Hanzo

Super Member
1,163
United States
California
San Diego
I have a black tie event coming up in October so decided to dust off a hand me down tux that I had in the closet.

Problem #1: I've got the tux (single button, peak lapel, single vent, satin facing), but no shirt, tie or waist covering. OK, fixed that. I went to JAB and got a self tie bow tie and cummerbund (I know, a vest usually goes better with peak lapels, but I prefer the way a cummerbund looks on me and don't have time for a REAL black tie vest to be made) I also got a shirt from my tailor, it is pique with a turn down collar.

Problem #2: My studs and cufflinks are from my high school prom days are junk. OK, fixed that. Ebay'd some nice mother of pearl double sided cufflinks and some MOP studs. Both are set in silver, though the cufflinks have roped silver where the studs are plain, but I don't think that's an issue.

Problem #3: Shoes. Well, I'm wearing my old uniform shoes. They're black patent. Yeah, they're bluchers and have a rubber sole, but I'm not spending the money for new patent oxfords for as rarely as I wear this.

Problem #4: Pants don't fit. This was probably the single biggest problem and I wrestled with buying a new tux vs. just getting a suitable replacement. I ended up just buying new pants from JAB. The black isn't a PERFECT match (the coat weave is a bit coarser) but I don't have a ton of money at the moment, so it was between $80 for new pants or $800 for a new tux. I don't think it will be noticible.

Problem #5: The single vent. And, I'll add on here, the flapped pockets. The coat is at the tailor, and I'm considering calling them up and having them close the vent. Do you think it is necessary? Any idea of the cost? What about the pocket flaps? Can they be removed?

I'm hesistant to sink too much money on it considering I may end up replacing the coat later with the matching JAB coat to go with the pants, but I wanted to get your thoughts.

Oh, by the way, although its a hand me down, it is a canvassed coat down to about the pockets (not sure if that would qualify as half or full) so it's not total junk.
 

CuffDaddy

Connoisseur
6,790
I don't know about the vent (I've never tried to alter the vent configuration on a jacket so I have no first-hand basis for saying whether it works, how expensive it is, etc.), but the pocket flaps are easily dealt with, no? Just tuck them into the pocket, and only a pickpocket will know the difference.
 

Starch

Super Member
1,391
United States
Washington
Seattle
My reaction:

Problem #1 solved
Problem #2 solved
Problem #3: if it were me, I'd be more inclined to wear some other non-patent leather shoes, though it depends on what you have. They have to be black, obviously. They should have plain toes, or at most a plain cap. Patent leather shoes are technically proper, but - at least at most black tie events - very few people wear them. Hence yours, rather than fitting in and "vanishing" into a sea of similar shoes, will stand out and be noticeable.
Problem #4: solved
Problem #5: I wouldn't bother with the vent. As mentioned, the vast majority of pocket flaps are made so they can be tucked in and are then indistinguishable from non-flapped pockets. I think this is particularly likely, given it's a dinner jacket.
 

Hanzo

Super Member
1,163
United States
California
San Diego
Good to know, thank you, gentlemen.

Starch, as for the shoes, I only have AE Sohos and Fifth Aves. The Fifth Aves have a tiny bit of broguing and the Sohos have a chisel toe. All in all, I have to make a concession to one aspect of the shoe or another, so I wasn't sure which way to go.
 

PTB in San Diego

Active Member with Corp. Privileges
393
United States
CA
San Diego
Hanzo, what's your shoe size? I have a pair of Nordstrom (Italian?) patent dress shoes that are a small 10.5, more like a 10. They need a new home.
 

Matt S

Connoisseur
8,060
United States
NY
New York
Good to know, thank you, gentlemen.

Starch, as for the shoes, I only have AE Sohos and Fifth Aves. The Fifth Aves have a tiny bit of broguing and the Sohos have a chisel toe. All in all, I have to make a concession to one aspect of the shoe or another, so I wasn't sure which way to go.
Wear the Sohos. I don't see how a chisel toe makes a difference. The cap is the only thing that holds them back, but that's by far the best shoe in your collection.

And I would have the vent closed. A single vent on a dinner jacket would bother me too much to wear it.
 

Hanzo

Super Member
1,163
United States
California
San Diego
Quick follow up question:

Tomorrow night is the big event. I've got everything ready to go, except that this morning I realized that I left my white linen pocket square in California when I was visiting last.

I've got a few options, and none of them are ideal.

1) Go without
2) Use a white cotton handkerchief
3) ATTEMPT to find a new white linen one in a nearby department store tonight
4) Get a white silk one from JAB

Thoughts?