Wear a Blue Tuxedo With Ease – 5 Unorthodox Black Tie Rules
Black tie doesn’t mean you can’t mix in some color. Master your blue and navy tuxedo style with these five essential blue tuxedo power moves.
Forget your old, outdated notion of the blue tuxedo. When we say you should be wearing one, you might think we’ve gone off the deep end. That’s because when many people hear blue tuxedo, they picture those powder blue tuxedos and frilly shirts that you see in prom photos from the 70s. Today’s blue tuxedo traces its lineage back much further to much classier days.
The midnight blue tuxedo first hit the scene in the 30s and has been experiencing a renaissance as modern men are recognizing how well men dressed back in the day. Meanwhile, the bolder, royal blue tuxedo is having a heydey, as celebrities have caught on to its eminent and unexpected swagger and begun to rock the more saturated, lighter blue tuxedo to annual award shows.
When it comes to choosing the best tuxedo for you, the traditional black peak lapel tuxedo is a perfectly acceptable choice for a formal gala or New Year’s Eve. But the rules of modern black tie have loosened up, making blue a great tuxedo option for today’s man.
Five essential rules of engagement for modern black tie.
1. Choose your blues wisely.
Are you looking to stand out from the crowd? A royal blue tuxedo is a step in the right direction. As we said above, wear one of these as a wedding tuxedo and you won’t just be boldly going where no man has gone before, you’ll be in rarefied air. How rare? You’ll be joining the red carpet ranks among Ryan Gosling and Matt Bomer as you challenge black supremacy in the world of tuxedos.
If a royal blue tuxedo is too strong of a statement for you it doesn’t mean you’re relegated to black. A midnight blue tuxedo is a fine choice for the man who wants to echo the inky blue tones of the night sky in his evening attire. Going this route will also get you into rarefied air, but this shade of blue tuxedo is more of a classic than a newcomer to the world of black tie. Case in point, Sean Connery wore a midnight blue tuxedo while playing 007 back in 1962 before Daniel Craig (who wore one while playing Bond in Skyfall) was even born.
Royal Blue Tuxedo and Midnight Blue Tuxedo by Black Lapel.
2. Slip on some style.
The laceups you might have worn for a cold New Year’s Eve can be swapped for some formal slippers when the weather permits.
The idea of wearing slippers and a tuxedo may sound silly but these are not some pair of fuzzy house slippers. We’re talking about the predecessor to the modern day loafer: the formal slipper. If you really want to pull off the irreverently stylish look that we encourage here at The Compass, try them in dark blue (as seen below) with a blue tuxedo (as suggested above) and without socks (as seen anywhere badasses reside).
Marquis Slipper by Herring.
3. Never turn down a chance to show your style
If you are a traditionalist who is going after the Downton Abbey look, a wing collar is probably in your closet. But if your look is a little more downtown and less Downton, you’ll want a turndown collar on the formal shirts you wear with a tuxedo.
That means your formal shirts should be distinguishable from your everyday white shirts. Important details like French cuffs are a must. The best tuxedo shirts include other small, but important nuances like hidden plackets so that your buttons don’t show, or stud-ready plackets that let you use studs instead of buttons to keep your shirt closed.
White Broadcloth Custom Tuxedo Shirt and White Solid Twill Weave Custom Tuxedo Shirt by Black Lapel.
4. Suspend your disbelief in braces.
Even the most devoted belt wearer knows that tuxedo pants aren’t meant to be worn with a belt. A belt is a major offense in the world of black tie etiquette. For keeping your pants at the perfect height, suspenders are the way to go. Black ones are staid and a bit unimaginative. White ones are sublimely simple on a white formal shirt. For a dose of standout style, go bold with some suspenders with color and pattern. Got on one of the blue tuxedos suggested above? Drop some blue into your suspenders to tie your whole look together even when you remove your jacket.
Formal Naples Narrow Silk Braces by Trafalgar.
5. Mix things up
Dinner jackets and pants don’t need to match. If you’re looking to tame the stuffiness of a black tie look but don’t want to go as far as a full Royal Blue tuxedo, try just the jacket with a pair of black formal pants. Consider this the un-tux. Does this outfit play by the black tie rules? Yes. Does it make you look like a guy who always plays it by the book? Hell no.
Now that you know the five essential elements of pulling of the black tie look with blue, it’s time to put it all into action. Got a black tie event coming up? You can get all of the products you saw in this story by clicking on the photos above. And if you’d like some help putting it all together, just ask in the comments below.
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