Review: GQ’s “The New Rules of Black Tie”

(“GQ” | Alfred Dunhill)

In direct opposition to its title, GQ’s latest guide to Black Tie etiquette is one of the most conservative interpretations in the periodical’s history.  This time around the magazine best known for slavishly promoting the latest fashion fads has sought advice from a source epitomizing conventional style: Alfred Dunhill, an established English retailer of men’s luxury goods and apparel. The result reads like a virtual synopsis of The Black Tie Guide’s protocols for – and endorsement of – classic Black Tie. Indeed, the only discrepancies I could find were more an indicator of cultural preference than fundamental contradiction:

  • the endorsement of the formal silk scarf worn indoors (a very English affectation)
  • the preference for silk pocket squares over linen (surprising considering that English sartorialists typically spurn flashier interpretations of evening wear)
  • the rejection of the white dinner jacket (it’s hard to justify in the UK’s temperate climate)

Probably my favourite part of the article is the Dunhill representative’s incentive for executing Black Tie properly: “When everyone looks the same, you can always notice when someone has done it properly and someone hasn’t.”



October 31, 2012

Turns out this is not actually a revolutionary change of direction for GQ as I just realized the article comes from the magazine’s British edition.  Pity.


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