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Black Tie dinner jackets, suits and men's formal wear - a guide.

Dinner Jackets and Black Tie
@ My Tuxedo

- Discount prices on dinner jackets, tuxedos, and other men's formal evening wear including dinner suits, dress shirts, bow ties and cummerbunds. Prices are typically 50% lower than similar items on the High Street.

Black tie and the dinner jacket (DJ)

A dinner jacket or DJ is traditionally a black jacket with satin lapels that is worn at a "black tie" event - ie an event held in the evening requiring a formal dress code. It is accompanied by matching black trousers that often have a satin strip of black material down the outer seam, a dress shirt, a bow tie and a matching cummerbund. In the US, a dinner jacket is more commonly referred to as a "tuxedo" (abbreviated to "tux"), but in the UK it is still more commonly known as a "dinner jacket" or "DJ". Smart black leather shoes complete the outfit.

A dress shirt is usually white, or less often cream or black, and has some sort of pleating or ribbing down the front. It often has a wing collar and may or may not have stud buttons. It is usually worn with cufflinks. The only colour from the outfit comes from the matching bow tie and cummerbund. These articles were traditionally black as well, but nowadays are often worn in bright colours and designs to add a little individuality, dependent upon the occasion. Indeed, the white tuxedo itself is now increasing in popularity, although it is usually only worn at events held outdoors in the summer and may still be frowned upon by some traditionalists.

Black tie events are frequently formal dinners held for associations and clubs - the equivalent wear for ladies would be anything from a cocktail dress to a longer gown - rules for ladies are more relaxed and usually any smart dress would be appropriate.

A suit with a tie was first worn by George "Beau" Brummel in the early 1800's. Beau Brummel was a friend of the Prince of Wales (who later became King George IV), until they fell out, and he was the first man to be known as a "Dandy". However, his fine fashion sense did him no favours as he died penniless in 1840, the unfortunate victim of the final stages of syphilis.

The cummerbund first appeared years later after the First World War - it was adapted from the military dress popular in India at the time.

What is "White Tie"?

If one was to think of black tie as informal dress, then white tie is the formal version. In actuality, white tie is rarely used these days with the exception of events of state, and its meaning is falling from popular usage - black tie is the de facto formal evening wear standard.

White tie is the most formal of all dress codes. It can also be referred to as full evening dress. For men, it consists of a black jacket with a tailcoat, a white shirt with a stiff wing collar. a white bow tie and a white waistcoat. Men may wear Scottish Highlands dress at white tie events if they so choose - they don't have to be Scottish in order to do this (but I suppose it helps!). At white tie events, women must wear formal full length ball gowns with jewellery.

Clermont Direct
- Men's formal evening wear including dinner suits, jackets, trousers and tuxedos at cheap prices.
- Men's formal evening wear including single and double breasted dress suits in all sizes from 36" up to and including a 58" chest. Free UK delivery.
Moss Bros
- Great value branded dinner suits from £179, waistcoats from £29, tux jacket, trousers, shirt and bow tie £139.
T.M. Lewin
- Fine quality men's formal shirts, suits, ties and knitwear from this Savile Row retailer.
Austin Reed
- High quality formal and casual wear from this long established high street and internet retailer.