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A Gentleman’s Guide to Black Tie Formalwear

New York's Mohan's Custom Tailors, a premier bespoke menswear designer and tailor since 1972, offers tips for how to look for precisely what you need when shopping for formalwear for your next black tie event.

A Guide to Black Tie Formalwear

Heading to a dressy event? Make sure you have the right tuxedo and accessories to make your outfit really pop. New York’s Mohan’s Custom Tailors, a premier bespoke menswear designer and tailor since 1972, offers tips for how to look for precisely what you need when shopping for formalwear for your next black tie event.

Choose the Right Tuxedo

Tuxedo jackets are the crux of the entire black tie ensemble. The classic tuxedo jacket comes in several different styles. The first major choice you’ll make is whether you want a peaked lapel or shawl collar. Peaked lapels on a tuxedo are considered more classic, while while shawl collars are typically found on more modern tuxedos. You’ll also choose from single- or double-breasted jackets, the facing of the lapels and the placement and number of vents. Working with a custom tailor can help you get the right components for this formalwear cornerstone.

Tuxedo Trousers

Tuxedo trousers are some of the most straightforward suit pants that you can find. Tuxedo trousers should be made at the same time, and by the same designer and tailor, as your custom tuxedo jacket to account for differences in fabric and color. Tuxedo pants also typically contain a strip of fabric down the legs that match the fabric of your lapel. Unlike modern-cut suit trousers, tuxedo trousers tend to be high-waisted and are worn with suspenders. You should never wear a belt with your tuxedo trousers.

Tuxedo Shirts

Formal shirts are typically plain white and feature several unique features. First is the bosom (sometimes called the “dickey”), which is the rectangular panel at the front of the shirt. Bosoms come in a few different styles, including pleated and pique. Tuxedo shirts also have studs instead of buttons and should be worn with cufflinks.

The Bow Tie

Finally, the black bow tie, the namesake of your formal outfit. Bow ties can be worn in a number of styles, ranging from the classic butterfly to the more reserved “straight end” style. When choosing a style for your outfit, consider the size of your tie and the spread of your collar.

Make an Appointment with Mohan’s Custom Tailors

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Please make an appointment with Mohan’s Custom Tailors for the ultimate level of bespoke consultation, design and fitting. We are conveniently located in a landmark New York building, across the street from the legendary Manhattan landmark, Grand Central Station. You may contact us by phone at (212) 697-0050, or by completing the brief form on the “Book an Appointment” page of our website.