Blac k tie for the modern man
Personal stylist Daniel Johnson explains how to do formal party wear the right way
As we head into this year’s party season, it’s important to be aware of the basics of evening wear and black tie in order to achieve the right look for formal events. In a nutshell, black tie is a strict dress code comprising a black two-piece suit. But how can you work with black tie’s nuanced etiquette, while still maintaining a cool, modern edge to your outfit that helps you feel comfortable and more yourself?
To make this task easier, T3 reached out to renowned London-based personal stylist Daniel Johnson (daniel-johnson.com). He’s worked with brands including Saint Laurent, Moncler and Berluti, and has appeared on BBC2’s Millionaires Gift Guide and the BBC World News in a segment entitled, ‘Is the Suit Dead?’
“As with all the best food and music, simplicity is the key,” Daniel explains when asked how to approach black tie for the modern man. “You should prepare well in advance, and make sure you’ve taken your suit to the alterations tailor to have it fitted just right.”
Among the various elements of a black tie outfit, Johnson’s recommendations include an “adjustable self-tie bow tie, polished patent leather shoes, along with a silver-cased watch with an alligator strap to match silver cufflinks.”
But rather than allowing yourself to get caught up in all the pomp of these formal events, Johnson advises keeping it low-key from the start: “As black tie events are very rare these days, some men can be inclined to go all out and wear all the flash trimmings, big pocket squares, over-ruffled bow ties and so on,” he says. “Pare it back, keep it discreet.”