WIWT: 07-31-2012 — Off to a fundraiser dinner tonight at a place that’s not quite formal enough for a suit. A navy blazer seems to fit this kind of situation: not too formal, not too casual. Blazers work well for those kind of situations, especially evenings and dinner.
Keeping with the idea, a spread collar shirt with a slight white pinstripe pattern on a sky blue linen-cotton fabric. I typically think white works best for evenings, but I didn’t want to go too formal. The placket front and chest pocket also keep it in the “between” category for dress shirts.
The necktie is a navy grenadine garza grossa weave. I picked the grossa over the fina weave because I wanted some textural contrast between the shirt, jacket and tie. The jacket has a very open weave, somewhat similar to the fina grenadine. So, I went with the grossa for its depth and larger textural pattern.
The shirt and tie together (light blue, navy) form the so-called “Italian background” that’s moderately conservative, but adding the white stripes on the shirt and a larger texture to the tie makes the combination more casual. If you want to take a more formal combination and make it more casual, just add a bit of pattern and texture.
I picked grey tropical wool trousers because it was the evening. Had this been during the day, I would’ve gone with stone or tan cotton trousers instead. The sheen from the wool trousers works better under artificial light and at night. It also is more appropriate for formality reasons.
Like the trousers, I picked black shortwings based on both formality and time of day. The broguing and blucher-style prevents these from being overly formal (I wouldn’t wear these with a suit), but they work well for evenings paired with a blazer. Unseen is a black leather belt on a sterling silver slide buckle.
The one thing I’d stress here is keeping the elements within the same level of formality, which is something I’ve been trying to do more often. I tried to not wear things that were either too casual or too formal. I also tried to push this outfit toward the conservative end of the spectrum rather than add a “peacock” element because of the situation.