Some of you might remember a few weeks ago when I asked, “What is ‘urban chic attire’ supposed to mean anyways?” I really liked a lot of your answers and thought it illustrated my point that it’s a terrible dress code to suggest.
I’ve been giving it some thought and while I have no really problems with turning out wearing something nice, I still really wanted to incorporate some evening wear style. Mostly, I wanted to give myself an excuse to wear my tuxedo again, but also because I just have a distaste for wearing denim to function like this.
I began thinking that perhaps it would be possible to break up the classic tuxedo and find a way to “dress it down” into something that’s not aggressively formal and conservative. Yes, I’m leery, too, of the high-low combinations, but thought it’d be a reason to try something new and interesting.
After some Googling around, I found a post by none other than The Style Blogger, Dan Trepanier, about how to break-up a tuxedo:
"throw the jacket over a dark gingham button-down shirt, neutral trousers and black loafers to create one of my favorite looks for a night out in the city"
I liked this idea a lot, but didn’t want to straight off copy his look. For one, I didn’t have black loafers, only chocolate brown tassels (and using them in this situation was out, given the event was at night and mixing black and brown is a no-go). Secondly, I wasn’t too keen on going neutrals only. It’s summer, I think there should be color involved somehow. Finally, I wanted to make the look more formal than casual. Going tie-less is always awkward for me, so I wasn’t interested in that.
Here’s what I came up with and plan to wear:
A breakdown of each element:
- The jacket: From my vintage midnight blue, mohair tuxedo. It manages to be the centerpiece, yet is restrained back by the rest of the casual elements it’s placed with. I wanted refinement for the evening, this is what brings that to the look.
- The shirt: For color, I felt purple was a go-to choice, since it’s a bit more regal. Also, a default, since it was the only non-button-down collared shirt in gingham I had. The spread collar shirt from Brooks Brothers has a great hue and some summertime playfulness to it.
- The bowtie: I never wear it except with my tuxedo, so it made sense to bring it in here. A bit dandy, but also has a black-on-black paisley design to it that separates it from a traditional, plain black-tie bow.
- The square: Multi-colored purple silk in a TV-fold. I easily could’ve gone with white linen, but I didn’t like contrasting the casualness of linen with the formalness of the tuxedo. Plus, I wanted to really make purple part of the look, not just a color used once, which leads to…
- The socks: Yes, I have purple socks and I’m not afraid to wear them.
- The pants: Are cream colored chinos a bit of a stretch here? I wasn’t sure until I snapped this picture and decided that I’d run with it. While this is kind of what you’d normally wear a business casual office, I felt their slimness fits in and adds to the seasonal appropriateness. If they were radiant white, then I don’t think this would look as good.
- The shoes: Black plain captoes with closed lacing. Another formal element as the base. No brown in town.
So, this is my interpretation of “urban chic attire” — at least for the summer months. I’d be interested to know your thoughts, critiques or personal twists you’d place on the look.
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- slothbearwolf said:urban in menswear for means either shitty ecko streetwear or like ‘black in the city brown in the country’ anglophile suiting. i have no ideawhat chic means for dudes (unless dude is tsb i feel like he loves that word). SOLID semi-formal ish though.
- girouxmcisaak said:Honest to god, that is the outfit I had envisioned for a thing I have to go to Saturday. Except probably blue instead of purple. Down to the shawl tuxedo jacket and bow tie.
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- m0ym0y said:how about brighter socks, less matchy matchy on the purps? other than that, pretty good interpretation of urban chic that works for you!
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