The Shawl Tuxedo: A Nightlife Essential

October 1st, 2014

Here at Articles of Style you know we love classic tailoring; especially formalwear.

There are essentially two tuxedo jacket styles in the traditional black tie handbook: a peak lapel jacket, and a shawl collar dinner jacket. We prefer the dinner jacket because it’s more versatile.

If you’ve been thinking about pulling the trigger on that badass midnight blue tuxedo, but haven’t been able to justify the number of occasions you could wear it, maybe this will get you over the hump.

Our main man Wes shows us how to wear a traditional midnight blue tuxedo for a black tie event, then he shows us how to wear the same jacket (and velvet slippers) for a casual night out on the town.

    1. Black Tie


    The midnight blue tuxedo is the ultimate in black tie attire. Make sure you’re prepared for those occasions when you are expected to look your best.


    The devil is in the details; the hidden placket shirt, the silk bowtie to match the silk lapels, the one-button with toggle, the clean waistband, the hidden braces, etc.



    You know Wes has to throw a spin on it, so he went with the “MAB” velvet slippers to represent for our friends over at Michael Andrews Bespoke.



    2. Black Out


    Wes is the king of the formal jacket for a night out. Whether it’s a nightclub, bar, or house party, he dresses it down with ease using a white scoop-neck tee, slim black jeans, and the same velvet slippers.

    As we’ve said many times before, a man doesn’t need a lot of items in his wardrobe, he just needs the right ones.


    A well-fitted shawl collar should hug the shoulders and stay fitted around the neck, which is the key to being able to wear the jacket with or without a collared shirt.


    Again, the devil is in the details; notice the symmetry and the clean lines here:


    Well played, player.



    Thanks, as always, for reading.

    Yours in style,



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    • TO

      Such a beefy shawl lapel… love it. And pulling off an Urban Outfitters T with bespoke flawlessly- pretty wicked high/low.

      • Westley Dimagiba

        good looks TO!

        • TO

          Wes, I’ve got a unique tux design idea inspired by something recently on here you deserve to know after a post like this, if ya want- would be amazing addition to this tux

          • Westley Dimagiba

            send it my way.

    • Nick

      Thoughts on the best tux under $800.00. My friend had a recent wedding and I spent $400…yes $400 on a rental that fit like shit for a wedding. I figured pay a few more bucks and we could get a decent tux that fit right and looked nice. Any thoughts?

      • Nick

        JCrew is always suggested but always wondered if there is something better.

      • Andy

        Try suitsupply ;)

    • Armand Violi

      Why doesn’t the styleguide/lookbook work? and I love the post

      • Westley Dimagiba

        big things coming, just wait on it…

    • Phil

      Hey I’d like to know if there’s another Fashion Week post coming up. Loved the last one and would like to see another one like it.

    • JoeFromTexas

      Question for the peanut gallery: You’re invited to a “black tie optional” event, but don’t have a tux, and don’t plan on buying one (in spite of this killer post). So you wear a dark suit instead. The question is: Do the shoes and tie have to be black? Can you get away with brown leather and a dark tie? Thoughts?

      • Dan Trepanier

        I would go Black, Jack.

        • AFH

          Yes, you can get away with brown leather. But ‘black tie optional’ is generally a sign that the hosts would prefer that people make every effort. So if you have suitable black shoes (no brogueing), I would suggest the gentlemanly thing is to wear them. If not, then do the best you can.

          • JoeFromTexas

            I do (plain, black cap toes) and y’all are right. But that chocolate brown leather is so pretty…

            Now I do have a pair of black calfskin cowboy boots… This is Texas after all…

    • cam

      I picked up the shawl collar tux blazer from Gant. Such a great and versatile piece for nightlife. Highly highly recommend.

      • Dan Trepanier


    • Skip Powell

      Bruh, I have some great shots of this dude in a tux. They’re yours, if you want them. Hit me up!

      • Westley Dimagiba

        where?! lol

        • Skip Powell

          Shot them at the valentines massacre party. Sent them to Towner. He never showed you dudes?

          • Alex Crawford

            I haven’t seen them!

            • Skip Powell


    • Vincent Nappi

      Look number two is IT.

      • Dan Trepanier

        Worthy of an illustration perhaps? I have a project coming up for you Sir!

        • Vincent Nappi

          Now we’re talking. Looking forward to hearing what you have to say!

      • Westley Dimagiba

        I would love an illustration ;)

    • Shawn

      Maybe I’m nitpicking, but look #1 would benefit greatly from a waist covering of some sort. If not a vest, at least a cummerbund. IMHO, of course. Fit is on point, though!

      • Dan Trepanier

        Traditional, yes, the waistband should be covered. Agreed.

        Wes typically has a more modern approach, hence the two piece and the statement slips.

    • Juan Zara

      I think a tucked shirt would’ve looked cleaner and more coherent in that last outfit, but nonetheless bravissimo Wes for pulling off something I won’t ever be able to! I definitely need to get me some slippers; any idea on whether that buffalo plaid pair you guys featured a while back is still available??

      • AFH

        My concern with t-shirts and jackets in general is sweat on the neck transferring to the jacket. That’s okay if the jacket isn’t too expensive, but when it’s your go-to Tux then caution may be required if you perspire easily.

        • Lothar

          I don’t even think you’d have to sweat much to get the collar dirty. Just the natural oils of your skin might cause some damage.

        • Dan Trepanier

          It’s a legitimate concern, but on a black silk shawl there’s little worry of staining, in my opinion.

        • JoeFromTexas

          I have to admit I thought the same thing when I first saw the look. Then I thought it looked dope and that sometimes you gotta take the sofa covers off and just go nuts.

      • Jeanscuffed

        I’m STILL stuck on those buffalo plaid slippers, hoping to find me a pair. Townie PLEASE DONATE!!

        • Westley Dimagiba

          he don’t need em, I’ll send those over

      • Dan Trepanier

        T-Shirt tucked into jeans? Hmmm…I’m not a buyer.