What maketh the man

When I relaunched this blog I intended to not just talk about technology and code but also some other interests of mine.

“And now for something completely different…”

This evening I downloaded the new iPad app from luxury online retailer Mr Porter entitled The Tux (warning: 1.4GB download). The app is elegantly put together and features micro video interviews with fashion aficionados, cocktail making lessons with top New York barmen and guides on how to wear a tuxedo in a traditional manner and how to add a modern twist.

Having read through the app I’ve finally made the decision that in the new year I’m going to invest some money in buying a new tuxedo. I bought my current tuxedo about 18 months ago from the UK high street retailer Next as the jacket was the only one that I found (within my budget) with a shawl collar and a comfortable slim fitting cut. This suit is actually my second tuxedo, my first being one I bought reasonably cheaply in a sale from ASOS back in 2009.

I actually get a surprising amount of wear from my current tuxedo as I can count about 8 occasions in the last 12 months which have required black tie attire. The suit was definitely worth the money that I paid, both in terms of the upfront cost and the minor adjustments I had to it at the tailors.

So what do I want from a new tuxedo? Anyone who knows me personally is aware that I have a ridiculously large amount of clothes and they wouldn’t be surprised to hear that I’ve already put a fair bit of thought into this.

First of all I’m fairly pale skinned with dirty-blonde hair and I think that I should avoid a black suit going forward. Midnight to navy blue is the obvious choice as I’ve yet to see anyone pull off a burgundy or grey tuxedo well.

Second I do like shawl collars. Fewer men wear shawl collar jackets, opting for peak or notch lapels and I like to have something a bit different. I love Tom Ford’s oversized lapels on his suits, especially the grosgrain shawl lapels on his AW12 mens collection.

Next I want a new dress shirt. I like dress shirts that have a ribbed bib, I already have a nice one from the Jil Sander x Uniqlo collection, but I’ve always wanted one with cufflinks. I also don’t like black buttons, preferring hidden or white buttons.

Finally, I’d like to experiment with some accessories, and I’m inspired by items such as this buttonhole by Lanvin and these gorgeous slippers by Jimmy Choo or these loafers by ASOS.

Whilst I certainly can’t afford (at the moment…he says longingly) a Tom Ford or Burberry tuxedo I will hopefully come across something in the new year that I can invest in, either from a high end high street retailer or a boutique vintage shop.

Whilst digging around for inspiration for this post I came across this fantastic quote which I’ve heard before but didn’t know who said it:

What is it about wearing a tuxedo or that little black dress, that makes us feel confident, beautiful, splendid, even invincible?

We put on formal wear and suddenly we become extraordinary.

On the days when you feel low and invisible, why not try this on for size: imagine you are wearing a fantastic tailored tuxedo or a stunning formal gown.

And then proceed with your day.

- Vera Nazarian