Something Old, Something New

When I began assembling my black-tie wardrobe I was eager to obtain every conceivable variation as quickly as possible.  Each time I discovered a previously unknown sartorial tradition such as proper dress watches or proper braces I felt I had to track them down immediately so they would be on hand for my next outing.   A limited budget made that impossible but after ten years of black-tie outings I have come to appreciate the protracted assembly of my ultimate formal kit.  Enjoying a brand new accessory every time I attend an event is just one more way that formal evenings are made special.

I would encourage those who are just starting out on their formal pursuits to be patient and enjoy every moment of the resplendent journey rather than fixating on getting to the final destination as quickly as possible. (Many would say that approach should apply to life in general.)


  1. Cygnus

    A very good point – thank you for posting it!

    Even after you’ve accrued a whole collection and don’t need a new article/accessory for each event, getting dressed is a walk down memory lane as you recall why you purchased each piece, when you wore it the first time, people you met, etc. Purchasing everything at once really just lumps the ensemble together and robs each piece of its distinctive character.

  2. Jesse MacLeod

    I’ve been doing this since I got into Black Tie, without even realizing it. I just thought it was because I’m still somewhat young (20’s)! But it makes sense, and indeed it does keep things interesting to keep building on the outfit, like a hobby, as that is how I like to see it.

  3. David V

    It’s sad that I have more “correct” variations of Black Tie then opportunities to wear it.

  4. Bruno Gontier

    I fell in love with the wooden clothes valet on the photo (I knew it from the guide). I never found one that perfect; mine does not have the small drawer and space for accessories 🙁


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