A dark blue suit for the evening

Monday, January 11, 2010
At the end of the first decade of the 20th century, a man didn't have to worry much about how he dressed for the evening. In his club, or at an event at which only men were present, Black Tie was acceptable. At almost anything else, only White Tie would do.

One hundred years later, things are not nearly so clear cut. Only the most formal of evening events requires Black Tie and, at most, a suit will suffice. That's fine, but it does make it seem worthwhile having a suit that's a little bit different to everyday office wear for such occasions.

My new purchase for these events is a navy blue self-stripe three-piece. Dark blues are particularly good for an evening event and are, generally speaking, better than black for anything other than a dinner jacket. Having the stripes in the same colour adds texture to the suit without an overly distracting pattern. It's an ideal suit to wear with bright accessories like this beautiful tie and pocket square (both recent gifts from my brother).

Three piece suits have a particular advantage at parties in that wearing a waistcoat means you will continue to look smart even if you remove your tie and/or jacket later on in the evening. Of course, you ought not to, but we all know that after a few hours of dancing, the temptation to remove your jacket often becomes overwhelming, and if you are wearing a waistcoat you will be grateful not to have your smart outfit reduced to a sweaty shirt billowing around your midriff.