Browsing All Posts filed under »Buyer’s Guides«

Going Classic on a Budget

April 9, 2014

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Reader Jay from San Jose, California shares the challenges and discoveries encountered during his quest to assemble a classic formal kit at an affordable cost. While many in the world associate Californians with surfing and a laid back liberal culture, my wife and I enjoy dressing up just as much as anyone else. For those rare […]

Advanced Cravatology

March 25, 2014

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Despite being such a simple accessory – or perhaps because of it – the bow tie is offered in a dizzying array of options.  I describe the various shapes, models, and materials on the Black Tie Guide’s Classic Neckwear page but there are a few more interesting insights I’ve gleaned since then. Fabric Having recently purchased […]

Spotlight: The Marcella Shirt

March 19, 2014

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The Marcella shirt is a uniquely British compromise between the formality of the traditional full-dress shirt and the comfort of the American black-tie shirt. The term evolves from Marseilles in reference to that city’s production of quilts with distinctive raised patterns beginning in the early 18th century.  In the latter part of the century, Lancashire […]

Spotlight: The Albert Slipper

February 21, 2014

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The Albert slipper aka Prince Albert slipper aka house shoe  is a luxe slipper typically defined by velvet uppers that often have an embroidered design on the vamp, quilted linings, and leather soles.  (It is also sometimes called a Churchill slipper but that term is more commonly applied to leather casual slippers.) Variations include an unadorned […]

Review: Black Lapel Tuxedo

February 17, 2014

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Overall Rating: Price: very good Style & Options: excellent Ordering & Customer Service: excellent Fit: very good Quality: very good (later downgraded to unsatisfactory – see Postscript below) Black Lapel is a New York-based China-made online tailor founded in 2011 by, appropriately, two Chinese-American men.  The philosophy of owners Derek Tian and Warren Liao is […]

Profile: Paul Stuart Formal Wear

February 11, 2014

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Over the years that I’ve searched for classically inclined formal wear I’ve found only a handful of American brands that seemed to rival the elegance of the British: Brooks Brothers, Ralph Lauren, Robert Talbott and Paul Stuart. As part of my wardrobe upgrades for my most recent black-tie outing I took the opportunity to investigate […]

Formal Fashion: Harrods Holiday 2013 Lineup

December 10, 2013

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Representatives of Harrods recently asked me to write a paid post about some of the formal menswear on offer from the luxury department store and I figured it was about time I ventured into the realm of formal fashions. While I will always champion traditional style over contemporary fashion, it seems like a good idea […]

Formal Fashion: Express Tuxedo Separates

November 28, 2013

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Right in the heart of downtown Toronto is this six-storey high illuminated advertisement featuring a very smart looking tuxedo.  To me, it’s as much a promotion of the concept of classic black tie as of the featured suit.    Thank you Express! On their Web site Express describe themselves as a “must-have sexy, sophisticated fashion […]

Guest Review: Black Lapel Tuxedo

November 15, 2013

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The following edited review is by Seth from New York who discovered made-to-measure clothing through his purchase of a tuxedo from online tailors Black Lapel.  My own review can be found here. Cost $688 (US) for a three-piece tuxedo. Ordering Process Black Lapel’s customer support is outstanding. I had a very detailed, conscientious response within […]

Spotlight: Formal Loafers

August 23, 2013

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When I was first assembling my black-tie kit I was attracted to the distinguishing swank of formal pumps but ran into a few obstacles in my quest to obtain a pair.  First and foremost, such footwear seems to be made only by high-end shoemakers which makes for a hefty price tag.  On a lesser note, […]

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