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Wedding Tail Coats And Mens Tuxedo Suits

mens shirts 


The king of all male civilian garments is the evening tailcoat. Its long tails confer dignity while its starched white expanse of pique waistcoat, shirt, and tie flatter even the most rubicund of faces. The evening tailcoat has changed very little in the two hundred years since it was a riding coat. Its major alteration occurred when its double-breasted model was altered so it no longer buttoned in front. The single-breasted cutaway retained the button stance from the double-breasted model, as it does today. The outfit was, and still is, pretty straightforward, entailing very little choice in either color or detail. All that is needed is to tailor its established proportions to magically turn average men into movie stars.

The outfit consisted of white pique bow tie and matching stiff white pique-front evening shirt with attachable wing collar, worn with a single- or double-breasted pique vest, black worsted swallowtail coat, and matching trousers trimmed with two rows of braids on the outside of each leg. Black silk hose worn under patent leather oxfords or opera pumps with grosgrain bows completed the uniform. A white linen handkerchief with hand-rolled edges graces the breast pocket, while a colored carnation as boutonniere was optional. The only dressing errors egregious enough to scuttle its perfection were if the waistcoat's points extended below those of the tailcoat's front (a common occurrence today) or if the length of the coat's tails were not resting exactly in line with the back of the man's knees.


The pique-front evening shirt had a separate stiff wing collar whose shape evolves from turning down the corners of a stiff Beau Brummell fashion. The white pique bow tie was made to exact neck sizes, so that in addition to covering the exposed metal head of the front and back collar studs, the bow's intended width was fixed.

The wing collar sat high under the chin, giving extraordinary stature and definition to the face and chin. Its high back was to show a half inch above the jacket's collar, or a half inch higher than the black-tie's more comfortable turndown collar. The collar's wings helped to keep the pique bow in place by pressing it forward. The angle of the opening and height of the collar determined the style and size of the bow tie. The outer edges of the bow never finished outside the edges of the wing collar. This boilerplate guide for all bow-tie wear was established during that time and is respected even today.

Complementing the wing collar, the evening shirt's sleeve took single, stiff cuffs that, like the collar's height, were intended to show more than the softer French-style double cuffs of the black-tie dress shirt. The "boiled" shirtfront look took one or two studs, and the type of stud fastener determined the size and shape of the opening through which it connected with the stud's head, thus covering any evidence of the shirt's construction. The shirt's bosom, a biblike design in stiff linen or pique, was to fit so that its width did not extend under the trouser's suspenders, and its length was to stop short of the trouser's waistband. Because of its stiff front, if you sat down without it being secured to the trouser, it would billow out like a sail in full wind. A tab with buttonhole affixed the shirt to a special button in the trouser's waistband, keeping it in place and worry-free.

For all of this arithmetic to add up, the dress trouser needed to fit on the natural waist and not below it. This was accomplished with the help of suspenders (termed "braces" in the King's English). Without a high-waisted fit, the vest would not cover the bottom part of the shirt's bib and have its points finish above those of the tailcoat. With all of these studs, straps, and buttons needed to keep everything in place and in proportion, it may seem to be a form of Victorian bondage. In fact, when the clothes are tailored correctly, they are both comfortable to wear and move in graceful lockstep with the wearer.

Most of these design were transformed and worked into the classic tuxedo's final composition. Thus the stiff white-tie and "boiled" shirtfront gave way to the black-tie's softer lines without compromising its formal look, and so on. Let's move on and consider this information as it applies to today's black-tie dressing.



Most formal affairs are held indoors, Where central heating and air conditioning insure comfortable temperature. So most men prefer a fabric weight that provides comfort for more than a single season. Unfortunately, contrary to popular opinion, there is no such thing as a year-round weight; no cloth can both warm you in the frost of winter and cool you in the heat of summer. However, a fine worsted cloth of nine to ten ounces will get one through most climate-controlled environments rather handsomely. Since most affairs include dancing and dining, when in doubt, err on the lighter side. While your dinner jacket may never drape like the gravity-prone, fourteen-ounce ones worn in the old movies, you should not have to suffer in pursuit of elegance either. If you wear a dinner jacket frequently enough to justify owning more than one, a choice of weights will certainly expand your style and comfort quotient. You could drop to a lighter, seven-and-a-half- or eight-ounce fabric for summer wear and move up to a fuller eleven- or twelve-ounce weight for fall and winter.


A man of any size, shape, or weight can look stylish in a double-breasted tuxedo; it just depends on how it is cut. Both single- and double-breasted models are equally authentic and correct. The single-breasted model in worn unbuttoned, requiring its exposed waistband to be covered by a cummerbund or dress vest, and providing more opportunities for accessories and thus versatility. The double-breasted model relieves you of this additional layer around the waist, but the jacket looks better buttoned when the wearer is standing. Men tend to unbutton it when seated, so this model ends up being fussed with more than its single-breasted counterpart. A double-breasted dinner coat is never worn with a vest or cummerbund underneath.


Black is the norm, while midnight blue with black trimmings is also worn, Midnight blue comes across less green and more rich in artificial light than black; however, such a garment is rarely offered in the ready-to-wear world. In America, between the beginning of the summer season, June 1, and the end of august, an off-white or tan-colored dinner jacket may be worn. On trips to the South or warmer climates. These light-colored jacket are perfectly acceptable throughout the year.


Only shawl or peaked lapels are used for dinner clothes. Peaked derive its heritage from the tailcoat, shawl from the smoking jacket. The shawl lapel produces a softer, old-world image and tends to be used on alternative tuxedo jackets such as the white summer dinner jacket, velvet smoking coat, or more idiosyncratic ones in wool tartan or cotton madras. Men with round faces or less muscular physiques generally look smarter in the uplifting, sharper-angles, pointed-end peaked lapel. Both lapels possess the sweep and self-importance that helps differentiate the black-tie coat from the less formal suit jacket.

A dinner jacket with notch lapels is a sartorial oxymoron, like sporting a dinner shirt with a button-down collar. (Actually, I've seen this done as a kind of tongue-in-cheek old-boy eccentricity.) Not only does this sportier coat lapel design lack the aesthetic logic and refinement required of formal wear, its casualness makes the rest of the ensemble look common and less dignified.

All dinner jacket lapels require a working buttonhole on the breast pocket side for a boutonniere. Many times, one finds himself in a wedding party or other official circumstances as an usher where he is asked to wear a flower. There is nothing more sophomoric-looking than having to pin one on the lapel. It makes this one flourish of tailcoat elan appear almost clown like.

Custom-made dinner clothes pay even more attention to the buttonhole area by sewing a loop as a stem keeper under the lapel. You could ask the store if they could cut a buttonhole in the dinner jacket's lapel, although they will probably discourage you. It takes a qualified tailor to correctly determine its proper location and to execute a well-finished buttonhole through the silk-faced lapel. It is done all the time in custom clothes, however, and even if the buttonhole is machine-made, the boutonniere will cover it up. The buttonhole should be no less than one inch in length.


The tuxedo pocket must be dressy, yet simple. There is really only one type that should appear on the dinner jacket and that is the jetted or double besom pocket. Besom pockets can be of self fabric, as on a dressy day suit, or trimmed in the lapel's silk facing. Flap pockets belong with notch lapel; neither were ever intended for formal clothes. While flap pockets are cheaper to make (as are notch lapels), they also add a layer of cloth to the thip, and are thus neither slimming nor simple enough for such elegant apparel. Just as you would not expect to find peaked lapel on a tweed sports jacket or cuffs on dinner trousers, you should not see pocket flabs on a dinner jacket.


The original dinner clothes were made vent less and then later offered with side vents. Vent less jackets are more slimming while side vents provide easier access to trouser pockets and are more comfortable to sit in, something one does a lot at formal occasions. Single vents are fine for horseback riding, as they open up, providing comfort while in the saddle. Unfortunately, They also open up when a man puts his hand in his coat or trouser pocket, exposing his back side as well as a patch of dress shirt. Single vents are acceptable on single-breasted coats, never on double-breasted ones, and with their sporting heritage, they compromise the intended formality of the tuxedo.


Because grosgrain or ribbed silk was originally used on tailcoats, this style of trimming has always been considered a bit more refined than the shinier, more theatrical satin. In the early days of off-the-peg English tuxedos, many carried satin facings, so the ribbed silk came to be identified with the Savile Row-made tuxedo. The best facing are made of pure silk, while less expensive ones contain a synthetic component. Shawl lapels look fine in satin or grosgrain. Grosgrain facings permit some contrast in textures for the bow tie, while satin facings demand the bow tie to match which, especially if not hand-tied, will produce a more contrived effect.

The dinner jacket's buttons can be plain or covered in the lapel's facing. Some of the more old-world custom tailor cover their dress buttons in a fine, woven silk design, which at first may look a bit fancy, but can be quite subtle and distinguished. Like the tailcoat and better lounge suit, the jacket sleeves are to be finished with four buttons, their edges touching. Forever buttons is not dressy enough, more is frivolous.

We invite you to check out some of our other useful custom tailoring related information:

Why a Bespoke Tailor-Made Suit is the best you can buy

The discovery process for deciding whether to buy tailor-made suits as opposed to continuing to buy suits off-the-rack from retail stores is not as complex as you might think. What you should be aiming for is not a tailor-made suit but a custom-made suit which technically is a hand made men suit. Men and women frequently reach a point of frustration in trying to find what they want from specialty clothing stores or branded retail stores. Certain brand name suits are high quality articles but are designed within trendy fashion parameters for mass distribution. No matter how good they look on the rack, when you put one on, it invariably needs lots of alterations to reach the point where it meets the “it fits you” definition, a very loose term meaning it has been altered to the point where you can wear it.

The tradition of buying suits from retail stores dies hard, even though what you buy often goes out of style, doesn’t wear well, and is not a good value. You find yourself right back in the same position again and again, spending more than you should for a suit that doesn’t come close to being what you want. When you review what you have in your closet, most of your suits have not withstood the test of time. Some things may be acceptable by worn-out standards; other things you just can’t stand looking at and don’t want to wear.

The option to buy a tailor made tuxedo suit is not something that most people logically consider because they think they can’t afford to buy clothes that are custom-made, another word for tailor-made. Custom-made suits are uniquely designed and handsomely fitting. If you do some research, you will find that seeking the services of a Master Tailor that will design and assemble a custom-made suit for you is no more expensive than buying off-the-rack, mass merchandized suits in a retail store. The quality is far superior and the fit is perfect; after all a custom-made suit is made to your specifications and measurements. Custom–made suits stand the test of time and can be worn for a variety of occasions, including formal events, business meetings, social outings, and much more.

If you want to make the transition to buying custom-made suits, you must find a Master Tailor that will understand precisely what you want and operate within fashion and budget standards that you mutually agree on. A Master Tailor is a Custom Tailor aka, Bespoke Tailor. These are all terms that define the finest clothing design and assembly artisans in the world. A true Bespoke Tailor is a fashion design expert, a fabric choice specialist, an accessories master, and a skilled measurements artist.

What is a Bespoke Tailor?

When we talk about the best Master Tailors in the world, those that originated from Europe and Asia, we are referring to the art of bespoke tailoring. The word "bespoke" from the verb bespeak, refers to the art of specializing an order to make something unique and of high quality. In the fashion world bespoke is reserved for labeling individually patterned and crafted men's clothing. For women's clothes the designated term is Haute Couture. This is diametrically opposed to the concept of mass-manufactured and mass distributed clothing lines.

A Bespoke suit is designed and cut from a pattern uniquely conceived from an idea and a template unique to an individual client. The measurements originate from a client profile compiled by the Bespoke Tailor. A Bespoke Suit is not only determined to be an original piece, it has been further defined as more expensive and of significantly higher quality. Modern Bespoke Tailors, that truly attain to that designation, maintain their commitment to quality but through their expertise and experience they also create great value in the works they create compared to suits that are mass-produced.

My Custom Tailor is a unique, third generation manufacturer of custom-made suits and shirts that serves men and women all over the world. They are true artisans with expertise and experience evolving from the clothing design firms and manufacturing factories centered in such major fashion centers as Singapore, Bangkok, and Milan to name just a few. My Custom Tailor maintains the lost art of making custom-made, handmade clothes. Our Master Tailors are classic Bespoke Tailors and are among the most experienced and talented in the world. They adhere to proven design and assembly standards that differentiate their creativity and workmanship from anything available from any other source. My Custom Tailor has evolved with a unique commitment to travel to major cities all over the world to serve their clientele. This allows new clients to experience the unique process of having a Master Tailor or Bespoke Tailor relationship.

Made-to-Measure is not Bespoke

A bespoke suit is made to order without the use of a pre-existing pattern. Made-to-measure alters an existing, standard-sized pattern to fit the customer.  When a client orders a made-to-measure suit, he/she must often schedule multiple fittings to make sure the ongoing adjustments are on the right track. A bespoke pattern is an individually cut pattern which can be kept in a file for use in the future to make additional custom-made suits. Made-to-measure suit designs do incorporate hand-made work, but the work is coming off a standard, mass produced pattern not one unique to the client.

Not all made-to-measure companies apply the same amount of modification to the original pattern. This inconsistency results in made-to-measure suits that have minimal alterations, a process that can miss important elements of the client’s shape. A closure attention to detail and a willingness to make all the alterations necessary to justify the need for shoulder-padding, armhole size, waist accommodation, etc.  These are not subtle design parameters. When all the details of a client’s physique are calibrated as part of the final suit design, you get not only a perfect fit but one that is comfortable and flattering.

Some tailors that earn the right to be called Bespoke Tailors, or just assume the associated accreditation, don’t have the natural instincts or expertise that old-school bespoke tailors possess. So, when they attempt a bespoke design, they require multiple fittings over multiple visits, dramatically increasing the cost to complete the final design. A bad bespoke design will look worse and cost a lot more than an off-the-rack suit from a retail store. It is important to make sure a designated bespoke tailor has the true talent and expertise to claim that distinction.

True Bespoke Tailors, like those that have evolved within My Custom Tailor, work diligently to ensure a precise fit. This is the ultimate test of a bespoke suit whether you are a perfectly shaped man/woman or are someone that has body features that need neutralization or accentuation in attaining a bespoke look. Beyond the inherent skills possessed by a My Custom Tailor Master Tailors, they establish a strong personal dialog regarding the needs and wants of their clients.  They are able to conduct a comprehensive measurements profile and complete the custom-made design without having to engage multiple times with the client.  This ensures a custom-fit that is desired at a much lower price.

Fabrics are the foundation

Fabrics come in many forms and the finest fabrics cost more than ordinary fabrics you typically see in suits from a retail outlet. The quality and workability of a particular fabric contribute to the distinct look and feel of a high-quality bespoke suit or shirt. There is no need to avoid pricier, premium fabrics as they not only look and fit better, but they also last longer, often three times longer that less expensive fabrics. The ideal fabric benefit/price point for you is a detail you will negotiate with your My Custom Tailor Master Tailor.

Fabrics are graded and the best grades are above 100 or 110. Suits are available from grade 80 all the way up to 180. My Custom Tailor Master Tailors has access to a wide range of suit and shirt fabrics, some of which are the best available for suit and shirt making in the world. These fabric evaluation specialists will help you pick a grade that fits your budget and will guide you to understand the benefits associated with specific fabrics. A Master Tailor is agnostic to the type of fabric you choose. He will just want to make sure you get the best possible quality and fit available at your chosen price point.

Visit the My Custom Tailor Website and review the Travelling Master Taylor Roadshow schedule to see when something is scheduled for your city. Make an appointment and start a dialogue with a true Bespoke Tailor. Give him a detailed description of what you want and a budget range you want to stay within. The budget standard should be consistent with what you have been spending on suits you have bought from retail outlets.  Have your measurements taken and documented. Assuming the cost of a custom-made wardrobe is very close to your budget range; think about the advantages of having that same wardrobe made by a My Custom Tailor Bespoke Tailor:

    The clothes will fit perfectly because they are made to your exact specifications

    The fabrics will be the best you can buy for the type of clothes you have specified

    Accessories in the form of linings, buttons, pleats, collars, waist details, cuffs, zippers, etc., will be much better than what you will get from mass merchandized clothes

    The clothes will be designed and assembled by master tailors and cutters, all of which are true artisans with years of experience.

    The quality standards will be the best available

    A single source for all your wardrobe needs

    Your measurements are on file as part of your My Custom Tailor Profile so you can order more custom-made clothes online any time you want to

When you visit a My Custom Tailor USA Roadshow, you will be meeting directly with the person designing and assembling your garment. The person who does the design, guides the fabric cutting, and conducts the needlework workmanship will be working directly for you and working off the measurement profile he creates from measuring you in person.  He incorporates details he has confirmed with you that often include the number of jacket buttons, pocket style, vent options, zipper design, pant pleats, cuffs, interior lining, lapel width, button-stance, gorge height, etc.

Perhaps you own a suit that you consider to be the best quality and fit you have ever owned. Bring it with you to the roadshow event and show it to the tailor as an indication of what you want made or replicated in your next design. He will give you feedback on how he can make the same thing for what you paid for it while adding quality and wear features that will give you greater value. That is also a good way to let the tailor see the kind of fit you desire; again, he can give you what you have or suggest areas of improvement that will give you an even better fit.

Before you attend a roadshow event, visit the My Custom Tailor Website to review the various clothing collectibles that distinguish our portfolio. Also, take a look at the quality standards we adhere to in anything we do. My Custom Tailor is out there and available to help you understand all the advantages of buying custom-made clothing that offer the ultimate in quality and value.

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