Browsing All Posts filed under »Miscellanea«

From the Vaults: Soviet Evening Wear

July 18, 2014

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Part of a series featuring highlights of my recent research at the Library of Congress. In my youth I was always fascinated by the bizarrely Orwellian nature of life in the Soviet Union.  An article on Communist sartorial propaganda in the May 1959 issue of GQ reminded me just how perversely fascinating the USSR was. The article’s introduction sets […]

From the Vaults: Library of Congress Research

July 15, 2014

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I’ve taken time off from blogging lately for a busy summer including a week of World Pride festivities and ongoing home renovations. Also tucked in there somewhere was a trip to Washington, DC where I took the opportunity to do something I had long dreamed of: research at the Library of Congress, the largest library […]

It Never Hurts to Dress Up

June 3, 2014

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This drawing is by a young artist with a longing for the lost days of style and formality.  I love how it captures not just the elegance of yesteryear but also a certain youthful innocence.

The Suspender / Cummerbund Conundrum

May 20, 2014

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Black Tie Guide visitors occasionally ask me if it’s okay to wear suspenders with cummerbunds. My first thought is “why don’t these people bother reading the Guide before writing?”  My second thought is “why do so many people assume these two articles are mutually exclusive?” I suspect that a general unfamiliarity with the cummerbund leads many to equate it with a belt because of […]

Review: Bespoke: The Men’s Style of Savile Row

May 13, 2014

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  For those of us who can only dream of patronizing Savile Row’s world-renowned tailoring houses, this book might be the next best thing.   Author James Sherwood (who has assisted me with my research on the earliest dinner jackets) charts the contribution to fashion and culture made by these masters of bespoke menswear, beginning with […]

Toronto Tuxedo Tailors

April 24, 2014

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Recently I’ve received a number of enquiries about where to buy custom-tailored tuxedos in my hometown of Toronto.  As I have never had a tuxedo made here I figured this was a good excuse to visit some local providers to find out what they offer and how much they charge.  Considering the vast number of custom […]

The Black Tie “Quick Guide”

April 17, 2014

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As promised in my recent Black Tie Guide annual traffic review, I have created a condensed version of the Guide that sums up its essential lessons for people with limited time and/or patience. The site’s recent traffic milestone of 100,000 monthly visitors sparked a sobering realization that the Guide does not just appeal to devout sartorialists. Clearly its contents are being […]

2014 Annual Review: Another Banner Year

April 3, 2014

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On the anniversary of the début of The Black Tie Guide’s first edition in March 2008 we take our annual look at who’s visiting the site and blog, and why. The Guide If The Black Tie Guide’s popularity is a barometer of general interest in formal wear then the latest stats are great news: site traffic increased by […]

The Outstation

March 17, 2014

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The Outstation is a 1924 short story by Somerset Maugham about a self-exiled British gentleman named Warburton in charge of a remote outpost in Borneo.  The story opens as his new assistant, a young Barbadian named Alan Cooper, arrives by boat. Despite his misgivings about losing his status as the sole white man, Warbuton greets […]

Burns Night

January 24, 2014

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I received an email this week from a British formalwear retailer promoting plaid bow ties and waistcoats for Burns Night.  I had heard of Robbie Burns Day before but had no idea of the formal customs associated with it until I checked out Wikipedia: A Burns supper is a celebration of the life and poetry […]

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