FORMAL NOTES

FOLLOW OUR EVENING WEAR ETIQUETTE GUIDE, FOR THE SEASON OF BALLS AND PARTIES IS ALMOST UPON US.

CLOTH
Black wool is the standard when it comes to dinner jackets, but midnight blue offers a compelling alternative. The midnight blue produces less of a sheen than black when under artificial light, so is said to look “blacker than black”. Sometimes a wool and mohair blend will be used to make a lighter, more breathable cloth with a crisp texture.

JACKET
A jacket with silk facings, usually grosgrain or satin, on a shawl collar, peaked lapel or notched lapel. Many stylists see notched lapels as less formal although they (like peaked and shawl) have been used since the first evolution of the garment.

TROUSERS
Trousers with a single silk or satin braid covering the outer seams.

CUMMERBUND
This is a broad waist sash, usually pleated, which dates back to colonial India, and can be worn instead of a low-cut waistcoat.

SHIRT
A white dress shirt (a pleated front is traditional), double cuffs and cufflinks, and a cutaway or winged standing collar. Currently, the more popular option is the cut away collar.

TIE
A black silk bow tie matching the lapel facings.

STUDS
Shirt studs and cufflinks. Studs are often dispensed with today, but can add to a traditional look.

SOCKS
Black dress socks, usually of silk or fine wool.

SHOES
Black shoes—traditionally patent leather Oxfords.

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