Offhand, I don't know. Just try some more specific Googles. Maybe add "history" or some other more specific topic. Don't dismiss the wedding sites, very often people trying to sell you something, also know something about it :-) I remember I once found a really interesting and informative essay about formal wear from a tailor's perspective (including his views of the various stylistic differences). That's worth looking for.
Men's grooming books are also a good source of information (though there are not many of these as compared to how many books there are about women's grooming).
Just look around a little, according to what in particular interests you, it's all there somewhere.
Again, all I am doing is explaining what men's FORMAL wear really is and isn't.
While I personally dislike how our society has become so casual that people get on planes in shorts, tank tops and flip flops, or will go to a fancy restaurant in their "formal" polo shirt, khakis, and topsiders, I'm not really trying to address that here. BUT YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE!
OK, so I hit some odd combination of buttons by accident and my last post posted before I was done...
What I AM trying to do here is help that occasional man who would LIKE to dress up, do it properly, but doesn't really have a clue what is required and traditional. I suspect that most American men can go there whole lives never having to pick out formal wear. Even for their own weddings, they probably had some 16 year old girl working at the formal rental store TELL THEM what they needed (and it showed!).
Hey andre--we're beginning to think tux? i've been looking at some on the Mens wearhouse site --not sure what he really wants but here's the question--i am wearing a midnight royal blue dress (now i know from reading that you shouldn't try to get that color for the cummerbund or vest and he'd look horrible besides (bright blue is NOt his color) he looks better in greys or pastels (he was color typed summer) my question really is would it be ok with like a obvious black tux--with like a white shirt and silver vest and as an option maybe a cream or ivory shirt with ivory vest?? or maybe like a phamtom type vest?? (with diagonal stripes fadeing) or would a solid be better?? never have had to deal with tuxes except for wedding once for his brother (and he was told what to get) sorry if this sounds so long but....also slightly confused about the cummberbund verses vest issue --the vests do look attractive but you are saying cummberbunds are better?? Thanks--any advice is welcomed. thanks again.
I went to the local 'high-end clothier ' to check out the tuxedos. They had two different styles. They had a $700 style and $1200 style. I will say this, the $1200 one was awesome; out of my league, but awesome. I've got time before I need to buy, so I'll try to lose some weight and then I'll head back to the MW. Hopefully the memory of the $1200 tux will fade by the time I'm ready to make a purchase.
Thanks again for all the help.
Vests vs. cummerbunds. The classic look is the cummerbund. Not a matter of better, but more of "classic." (It may in fact be that vests were worn with the first dinner jackets, but the modern dinner jackets became a vest-free look.) If you are looking for a more traditional look, what you want is a white shirt and a black tie and cummerbund. It makes no difference what color you wear - it's black and white for him. (color matching is for proms, not adult formal dressing.)
Stay away from the ivory shirts. Some places will offer them as an alternative for white, or as something to be worn with an ivory dinner jacket, but they are really only for a certain event where you are purposely not wearing white (whatever that might be). White is always the proper choice.
The choice of whether you want to use a vest instead of a cummerbund is entirely yours. Both are proper for formalwear. Cummerbund is simply the more classic look. Some will say that a full vest is more proper than a half-vest (a half vest has no back) since it looks better with the jacket off. I would counter that since you most preperly don't remove your dinner jacket, except in private, it's better to have a half-vest for comfort's sake.
So I would either stick with black tie/black cummerbund, or a half-vest, most likely in as basic a pattern/texture as possible in a grey color. I would NOT try to match or even contrast with your dress.
FEDJAN - just buy the $1200 one and be happy! ha, ha. (I wish also) Seriously, you can buy a decent tux (complete outfit) at JC Penny for $150 or so, including shoes (much to my amazement). If you are willing to drop $250 or so just for the trousers and jacket, you can get great stuff at places like MW.
karessamom, i totally agree with Andre, don't try to match a vest or cumberbund to your dress, that's for proms and weddings.Stick with either the black, silver or steel grey in a vest. You can go for a pattern if you want to do a vest(jacquard or houndstooth look stunning) Cumberbund should always be black -imo. Another popular option in the tux shirt is the mandarin or banded collar dress shirt - i love this look, no tie required. Wear it with a vest as it is more of a trendy look and i feel that the vest works better.
Thanks for the advice!
......" I would NOT try to match or even contrast with your dress."
That's what i was thinking too. I think tho after toying with the idea for a while, we're going to stick to his dark blue suite.-Yes, I know it's not a tux but none the less, it still looks good on him, less expensive (we can use the saved $$ on shore excursions) and we'll have it for the "point" (supperclub) where we'll actually celebrate anniverary.
FEDJAN, Thanks for the reply. Forgot about Satel's. I had gone to Joseph's when I was in SA about 4 months ago, but was disappointed with what they had. I will look at Men's Warehouse and Satel's. Thanks again.
Formal means black tie which means tux. I think they should split the two dinning rooms up. One dinning room for Casual resort wear (we are on vacation people not in the office) and Two dinning room for the FORMAL dress. At lease this way everyones happy. Yes one would be more popular than the other, but you still have the choice!
They DO do that, effectively. Anyone who doesn't want to dress up is more than welcome to pursue other options (and nobody will go hungry). Most, if not all, ships provide an option for the formally challanged. The problem is the "I paid for my cruise and NOBODY is going to impose a rule on me during my PAID vacation" attitude that makes them feel COMPELLED to come to the formal dining room in bib jeans and a parrot shirt on formal night.
Nobody cares if someone doesn't want to dress up, just do it where that's the rule.
It's so simple and civilized that only the truely clueless think it doesn't make them look like cavemen, rather than "cool rebels." But then they'll just argue with this statement anyway so...
Exactly!! the cruise lines give you CHOICES people, if you want to get all decked-out to the nines on formal night go for it, the MAIN DINING ROOMS are waiting for you. On the other hand if you want to go to dinner in your shorts then the BUFFET, PIZZERIAS, BISTROS and GRILLS are waiting for you. Heck if you want to eat in your PJ's all you have to do is pick up the phone and call room service. How much easier and more convenient do the cruise lines have to make it????
Ok, I agree with the premise that a tux is the only true formal attire. And I would love to see my husband in one on this upcoming cruise. The main barrier is that you just don't really see ANY tuxes on the formal nights on the Carnival cruises. He would mind standing out much more than he would mind the "discomfort" (agreeably no different than with a suit) or the expense. You feel awkward these days when you do follow the dress codes because no one else is. And our travelmates this time around do seem to want to get by with as casual as they can get away with without being gawked at.
Well, I haven't been on a Carnival ship, but even on the most casual cruises I've been on (3-dayers) on cruise lines that have actual formal nights there have been enough people in tuxes (and plenty in suits) so that you wouldn't stand out being dressed up. Maybe Carnival is different - I don't know.
That said, you have a couple of issues:
1). You don't want to stand out. That's your choice. Personally, I don't mind being one of the few in these situations, but if it makes you more comfortable to better fit in with the nudnicks that won't get dressed for anything but their own funeral...
2). You won't fit in with your friends. That's the more serious issue. If you are all going together with the express purpose of being casual, then that's what's happening. My advice would be to try to encourage them to get into the idea of having (at least one) dress up night. Spin it. If they still insist on casual, then you will probably have to conform to them. Sucks, but that's what friends do.
I don't have a better answer than that. If it's important to you, try to fight for it. If you're willing to drop it, then you might as well do so.
Q: Carnival still has actual formal nights right? If "nobody" is wearing a tux, what do people wear? Is everyone in a suit, or is it that most people are in the dockers & polo shirt outfit on formal nights?
Carnival does still have formal nights and you will see some tuxes but the majority are in suits. On our last Carnival cruise there was even a couple dressed in "Titanic" period formal clothes. Now they stood out!! My DH always wears a suit and has never felt underdressed or the need for a tux.
Teresa and Larry
#36-Carnival Splendor 9/16/12
7 night Mexican Riviera
#37-Allure of the Seas 11/11/12
7 night Eastern Caribbean
Yes, on our cruise almost all the men were in suits for formal night (one young guy, I think a really young newlywed <read financially challenged> was in Dockers at the Captains Reception but joked about feeling like a boob). Our friend will also wear a suit for formal night which will be fine I think even if I'd love to see my guy in the tux. Our problem is more that he wants to wear jeans on the casual nights. I feel like this will keep us from dressing up as much as we might normally (we still wouldn't wear jeans of course).
I don't even know if there is sem-formal or informal on Carnival 7-days. The other guy says he will wear Dockers and golf style shirt for that. I would say dress slacks and sport coat would be more appropriate but I'm not his wife.
It's mostly a question of personal style - as I think you've surmised. One or two button is the most traditional and has been, and will be, in style forever. (my black jacket is a two, my ivory is a one) Just like business suits, as you start adding buttons, the jacket starts looking more style-anchored and it will more quickly move out of style as tastes change. Three buttons, done right, aren't bad, but I've seen seven button dinner jackets - and I imagine THEY'LL be out of style by the next celebrity awards show! You may look more stylish now with lots of buttons, but you will relegate yourself to buying another jacket in a year or so.
Think minimal and least flashy, and you are almost always better off for the long haul.
Since one particular person seem to think I have made it my life's work to force men into wearing a tux on a cruise, I'll reiterate here that the PURPOSE of this post is simply to inform those men who are interested in properly wearing a tux, but just don't know much about it. I would have hopes that was clear. Whether or not BLUsry wants to dress up doesn't interest me a bit, so he can save his breath (or typing).
This is a question that has no real correct answer. Kind of like when my wife asks me if a skirt makes her butt look big...
We've sailed on 6 ships in the past few years and have three more booked for 2004. Here's my opinion. Wear what you want. Period. You are on vacation, and most will dress nice for formal evenings. I wear a dark suit, tie and hard soled dress shoes. I just do, it makes my wife happy, and that is good enough for me.
The added values are great family photos, it feels nice to dress up for something besides the people in my office and more.
On warmer weather cruises I have changed to other clothes for the evening events. We usually go to the theater show in our nice attire and then change to nice shorts and collared shirts for the late evening. The casinos are smoke filled and I don't want a to smell that on one of my suits.
I've worn khakis to dinner on formal nights on the Majesty of the Seas and many did as well. We had just sailed from CoCo Cay and it was hot. Few were dressed up.
Carnival has a more relaxed dress pattern, and on the Celebration, Ecstasy and Elation I wore starched khaki shorts to dinner on the nights we were in port. You do the math, a full day of snorkeling, sun and beach and we wanted to shower, dress in resort casual. After dinner we walked off the ship for a some last minute shopping and a frozen drink (or two?) at Fat Tuesdays.
Confused? I hope not. You are on vacation, it's your money and if someone is offended that a 46 year old man wears nice golf style shorts to dinner then close your eyes while I walk to the table and invoice me for the financial damages you've endured.
Finally, we have sailed on two consecutive Thanksgving cruises and most all dressed nice for dinner on formal nights. In about three weeks I will give you an update on what I saw on the Rhapsody from Galveston.
Just my vacation and I paid for it...well so did I and if I follow the suggested rules...so do you.
So "Officer I just had two drinks...so what if I killed some one" same principle...If I see you on one of my cruises I WILL have the staff remove you from the diningroom.