White Tie DO’s & DON’Ts – Tailcoat & Full Fig Dress Code Guide

White Tie DO’s & DON’Ts – Tailcoat & Full Fig Dress Code Guide


Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette! Today’s video is all about; youwhite tie. I discuss the do’s and don’ts, what to wear,
what not to wear, so you don’t embarrass yourself and can look the part. White tie is the most formal dress code you
can wear in the western hemisphere, and unfortunately, most men get it wrong, and the intention is
all about the details because the outfit is very defined by the dress code of it and it’s
very limited in what you can do and change. First of all, it consists of a tailcoat which
I’m wearing here right now, it’s different than any other garment even a morning coat
is technically a tailcoat but the evening tailcoat is cut differently. It also has a pair of trousers with double
galon; it’s high waisted. It’s one with a white Marcella cotton waistcoat,
either single breasted or double breasted. It’s one with a stiff front shirt and with
shirt cuffs that are stiff and not doubled but single. Of course, always worn with cufflinks. On top of that, you have a detachable collar,
you have a white bow tie, in this case, I’m wearing a single end bow tie from Fort Belvedere,
and of course, you can’t miss the top hat. This is silk top hat, and it’s vintage, it’s
not produced anymore so you can’t get this kind of quality top hat. Of course, if you are not into the top hat,
you can skip that too because at this day and age, it’s not required any more but it’s
a nice touch, and there are not too many events where you can still wear it. First, let’s discuss white tie don’ts. One, don’t wear slippers. Now, they may look very similar to opera pumps
also known as court shoes, and they have this bow, they’re made out of a patent leather. The difference between slippers and opera
pumps is the vamp. On slippers, it comes up all the way. On the pump, it’s much further down. The reason you want opera pumps with a deep
cut is so that you can see your nice silk socks. Two, do not wear an obviously fake boutonniere. A boutonniere is a lapel flower, and it’s
almost obligatory for a white tie ensemble. You can get away without it, but since it’s
a celebratory event, it really looks much better. Traditionally, a carnation is probably the
most popular choice, but you can wear almost anything that you like. Whenever I went on cruises in a more formal
evening wear, I wanted to wear boutonnieres on the ship that did not have the right selection,
and so I decided to design my own. You can find over 40 of them in our shop,
and I’m wearing one of them here right now. They look very authentic, and the great thing
is they will never wilt, they are all handmade in Germany, and you can find out more about
the whole process here. Three, do not wear a necktie. A necktie is only appropriate for a business
suit but never for either black tie or white tie ensembles. You will sometimes see it in Hollywood but
they just don’t know what they’re doing, and you should never ever add a regular necktie
to a tailcoat or white tie ensemble. Four, don’t wear a regular suit. If the invitation states full fig, white tie,
or formal attire, and white tie is required, you need a tailcoat. Don’t just go with a black suit and a regular
jacket or a morning coat; both would be wrong. The tailcoat for the evening is the only acceptable
option. Five, do not wear a white or off white dinner
jacket. A dinner jacket is appropriate for black tie
events with a black bow tie wherein a white bow tie with a dinner jacket is simply wrong. Six, do not wear a regular tuxedo if the invitation
states white tie. Simply either invest in a full ensemble which
can be difficult may be even rent it. If the invitation states white tie and you
are at the opera ball in Vienna, you have to show up in full fig which means no smoking
jacket, no tuxedo, no dinner jacket, no black tie, it has to be white tie. Seven, do not wear spats with evening wear. Sometimes, vintage lovers love to wear spats
because they’re different. It helps to change the look of their shoes,
but traditionally, it was something that was reserved for morning wear. As such, it’s perfectly fine with a morning
coat but not with an evening tailcoat. Eight, do not wear black shirts. The only acceptable shirt for a white tie
ensemble is either a Marcella pique front that is stiff or a boil front that is likewise
stiff. You don’t want pleats and you don’t want anything
other than plain white. Nine, do not wear a designer’s name or label
visibly on your clothing. Sometimes, people get these little tags on
the undersleeve, and they want to show off but it’s quite gaudy, and you should always
remove it if it’s on the sleeve. You don’t want any designer names that are
visible for anyone to see. Ten, do not wear wrist watches with white
tie.Back in the day, it was impolite to look at your watch when in company because it would
imply you have better things to do than being with the person right then and there. Later on, watches became acceptable however,
you would either wear a pocket watch on a chain or on a which was a little fob, and
you would have your pocket watch in your waistcoat pocket, and the fob would hang down in a little
decorative element. A wristwatch was something that was quite
informal, and as such, it’s not appropriate with a very formal white tie ensemble. Eleven, do not wear a studless shirt and don’t
skip the bow tie.As you can see here, the shirt is stiff fronted and has a little decorative
studs that are exchangeable, and it just is the perfect way to highlight a white tie ensemble. For black tie, you have the option to go without
studs even though it looks better with them.For white tie, you have to go with studs. There is no alternative. Twelve, do not wear a morning coat. Even though a morning coat is also a tail
coat and sometimes, people can’t distinguish between the two, a morning coat has one continuous
line that is cut away. Thirteen, do not wear a cummerbund with a
white tie ensemble. Cummerbunds are not appropriate with white
tie. They are okay for black tie but for white
tie, you always wear a waistcoat or a vest as it’s known to Americans. Back in the day, servers would wear black
waistcoats, and the nonservants would wear white waistcoats. back in the day, if you went to a funeral
in the evening, you could wear a tailcoat with a black morning waistcoat. Today, people hardly ever wear white tie anymore
and especially not for funerals, so it’s basically a relic of the past. Fourteen, do not wear notched lapels on your
evening tailcoat. Notched lapels are always less formal than
peaked lapels and because it’s the most formal garment in classic menswear, you could only
have peaked lapels. Fifteen, make sure your shirt does not come
untucked with your white tie ensemble. Unlike a regular suit, white tie generally
has a lot more details and therefore you also find lots more latches and buttons that make
sure everything stays in place. The stiff shirt front makes it more likely
for your shirt to come untucked especially when you sit and you get back up. For that reason, there’s a little latch that
buttons into the front of your trousers, so you will always stay in place. Sixteen, do not wear waistcoats that are too
long. Generally, it’s a hallmark of someone who
doesn’t wear black tie very often to have a waistcoat that peaks out underneath the
front of the evening tailcoat. Proper people like Prince Philip r royalty
in England gets that right. People like Geroge Bush or Obama get it wrong. Having that little extra fabric just screams
I don’t know what I’m doing and I’m just wearing this because I have to. So now that you know what not to wear with
white tie, here are a few better examples. One, do wear a pocketwatch. It’s a nice accessory, it has a vintage touch
to it, and it’s just much more fun than having a wristwatch. Two, do show some shirt cuff. Traditionally, you can show anywhere from
nothing to almost an inch of shirt cuff. It really depends on personal preference and
to learn more about it, check out our sleeve length guide here. Three, wear boutonniere and a top hat. Boutonnieres just upgrade every outfit and
particularly white tie. A top hat can only be worn with a tailcoat
that is long because it’s long on top and long at the bottom. Since there are not too many options, I suggest
you always go for one if you can get your hands on one that fits you. Four, wear your white tie ensemble with confidence. If you are not happy with the way you look
and you are embarrassed, it will show and it will ruin the entire look of your ensemble. Wear it, have fun, and be confident. Five, wear an evening overcoat and pair it
with gloves and a nice silk scarf in the winter. When it’s cold outside, you don’t just want
to show up in your tailcoat, you want to have an evening overcoat. A pair of white gloves and a white silk scarf
just round out the entire outfit and underline the black and white scheme of the white tie. For a selection of white gloves and scarves
for the evening, please check out our shop. Six, wear an evening waistcoat. Most waistcoats you can find these days are
just wide waistcoats that are modified for the standard day wear pattern, however, an
evening waistcoat is distinctly different in the sense that it has a much deeper cut
out so you can show your shirt front and the shirt studs. On top of that, it has a little tab that buttons
into your trousers so it won’t come loose and it is backless so you don’t swear. Seven, wear patent leather evening shoes. The only option you have is either a whole
cut oxford or a capless oxford in either black patent leather or black calf skin leather. Personally, I prefer patent leather because
it’s shinier and more suited to evening wear. If you want to make your outfit more unique,
I suggest to go with court shoes or opera pumps because there is not really another
chance to wear these kinds of shoes other than with white tie or maybe with black tie
but they highlight your socks, they are easy to dance with, and they just go really well
with a white tie ensemble. Now that you know everything about the most
formal of all evening wears and white tie, make sure to check out black tie because,
in this day and age, black tie is still a lot more relevant. I’m wearing a white tie evening shirt with
a detachable wing collar that sits behind my bow tie. I’m having shirt studs in there. I’m wearing a single breasted white tie waistcoat,
it’s a vintage one and it’s backless. I’m wearing cuff links that are mother of
pearl and palladium simply because of for evening wear; you usually go with a white
metal such as white gold, platinum, or palladium. My shoes are opera pumps in patent leather
with a black bow. The bow tie I’m wearing is a single end bow
tie from Fort Belvedere, it’s the regular full sized butterfly bow tie. If you like smaller ones or if you are a shorter
guy, you should go with the smaller bow tie. This one is a little more unique because it
has one layer of fabric. You can also have a regular double end bow
tie and we show you how to tie both of them in our video here. Otherwise, my pants have a very high rise,
that way, the waistcoat does not have to come too far down to cover the waistband and thus,
it does not peek out from underneath my tailcoat which is exactly the way it should be. For socks, I’m wearing black silk socks from
Fort Belvedere which you can find in our shop, and the pants have a double side galon that
is braided which is very elegant and distinctly reserved for white tie. For black tie, you can have a single side
strip which is also known as gallon. The tailcoat and the pants are vintage from
the 1960s. The tailcoat was actually not made for me,
but it is a vintage piece that was tailored in 1960 in Munich Germany. I wore it for my wedding and whenever there
is a white tie event, I still take it out because I really enjoy wearing it and it fits
me quite well. Now, if you are in the market for a white
tie ensemble, i suggest you have it custom made. If you can’t afford it, try to go vintage
because any new reproductions are not going to cut it. if you want to get videos like this right
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100 Replies to “White Tie DO’s & DON’Ts – Tailcoat & Full Fig Dress Code Guide”

  1. Unless I was at gunpoint, I would never wear those shoes with the big bow on them. Looks like something better suited for a 5 year old girl.

  2. Wish you mentioned a cloak as a suitable replacement for the topcoat here, as its really the only chance a man has to wear a cloak these days.

  3. I study at a University where white tie is acceptable. But few people wear it the RIGHT way. Thank you so much. My only issue is that as I do not wear leather, so I have to remain content with a leather look-alike.

  4. I heard you mention White Tie on cruises, I wasn't aware of any major lines that still hold to a white tie standard of dress even on formal nights. Care to share a few names for those interested in the highest and most classical formal cruises evenings?

  5. My groom and I are considering wearing white tie and tails for our wedding. Would that be appropriate? I don't think I've seen that for a gay wedding previously.

  6. Great video Herr Schneider. Do you find it necessary to match your studs, links, and waistcoat studs with full suite sets? If so, do you have any ideas on where to find full sets? Also, what is your best source for a boiled front shirt? I wear white tie quite often as a classical singer and am finicky about my full dress but it is almost impossible to find these things state side. Thanks! JW

  7. I must disagree with #16. Attended the Staatsoper Ball this year in Vienna. Lots of variation in the length of waistcoats. 2500 men in white tie, hundreds of well dressed men in waistcoats which were below the cut away of the tail coat. It most certainly does not scream " I don't know what I am doing!". This is more of a fetish than an actual reality. Nobody cares.

  8. It’s really unbelievable you look better than them even when you demonstrate it’s just like
    A top vip talk about dress congratulations very enjoyable you are unique
    Regards 🌺 even am afraid to choose flower from emoji

  9. Now that's "top shelf" !!!
    I wish people took pride in their appearance like they use to do. Now days the dress code is oversized tee shirt, nylon gym shorts pulled down to your knees and flip flops.
    I have one question to ask here in the US a lot of gentlemen carry a firearm under their coat. Have you got any suggestions with concealing and still looking damper?
    Love your work please continue 👍🏻

  10. One day a young man in a suite was passing through my store. I noticed that the maker's tag was still on his sleeve so I stopped him and said, "Excuse me, but your tailor forgot to take the tag off your sleeve. I can snip that off for you" and started to get a sharp pair of scissors. "No man . . . leave it there. How else are my friends supposed to know that I'm wearing XXX." I felt like smacking him but we live in a logo driven time.

  11. You're the exact opposite of me in every concievable way but for some reason I can't stop watching your videos… So enjoy the ad revenue I guess.

  12. Love the video! I really want to go to a white tie event! Can you do a video on how to buy a top hat?

  13. I got here because I watched a tutorial to make a tailcoat…which i planned to use for a Phantom of the Opera costume…

    I'm also a 17 year old girl.
    but I appreciate the class of the top hat. nice video.

  14. God how high cut do the trousers have to be? Those pants are obviously high rise but you still see the waistband!

  15. At 5:29 there is a period picture of a gentleman in white tie with his waistcoat visible below the tailcoat. Is he in error or was there a time that it was en vogue?

  16. I think patent leather oxford are worn with trousers whereas you'd wear opera pumps if you wore silk stockings with trousers that ended below the nee.

  17. My husband wore a morning suit and top hat for our wedding. As he wears a nice suit every day for work I wanted him to feel special and as dressed up as I was. I think my husband would look good in white tie too, such a shame it’s not worn to the ballet or the opera so much now.

  18. A very bombastic relequi of the past. I actually have known a group of people that used to dress like this, to go out and hang around by the absynth bars of Brussels, Belgium. We used to call them victorian goths…

  19. Fun video that will assist the.01% of men in the United States who will have occasion to purchase and use a full White ensemble. I did for my wedding, other than the Groomsmen, who wore Black tie, not one of the 220 guests wore White tie, many in Black tie. Only other occasion for White tie all year is opening night of Opera.

  20. Extinct for good. I love these formalities area gone…. Looks and premium clothing don't matter while functionality works… A normal suit or jacket is perfect.

  21. Like everyone is saying, white tie events are almost non-existant (with exception of british royalty events) today. Sad about that…

  22. What do you do for white tie if you have longer hair? Do you just tie your hair back into a ponytail?
    And I know Brooks brothers still makes tailcoats. What are your thoughts on the Brooks Brothers brand white tie clothing?

  23. I don't think a top hat looks good without an overcoat or cape. One reason full evening dress has died in the US is that we don't have a hereditary nobility that keeps any traditions alive. White tie never caught on with our middle class. Our upper class is a revolving door with countless newcomers who don't care about these traditions. Today, as far as I can tell, evening dress is a "hobby" of sorts for a very small set of enthusiasts and traditionalists.

  24. Can you also have a cane?
    Also, if it is an evening event and there is no strict dresscode, could you show up in white tie?

  25. For those in the United States wondering if there are still any white tie functions, the Al Smith charity dinner in New York is still full dress formal.

  26. People need to realize this isn’t the 1930’s, suites, Yes very needed, But no one wears a top hat in 2018 jesus

  27. It's a shame that most people only use the Marcella waistcoats, as there is some variation if you'll look at versions from about the 1890's to the 1920's.

  28. I hate to be a squareling but aren't all buttons on tail coats (and dinner jackets) supposed to be covered in silk, I was always told that uncovered buttons are improper (and perhaps a sign similar to that of wearing a too-long-waistcoat)… someone please correct me if this isn't the case or just a regional thing.

  29. Definitely love this video!! One question it leaves however is this – how do you incorporate decorations (i.e. medals, orders, collars of estate, etc.) to white tie since it is really the only dress code you can do it with outside of military uniforms.

  30. Concerning the opera scarf: I wonder if this kind of scarves was in use before WW1, too. The earliest reference i could find was from 1929….

  31. This is one of those videos that is so niche you wouldn't ever be able to wear the outfit in an appropriate occasion, but nevertheless it's awfully enjoyable to sit through and watch Raphael explain.

  32. Could you do a video about he mixture of black and white. I’ve seen things from esquire back in the 30’s with people wearing a tail coat with a black vest or a white vest with a tux.

  33. This video has inspired me to wear white tie to prom next year. Undoubtebly I'll be the only guy wearing it, and I'm fine with that. I also plan to wear white tie when I get married.

  34. Im not 100% sure but I think there are two different varieties of gloves you can have along with a walking stick and a monocle.

  35. Ive had one white tie event i had to attend and it was nerve-wrecking for me. I wish i had this video then! However, I think i pulled it off ok.

  36. Just wondering what you made of Trump's ensemble that he wore for the formal dinner with the British royals this June, 2019?

  37. So it’s acceptable to check the time on a pocket watch but improper to check the time on your wrist watch. Got it

  38. I was horrified at the white tie ensemble worn by Trump at the state dinner with the Queen. It was so poorly fitted that it was comical. I'm springing for a custom tailored model if I'm ever invited to the palace to dine with the Queen.

  39. now, i've never worn a formal white or black tie, but when listening to you and then seeing pictures of celebrities and elected politicians who do it wrong, i couldn't help but think: peasants and plebeans… what has out high culture degraded to.

  40. could you wear a Prince Charlie with white tie? I know you can wear it with black tie and I would assume you've could with white tie but I'm not 100% sure (and for anyone who has no idea would a Prince Charlie is it's a special kind of formal jacket you wear with a kilt)

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