. The sweater vest being a little more preppy, a little more high society, and then the suited vest I’ve heard described as either roguish or investment banker style depending on how it’s worn. Regardless it’s a great piece for any man’s wardrobe
Vests are a great look on any man because they tuck everything in, and after all of the holiday feasting I’m sure we can all appreciate reducing the visibility of our Christmas gut.
They’ve gone from fashion show rarity to mainstream, and they’ve taken off on the street as well. The vest is a versatile piece and it’s here to stay. I’m going to showcase some of the looks I’ve seen in the boulevards and on the runway over the next few days.