Back in the glory days of StyleForum a self-proclaimed n00b started a thread for an urgent matter: he had a formal party to attend and had no time to buy a tuxedo. All he had was a black suit and a pair of black shoes, and although he knew he had a long way to go before he had decent formal attire, he only had time for a quick upgrade before the party.
From what I’ve read, I need to get a “Formal Dress Shirt” and a black satin tie. Am I close?
Black and menswear have an interesting relationship. For a start, black is necessary for conservative and formal dress: menswear experts will tell you that you need a black pair of oxfords for business suits, your tuxedo, bowtie (which must be black as well), and so on. They will also say to avoid other black pieces like the plague. Black dress shirts look cheap, black suits are never appropriate (except at a funeral), black odd trousers don’t go with anything, and I’ve even heard that black loafers are antithetical to the concept of black or loafers (as in loafers are casual, but black is formal).
As a result, for the longest time guys avoided incorporating black into their outfits. However, that seems to be changing.