It’s been said that every man looks great in a tuxedo. When done correctly, we certainly agree. A sharp notch collar tuxedo, a crisp white shirt, a black bow tie; it’s unimpeachable. That being said, we’d also like to endorse the idea that you can (and should!) take your black tie up another level; a level that that expresses your individuality and style. Here’s how to do it. In short, I’ve got two words for you gentlemen, shawl collar.
A simple yet foolproof way to elevate your tux to stratospheric sartorial heights is to take inspiration from the glamour and style of the 50’s and 60’s. Putting a retro spin on your black tie look is not only going to give you a stylistic edge on the masses, but it’s going to make you feel damn good. Like James Bond and The Rat Pack on their best days. The easiest way to add a stylish nod to a retro look is with a shawl collar-style tuxedo. It’s unique yet still looks as elegant as it did 50 years ago when it graced the shoulders of Hollywood leading men and titans of industry. There’s a reason it’s back in a big way on Oscar red carpets and in the closets of some of today’s most stylish men; it’s classic meets modern in the best possible way. A well-proportioned shawl collar (not too slim, not too wide) paired with a slim, well-fitting silhouette is exactly that next level of style you need in your arsenal.
Now that you’ve got the retro look on lock, how about going for that style black belt? What’s the tip top of the black tie Everest look like? We’re glad you asked. The simple answer is, skip the black and embrace some color. Yup, that’s right amigo, the non-black, black tie. An alternative color like navy, charcoal, or grey takes the retro feel of a shawl collar tux in a fresh and cool new direction. Not only does it look completely amazing, it’s easier to pull off than you think. Feeling tentative but curious? Try just adjusting the jacket color and wearing it with slim fitting black tuxedo pants. Or, if you’re ready to go all in, go full monty with pants and jacket. Be warned, while we’re not going to demand you register yourself as a deadly weapon, you can expect a flurry of compliments, gazes of adoration, and possibly jealousy. In the words of Shakespeare…”haters gonna hate”.
A few final final tips…
Keep the accoutrements simple. A black bow tie, a crisp french cuff tuxedo shirt (we like a covered button placket for a cleaner look, like Bond here) and don’t forget to finish with a sharply folded pocket square for a worthy finishing touch.
And now, we toast. Here’s to you, a well-dressed gentleman, go knock ‘em dead.