Jos. A. Bank is offering 50% off all merchandise purchased online until March 4. Even better, selected items are discounted by up to 70% including numerous styles of tuxedos and formal accessories.
I’m taking advantage of this opportunity to finally purchase a white dinner jacket. (Even with shipping to Canada and duty and taxes, the total comes out to only $200.) I’ve been really happy with the Signature peak lapel tuxedo I bought from them previously so I expect that the quality and fit of this jacket will be just as good. The only drawback is the jacket’s centre vent but that can easily be closed by a local tailor.
Also noteworthy is that fact that JAB has brought back their plaid dinner jackets, albeit with a twist. When I first created The Black Tie Guide back in 2006 I used some found images of the haberdasher’s smart Red Stewart and Blackwatch wool cashmere jackets with black grosgrain shawl collars. Many readers inquired about how they could purchase these models one but unfortunately they were no longer available for sale by that time.
Now the jackets have returned but in a less elegant incarnation, likely a victim of cost cutting. The fabric has been downgraded to superfine wool and the shawl collar has been replaced with satin notched lapels. It’s still a tempting offer though, considering that such jackets are only intended for less formal occasions and that they are currently on sale at half price.
Postscript: Not Such a Bargain
March 13, 2012
The jacket arrived yesterday and I want to note one very important caveat for anyone else considering a Jos. A Bank tuxedo jacket: They’re huge. I’m talking 1980s huge with boxy cut, extended length and linebacker shoulders (or for sci-fi fans, Romulan shoulders).
Some of these things I should have noticed when trying on my partner’s JAB tuxedo jacket as a reference, while others were deceptively minimized by the jacket’s black colour. For my part, I should have realized how baggy the fit was and ordered one size smaller. (If I had asked my partner to check how it fit me in the back it would have been especially apparent it was too large, even though it was my usual jacket size.) But even if I had done so the overall cut would still have been a baggy one requiring not just the waist to be taken in (as is standard for relatively fit men with most off-the-rack suits) but also the sleeves. And while the extended shoulders are passable on a black jacket in a dark setting and the long length isn’t particularly noticeable against matching trousers, the high contrast of a white jacket in these same conditions exaggerates these already exaggerated features. The visual result is disproportionately wide shoulders and a long waist / short legs.
Despite all this, I’ve been dying for a white dinner jacket for years and this one is not only a perfect off-white but also an amazing deal for 100% wool. Furthermore, I don’t want the hassle and additional shipping costs that would be involved in returning the jacket. So I visited my neighbourhood tailor today to find out the cost of correcting the flaws. Not surprisingly he will essentially have to rebuild the coat and the resulting expense means the overall cost of the jacket is approaching its regular retail price. However I take solace in the fact that unlike a full-price version of the jacket, the one I end up with will be smartly styled and perfectly fitted.
The jacket will be ready sometime in April (after an interim fitting later this month) and I’ll report back then with the results.
March 19, 2012
One more thing for potential buyers: be aware that the actual shawl shape (shown in my photo above) is not the same as the advertised shawl shape (shown below).
The advertised shape is much more typical for a shawl collar and much more flattering as it tapers towards the waist suggesting a V-shaped torso. Yet another correction to add to my tailor’s already long list.
The Final Results
May 6, 2012
See the results of the alterations in my May 6 post.