Black Tie Elegance

March 3rd, 2016

With the haze of Oscar season lifting over Los Angles, and wedding season right around the corner, we’ve been thinking and talking a lot about formalwear.

The thing I love about formal menswear is the elegance. When a man wears a tuxedo, he is expected to look his absolute best. If there was ever a garment that should fit impeccably and be cut from a luxury fabric, it’s a classic tuxedo. A cheap tux is an oxymoron. It’s like putting chrome rims on a used Honda – it gives the appearance of luxury, but ultimately looks cheesy and misses the mark.

We often get asked about how to “stand out” in formalwear, while remaining traditional and not being too “loud”. It’s a tricky balance, as it’s easy to do “too much” with modern black tie. After all, the tradition of formalwear is all about subtlety and understated elegance (in order to place emphasis on our beautiful women in their beautiful gowns).

With that said, here are three ways to tastefully stand out from the crowd at black tie events, while (of course) making long-term wardrobe investments that you’ll re-use for years to come.

    The Blackwatch Dinner Jacket


    A one-button shawl collar dinner jacket is smooth and sexy. Pair it with black or midnight blue tuxedo trousers, or just black suit pants.

    If you have the swagger, you can also pull it off with a t-shirt and black jeans for a more casual night out.


    Our blackwatch dinner jacket is a traditional formalwear garment that makes a subtle, elegant statement. The fabric is a blend of silk (for a luxurious sheen), wool (for a smooth drape) and linen (to keep you cool and sweat-free).

    It’s a highly breathable garment that can be worn year-round and have you covered for a grand entrance to any and all special events.

    Blackwatch Tux 640

    The Midnight Blue Tuxedo


    Menswear traditionalists believe midnight blue to be more appropriate than black for formal attire. The argument is that a deep saturated blue is richer, and thus darker, than a flat black in evening light.

    Unlike a shawl collar (which is strictly-bowtie), a peak lapel jacket gives you the option to wear a straight tie as well.


    Our super 120s midnight tuxedo (paired here with our Tobacco Cashmere Overcoat) is a very dark and elegant navy, offering just a subtle contrast against the black grosgrain trimmings.

    Midnight Blue Formal Tuxedo

    The Double-Breasted Tuxedo

    Glenplaid Overcoat-2

    A double-breasted tuxedo is as formal as a gets it. The extra layer of cloth adds an element of sophistication, maturity and respect for the occasion.

    It’s also one of those garments that you can’t rent, and you can’t fake – the fit of a double-breasted jacket has to be spot-on…it’s easy to miss the mark (and obvious when you do) without the proper tailoring.

    Glenplaid Overcoat-1Glenplaid Overcoat-4Glenplaid Overcoat-5

    Our super 120’s black tuxedo is a long-term investment that will have you looking forward to the special events on your calendar for years to come.

    Black Formal Tuxedo

    For more on black tie, check out our Guide to Formal Attire.

    Thanks, as always, for reading.

    Yours in style,

    Dan Trepanier

    Shop Custom Menswear Made in America


    Take me to the Shop

    • DJ Hargrave

      The patterned dinner jacket makes a huge difference. Also, throwing in the camel coat is a great statement for a black tie look. Both ensure that you’ll look your best on the big night

      DJ | Menswear Enthusiast

    • Dean

      Great clothes, I love the Glen Check Coat. Totally off topic, but I’d love to know what Dan says about shaving and putting on your best.. Seems like the fashion to not shave. I was raised to believe that you shaved unless you had a beard – or at least whenever you went out in public without the beard. To me, to put on your very best and look your best, you need to shave. Maybe a topic for Ask Dan?

      • AdamE

        Totally agree. I skip a day here or there, but when I want to look my best, I definitely take the time to shave (and I’m not talking cartridge razor, canned goop… Safety razor, brush, real shaving cream… or if I really want to look good and feel even better, I’ll book a shave at the barber…

      • cam

        clearly not dan here but in my opinion, it’s completely personal. some individuals, think tom ford, look rather striking with a beard or bit of stubble. i think the big distinction here is all about grooming. making sure things are neat and tidy be that clean shaven, stubble or beard. moisturizer, beard oil, lip balm, etc to top it off.

        now if we are talking a job interview situation, i think clean shaven is the way to go. you don’t want to be the one who isn’t hired by the “old guard” simply because you skipped the razor. and yes, I know of instances where this has happened.

      • Reuben


        • Reuben

          Ah to shave or not to shave… I my opinion I think it depends on the shape of the face, round “chubby” faces look better clean shaven, if the face is a more square jaw I think a bit of stubble looks ok… Personally I clean shave for formal occasions.


    • tommyjohn_45

      Normally not a huge fan of DB’s… but man, that looks sharp as hell. Three gorgeous looks.

      Question for you guys: I picked up a killer black peak lapel dinner jacket (looks similar to look 2 but all black). I got it from MAB for an unreal price during a sample sale, but there were no pants to go along with it. What are some suggestions to get the most use out of this jacket?

      • Ethan W.

        Grey pants or cream flannels would work!

        • TO

          Or tux pants

    • cam

      i swear, about 90% of the men at the Oscars needed your services

      • Dan Trepanier

        Thanks Cam! It’s only a matter of time… :)

        • cam

          no doubt. also received confirmation email today, from karyn, that the fit trousers have been shipped. needless to say im pretty excited.

          • Dan Trepanier

            YESSIR! Very excited to get started – thanks again for your continued support Cam. See you soon :)