Ambassadors of Black Tie


(Courtesy of Patrick Harris)

I often receive e-mail from readers filled with gratitude for The Black Tie Guide’s role in introducing them to the timeless pleasure of conventional black tie.  I like to point out to them that I am equally grateful for the role they are now playing as black-tie ambassadors to the world at large.   While the Guide itself may influence thousands of people each year its audience is exclusively those who already had a desire for proper instruction.  The people influenced by the Guide’s fans, on the other hand, are the misinformed and the oblivious that populate the world at large.  Its much akin to spreading the black-tie gospel among sartorial heathens. Every time a black-tie aficionado arrives at a swank gala or formal cruise night properly dressed he manifests the tuxedo’s awesome potential.  Fellow guests who figured they could get by with an poorly fitted or styled rental, clownish accessories or a simple business suit are brought face to face with incontrovertible proof of just how wrong they are.

It’s particularly rewarding to hear from young aficionados because the future of the tradition lies with their generation.  The following is a perfect example of one such young man, pictured above:

My name is Patrick Harris, and I’m a third-year student at Trinity College in the University of Toronto. I’m writing this message as a thank-you for the guidance that The Black Tie Guide has given me over the past few years. Since my first year I’ve worn a tuxedo annually at our winter ball and intermittently as a member of a private society on campus. As an undergraduate at the only school in Toronto where (to my knowledge) the tuxedo makes a regular appearance, your insight and knowledge have proven to be of great use in assembling evening attire. I don’t think I can stress enough the confidence and comfort I feel amongst my peers when getting dressed up, thanks in no small part due to The Black Tie Guide.

I’m only beginning to assemble a formal wardrobe; nonetheless I’m very happy with what I have and look forward to many years of black tie to come! Keep up the amazing work!

You’re welcome, Patrick.  And thank you.


  1. Jesse MacLeod

    As someone just getting into their mid-20’s, I’m always impressed when I learn of others my age who are aware of, and enthusiastic about black tie. Good to see someone even younger than myself getting into it!

    I’m in Ottawa at the moment for a post graduate certificate at Algonquin College, and found my dream Tuxedo at a vintage shop, midnight blue shawl collar, single breasted, made in Denmark of all places (I now have two although the first one was straight black and doesn’t fit quite as well). I wore it to a showing of the Oscars at the Mayfair Theatre and some of the responses were interesting. I heard a group of guys my age commenting on how they plan on wearing a Tuxedo next year. It felt good being an inspiration. At my age/income bracket I have to get a bit creative in finding events to wear my black tie ensemble to, so it’s somewhat relieving to get all positive responses from people.

    1. jovantheun1337

      Jesse, as a fellow guy in his mid-20s I have to say that’s awesome! By dressing well (and appropriate for the occasion) I’ve inspired a few of my friends to buy suits and get them properly sized. Not quite black tie yet, but we’ll yet see. It does indeed feel great inspiring others.

      I plan to get a shawl collar dinner suit from Black Lapel one of these days. Their “navy” should at least be called dark navy if not just midnight blue — at night it’s indistinguishable from black.

  2. Hal

    One of the things I enjoyed at university were the excuses to get dressed up and party – and that included dinner jackets. I am not the only guy I know to believe that the thing I really learnt at my university was how to tie a bow tie.

    I’d certainly have appreciated having the Black Tie Guide, however, and hope that today’s students make good use of it.


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