Review: Sharp Magazine’s Book for Men Fall/Winter 2011

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On the heels of Esquire‘s online guide to black tie comes more encouraging news for tuxedo tradition.

Sharp magazine’s The Book for Men is the Canadian equivalent of Esquire‘s Big Black Book and the Fall/Winter 2011 edition contains some relatively sound advice on evening wear.  Their “Definitive Rules of Black Tie” pictorial shows a “classic” and “modern” option for today’s man, both of which include black tuxedos, white turndown-collar shirts, black ties and neatly folded white pocket squares.  The depicted classic jacket is a double-breasted peaked lapel model while the modern version is a single-breasted, two-button notch lapel.  The contemporary outfit is presented with a four-in-hand tie which is typical of the millennial tuxedo-cum-business-suit look although the accompanying text makes it clear that “a silk bow tie can’t be beat”.

There are some errors in the article but most are relatively inconsequential. It states that a wing-collared shirt should “always” be worn (which flies in the face of the illustrations), trousers don’t need to be striped (this would actually make them dress pants, not tuxedo pants) and a single-breasted jacket is more formal than a double-breasted (this is the rule for regular suit jackets but is reversed for tuxedo jackets).

The only advice that would result in a true sartorial gaffe is the claim that tuxedos are traditionally navy blue. I am going to give the authors the benefit of the doubt and presume they meant to say “midnight blue”.

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