For the past 3 years, I’ve worn a tuxedo on New Years. I’d like to say that December 31, 2016 was no different, but the truth is that I’m wearing a sweater and jeans as I write this. However, I was able to wear my black tie ensemble to a NYE Eve (December 30th) party at the Cicada Club in Downtown Los Angeles! There was dancing, drinks, and a myriad of well dressed people ranging from vintage enthusiasts, swing dancers, and Hollywood types. Here’s what we wore to the event! You could also consider this a post on how to do black tie correctly!
There’s nothing more cool than a classic tuxedo. What else would you wear to NYE? Now, most people today get black tie wrong, so I’m happy to show you what it looks like when done right! Note how great everything fits, with a structured shoulder and generous waist suppression; such were the qualities of 1930’s tailoring. This model is one of the seldom seen DB versions, featuring a 4×1 closure. It gives you an old school vibe that fits perfectly with my personal style!
There are a bunch of subtle details that go into having an accurate black tie ensemble. One detail is to ensure that your bowtie matches the lapels. My lapels are grosgrain (a diagonal twill), which is much different than the smooth and plain texture of satin. As a result, my bowtie is also grosgrain!
Additionally, you should be wearing a tuxedo shirt, which is different than a normal dress shirt. One difference is that a tux shirt has studs instead of buttons, which gives you an opportunity to find a cool vintage set like I did! Black is traditional, but you can go pearl as well! Tux shirts can also be flat front, pleated, or pique with the latter two featured as a bib. Its hard to tell, but my shirt is a pleated bib front!
The last time I wore this tux, I wasn’t in correct black tie because I was wearing a regular spread collar dress shirt. I found vintage studs and cufflinks at my favorite west LA vintage shop Paper Moon Vintage, but I was lacking a shirt for these pieces. Luckily for me, Reese’s Vintage Pieces came through and I was able to get this true vintage tux shirt only three days before this event! I was finally able to have a full black tie outfit for a New Years Eve
1930’s tuxedo, 1950’s pleated bib front tux shirt,
Spencer also owns a 1930’s DB tux (which he wore to his father’s wedding) but this time he decided to go with evening wear instead of going black tie. He still wears tuxedo trousers but dons a fantastic 1950’s red paisley dinner jacket. Just like mine, his jacket fits extremely well, which is the key to wearing tuxedos and suits. Fit alone will set you apart, but Spencer definitely was the star of the evening thanks to his gorgeous jacket.
Spencer’s jacket has smooth satin lapels (in contrast to my ribbed grosgrain) which is used for guidance on his bowtie choice. Don’t worry, its a satin bowtie! This subtle detail may not be noticed by everyone, but at least you’ll be confident that you’re doing a correct evening ensemble.
You might have to look under Spencer’s right lapel, but notice the texture of his shirt. Unlike my pleated front, Spencer opts for the pique texture. I honestly prefer that style and I’d love to find a vintage one in my size!
Don’t forget your cummerbund! This piece is essential if you are wearing a single breasted tuxedo or dinner jacket. It has its roots in catching crumbs and holding theater tickets, but today it used to ensure that your shirt doesn’t peak out from under your jacket button. It’s not necessary for double breasted jackets since they are meant to be fastened all the time, but they are a must for single closure ones like the one Spencer is wearing.
1950’s red paisely dinner jacket, pique tuxedo shirt from Joseph Abboud, modern tuxedo trousers and cummerbund
Blake was working this evening, so he wasn’t able to wear evening wear like Spencer and me. However, he still looks fantastic and tailored in his 1937 belt back suit! We’ve seen him wear it at Benny’s Christmas party. It was a cold evening, so he adds a bit of flair to his double breasted suit with a 1930’s soft felt fedora and a cream silk scarf. It may not be a tuxedo, but he looks as elegant as ever.
1937 DB suit, 1930’s grey fedora, vintage silk scarf, custom spearpoint shirt from Natty Shirts
It may not be what we wore on December 31st, but at least we were able to celebrate the New Year in style, just a day early! I’m honestly very proud of our ensembles. We don’t get many occasions to wear evening wear, and I’m glad I was able to finally put together an actual black tie ensemble for this event! 2016 definitely had its ups and downs in my personal life, but I think this has been the greatest year for the blog yet! I can’t wait to see what I’ll get to photograph and write about in 2017!
I hope you all had a great New Year’s Eve, whether you’re in black tie, sweater and jeans (me as I write this), or pajamas! Just make sure that you’re stylin’!
Always a pleasure,
Street x Sprezza
Photography by Ethan W. and Spencer O.