Modern Men's Tailoring in London

How to elevate an ordinary occasion

Coming up to Christmas period with all the occasional invitations and activities, one comes to ask himself how this time he could make a difference, make this period special to remember. A ticket to the theater, an invitation to a cocktail party, a meal to a fancy restaurant? Something unique? Something formal maybe?

Whatever that might be, the dressing code should be one: Black-tie; also known as dinner jacket (DJ) -in the Commonwealth, or tuxedo -mainly in the United States.
Have you ever wondered how Frank Sinatra would look singing with a T-shirt? How Gary Grant would have acted with a pair of jeans or James Bond sipping his Martini with a bikers jacket?

The story of the dinner jacket that began as dining attire for Victorian aristocrats since 1860 oozes  prestige, class and elegance, it became a symbol of high society and power, a choice of sophistication. Usually it is found black or a combination of black and white but sometimes seen in other colours with midnight blue (introduced by the Prince of Wales) the only acceptable alternative colour for the standard dinner jacket. Whatever your preference though, the traditional rule is that white dinner jackets are never worn, even on the hottest day of summer, but are reserved for wear abroad, like Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca. Another precious tip: tall men, generally, tend to look better in white dinner jacket / black trousers combination.

The typical black-tie jacket:

1. dinner jacket
  • color:• black is the norm• midnight blue is equally correct
  • model can be:•  single-breasted•  double-breasted
  • lapels can be:•  peaked lapel•  shawl collar•  notched collar is most popular but considered inappropriate by traditionalists and can have:•  satin facing•  grosgrain facing
  • sleeve buttons: covered in same fabric as lapel facings
  • vents: no vents is most formal
2. black-tie trousers
  • color and material to match jacket
  • single braid along seams to match lapel facings
  • cut for suspenders
3. black-tie waist covering
  • black waist covering can be either:•  cummerbund made from silk to match jacket facings•  waistcoat made from silk or same material as jacket
  • worn with single-breasted jacket models but not with double-breasted
  • some style experts claim that waist coverings are not worn much these days
4. black-tie shirt
  • white fabric
  • collar can be:•  wing collar, described by many authorities as the most formal but some insist it is the exclusive domain of white tie•  turndown collar
  • fronts can be either pleated or piqué
  • shirt has eyelets for studs and French cuffs for links; some authorities allow for fly-fronts
5. black-tie neckwear
  • black silk bow tie to match lapel facings
6. black-tie footwear
  • black shoes:•  patent leather pumps are most traditional•  patent or highly polished oxfords are acceptable
7. black-tie accessories
  • black silk or fine fabric hose, over-the-calf length
  • suspenders of black or white silk
  • harmonizing black, gold or mother-of-pearl studs and cufflinks
  • white silk or linen handkerchief


This dressing code has many variations through the years. Combined with a given etiquette it fashions a social ritual that elevates one type of happening above another. The true definition of black tie lies in its details, so do your research, pick up your favourite period in time and we can help you create your very own dinner jacket for a special Christmas. Remember, the right garment helps to generate a sense of occasion, whatever that is.

To get this tailored look now please book a consultation online or by calling 020 7566 0077

Opening Hours are Monday to Saturday 9am to 8pm by appointment only.

Share this post
  , , ,