The holiday season calls for special sartorial measures - a little fresh-up for everyone who doesn't just want to stand on the sidelines at a big party, but rather dance in the eye of the storm.
Do you want to go to the party? Yeah! Us too. But wait, wait, not so fast, first a few basics. In connection with clothing for festive moments - such as the annual business dinner, weddings, Christmas or New Year - there are a few standards to be established regarding dress codes.
WHITE TIE: No white tie please, okay? The only option here is the tailcoat with long tails, made to measure, with a stand-up collar shirt, stiff pique chest, white bow tie and patent leather pumps - hardly any of us will ever need or own that because it is only used for big balls or Nobel Prize ceremonies. So straight to BLACK TIE: Dark tuxedo, white shirt with double cuffs and concealed button placket, black (self-tied) bow tie, trousers with silk stripes, shiny black shoes. That's what the classics want, but you can vary it - more on that in a moment. DARK SUIT: Dark suit, preferably with a tie, but also works “net” (without a tie) or with a turtleneck, elegant shoes. DINNER JACKET: White tuxedo jacket, dark trousers, best on the cruise ship and only during the day.
Pretty complicated? That's what it sounds like - but it's not like that anymore. Everything has softened and mixed. The old dress codes are actually just staffage and decor, like in an old theater - on whose floor young wild people are performing a new play. This is where jeans or a pair of sneakers come into play. – We are largely free today. So free to interpret things as you wish. Today you can also go to a black tie event in a leather jacket. But of course it's nicer if you show a little respect for tradition.
What you really need: a tuxedo (black tie). Best made to measure, because the things off the shelf look like a Dacia Duster next to an Aston Martin DB7. Both get you to the finish line, but they're not the same amount of fun. Typically, tuxedos are made of the finest wool, but today they are also available in buttery velvet, checked... or even light bamboo fabrics if the party gets really hot. Today, a tuxedo doesn't necessarily have to be black: midnight blue, dark green or blood red are also nice. Single-breasted, double-breasted, with a shawl collar or peak lapel – it’s up to you.
Think about the details! As an option, we offer the sexy James Bond cuffs with a silk cuff, matching the lapel... together with open kissing buttons, a pleasure for anyone who knows the subtle differences. It would also be nice to combine the tuxedo with a formal shirt - the otherwise universal white Oxford sports shirt doesn't work with this for once. The finest cotton with double cuffs and an extra-long, double chest section is better. Add a nice, not too flimsy, self-tied bow tie, perhaps even with a matching cummerbund – now get the party started.
Stop! One more thing: think about the shoes. In such cases, they are the ones who make the difference between a costumed parvenu and a casually dressed connoisseur. Our consultants will be happy to help you make the right decisions in this regard. Now come on, hop hop, your guests are already waiting!
Jeroen van Rooijen is a style critic and columnist, writes for international newspapers and magazines and was co-founder of the Alferano concept store in Zurich in 2015.
Stop at Alferano before the party? Good idea. Our consultants have a bouquet of holiday suggestions for you. Either directly in your office, at home, in one of our showrooms or in our shop on Talstrasse in Zurich. Call us or arrange a non-binding appointment online .