Blac k tie for the modern man

Per­sonal stylist Daniel John­son ex­plains how to do for­mal party wear the right way

T3 - - Style -

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-john­ 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.”

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