Why we love the dinner suit
Everyman looks good in it. It’s best of course if it is made to your body shape, but the clean lines nod to some serious elegance and make us go weak at the knees…..
From the dinner suit’s debut in the late 1800s, it has cemented itself as the classic black tie look. Today we associate this dapper attire with a very well-known English gentleman of the silver screen: 007. Yes, from Sean Connery to Daniel Craig, each actor who has donned the dinner suit has helped to make it unquestionably Bond’s most iconic look.
Of course, wearing it on the right occasion is of the utmost importance. It is definitely considered too dressy for casual wear, and is certainly not advised for the office! If we again turn to the man himself, Mr Bond is seen on many occasions sporting the look at fancy dinner parties, but any formal evening occasion is acceptable.
Originally in the 1930s, the jacket would be white to suit dressing formally for occasions in a warmer climate (read: anywhere than the dreary England!). While originally an alternative colour, over the years black has become the most widely acceptable choice for any season.
You’re convinced. So here’s how to get this iconic wardrobe staple right.
The moment any gent wears a dinner suit they feel like James Bond, (cue Charlie’s Angels-esque posing) so with such a name to live up to it is essential to get it right. Even the lapel is key: shawl or peak are the most common but never the notch. The fundamental idea is to achieve a V-shaped torso line when the jacket is buttoned which is flattering for any shape and is most commonly achieved with a peak lapel.
Double or single breasted jackets are acceptable, however, a single breast is more common today. Be wary when wearing a double-breasted jacket: I advise that they stay buttoned otherwise the fabric can drape terribly.
It is often said that a dinner suit jacket shouldn’t be black but more a midnight blue. This type of deep blue can look blacker than black itself and in low light has a richness to it that black doesn’t achieve. As a result, a midnight blue has become extensively more popular than the black.
Yes, even a dinner suit requires accessories – but only for that added touch of class. Cummerbunds sadly have fallen out of favour, but other accessories such as braces can still add that understated dapper effect. The traditional shoe choice of pumps with a satin or silk bow still remains the go-to, but for a more modern look, a well-shined pair of patent black leather shoes will do just fine. Last but by no means least, add a pocket square. For a classic finish, it should be silk and coordinate with the rest of the outfit.
So with that gentlemen, here at Alexandra Wood we hope you order those Martinis in suave style, and remember: shaken not stirred.
Written by Amber Flint.
Want to try your hand at looking like Bond or better? Enquire via email@example.com