Is it just me that’s stood in front of a mirror before a black tie dinner, raised an eyebrow and in a shocking Scottish accent uttered the immortal words, “..the name’s Bond. James Bond.”
Tonight I am attending an awards dinner as I have been included in the “42 under 42” run by Insider Magazine – more than enough excuse to treat myself to a new dinner suit.
It’s a cheeky single breasted number with peak lapels in ribbed silk and for the ‘scaramoosh’ factor I’ve gone for a marcella waistcoat with a black silk back. The cloth is a Venitian weave from Edwin Woodhouse which provides a wonderful sheen and whilst it is very fitted, I’ve added a little more drape across the chest to accommodate my Walther PPK.
Next on the list was a quick call to Mark Hill, Sales Manager at Aston Martin JCT600 in Leeds and one Vanquish S later, my 007 fantasy was complete. Tim (who took the piccie) enthused about it’s weight distribution, the 6.0 litre V12 engine developing 520 horsepower and a maximum speed in excess of 200 mph, but as I’m no petrol head it went in one ear and out of the other. To me, it just looks like the DB (the dog’s bollux) and when I pushed the button to start the engine, the sound made my testicles tingle.
So. Threads – check. Wheels – check. All that is required is some arm candy and as you can see below, I’ve got my own version of Pussy Galore.
Introducing (from left to right) Anne, Sue, Helen, Diane, Sue, Janet and Sarah. These ladies know more about the inside of a pair of Men’s trousers than most and believe me when I say it takes a brave man to come into their domain asking to take pictures! They are all great fun, put up with my last minute requests and are the reason why my client’s trousers look so good. Honey Ryder wishes she has made so many men so happy.
Anyway, enough rambling and back to the dinner suit, or as Americans call it the “Tuxedo.” Our friends over the pond claim they invented it and that one was first worn by a Mr. Griswold Lorillard, however, Henry Poole & Co claim they made a short smoking jacket for the Price of Wales. Legend has it that a wealthy New Yorker was invited to dinner by the Prince, asked him the dress code, was recommended to go to Savile Row for such a garment and when he got back to the Tuxedo Park Club in the States, wore it to many ooh’s and aah’s and the rest is history.
Who cares who invented it? The bottom line is that, white tie and tails aside, it is the single most elegant outfit in a man’s wardrobe. It can be single or double breasted and the rules say it’s supposed to have no vents. As you now know the rules, break them because side vents mean you can (shock horror) put your hand in your pocket without the jacket flying towards your arm pit and are ultimately more flattering on the seat.
The advice I offer is only wear a white jacket at outdoor events in the summer, bow-ties should be black and tied by yourself, pop a white hanky in your pocket and wear a highly polished pair of patent shoes. Whilst cummerbunds and wing collars add a little variety, I would say don’t bother and keep it very simple.
And finally a little gem for you – when that gorgeous girl comes up to you and asks your name, here’s what you say…