Who Wore it Best? Styleforum Goes Formal

Winter is terrible for many reasons, not the least of which is the long, long night.  There’s just something so – depressing – about leaving home for work in the dark only to come home from work in the dark.  There are ways, of course, to prevent full-on Seasonal Affective Disorder.  The more common escape is Netflix and chill, which ends up being Netflix and Ben and Jerry’s.  Or you can break out the formalwear and head out for a night out on the town, which is what many of StyleForum’s users did this past month.  How’d they do?  Let’s see.

Styleforum goes formal


Lensmaster dusted off his white tie for what looks like a festive evening.  Dive a little more into the WAYWRN thread and you’ll see his headgear for the evening (hint: it’s not a top hat).

Styleforum goes formal


SprezzaTrash wore what looks like a vintage double breasted tuxedo, and while there’s nothing wrong with his accessories, I wish his placket was ironed a bit more and the handkerchief a touch more stuffed in.  Otherwise, a good fit all around.


Smittycl pairs his single breasted peak lapeled dinner jacket with a pleated shirt.  This is a perfectly acceptable option, rarely seen nowadays, possibly because of the reminiscence it conjures of the groovy Seventies, when they (and most everything else) was taken to the extreme.  As an example, I’ll give you Sonny Bono.  Apologies.  But at least his collar hugs his neck.  Yes, burn.

Styleforum goes formal


Old e-pal Acridsheep is a hot mess, yet looks great in that sweaty tux.  To his credit, he just performed The Humpty Dance from Bay Area locals Digital Underground (also on WAYWRN), and look at him.  He’s the king of the evening.  Well done.

Styleforum goes formal


Cleav keeps it simple in a double breasted dinner suit with a perfectly pressed shirt, black onyx studs and cuff links, and what may quite possibly be the cutest pocket square the forum has ever seen.

Andy57 looks like a million bucks in this fantastic bespoke velvet dinner jacket from Steed.  I’ve always thought that velvet shawl collared dinner jackets are the rogue, debonair cousins of the tuxedo jacket.  Like other black tie fabrics, such as barathea or mohair/worsted wool blends, the shine of velvet looks best at night, but the shawl collar and softness of the stoffa adds a dash of swanky guile that your regular black tie rig won’t have.  

Formalwear really hasn’t changed all that much in the past 80 years or so, which in today’s world of fashion that revolves faster than Lady Gaga can change outfits is wonderfully constant.  Even so, because it’s seen so rarely, it’s never staid or clichéd.  For that reason, one can browse eBay and stumble upon amazing finds that, with few alterations, can look just as fresh today as they did when they saw their first gala.  Which brings us to what I wore for an evening of ballet at the San Francisco War Memorial:

Styleforum goes formal

I was fortunate enough to find this deadstock double-breasted tuxedo from 1949 that required no alterations whatsoever.  I especially like how the peaks point up at an angle; many from that era had more horizontal, “Tautz” -y lapels, which while not necessarily wrong, can look a bit dated.  Keep your eyes peeled throughout the year and you may find black tie and even full dress white tie outfits, and since they were probably rarely worn, they are often in near-perfect condition.

Technically, the days are starting to get longer, but I do like the opportunities that long nights provide for well-dressed merrymaking.  If nothing else, it’ll force you to host a party of your own to fill up those long, empty evenings.  Because if your only memories of this winter come from binging on Netflix, then brother, ya gotta get out and live.

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Peter works in construction, but has an extensive collection of custom suits which he gets so that he can wear suits on the weekend. Even though he lives in San Francisco, he has never used the word "impact" as a verb. He writes about classic menswear and is one fedora away from being a complete dork.

4 thoughts on “Who Wore it Best? Styleforum Goes Formal

  1. Ha! Yes, I guess I deserve the collar comment burn. Holding the iPhone out for a selfie always throws my collar off. D’oh!


  2. Hi Peter- I’m in search of tailcoat and trousers. Would love vintage, but can’t seem to find the right seller. Any suggestions?

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