A DOSE OF GLAMOUR: FORMAL WEAR TAKES CENTER STAGE

by Michael Macko

If you haven’t already gotten your copy of MR Magazine’s January 2023 issue, never fear! We’ll be posting every article right here on MR-mag.com over the next week or so. You’ll also be able to pick up a copy at most of the menswear trade shows coming up in January, but be sure that we have your name on our mailing list for future issues by completing the form at the link here.


WHEN WE FIRST looked at illustrating the current trends in men’s formal wear for this issue, we did a deep dive into images from the red carpets of Hollywood, New York, and Cannes, as well as the Super Bowl of fashion, the Met Gala. The results were very interesting. If you imagined men’s fashion as a meter, with the classically elegant and always appropriate-looking George Clooney at one end and the over-the-top, flamboyant Billy Porter on the other end, all the interest lies in the middle.

Look at Trevor Noah, wearing his traditional tuxedo trousers, but paired with a sublime pink velvet double-breasted dinner jacket, making just enough of a statement to make us stop swiping through social media and take it all in. We’ve been telling men to break up their suits for years and now that includes his formal wear: Very few people need to buy a new tuxedo, but not everyone has a velvet dinner jacket in their wardrobe. This is the season to change that.

There are also beautifully textured evening jackets with subtle shine and details from brands like Tallia and Paisley & Gray as you will see in our story. If your customer wants to make a bigger statement, you can opt for a full tartan tuxedo like the version we feature from Brooks Brothers, now under the design stewardship of Michael Bastian. We’ve paired a few of our tuxedos with merino turtlenecks, another new trend on the red carpet that brings us to our next theme – formal underpinnings no longer have to be a stiff pleated white shirt and studs. They can be a pink Oxford cloth or, depending on the event, a casual shirt. A formal jacket can also be paired with a fine gauge knit t-shirt, like the ones we used from Left Coast Tee. Your customer can even opt out of a shirt altogether, although we don’t recommend this for everyone unless blessed with perfect pecs.

Black tie also doesn’t have to be black. A big trend on the runways was the all-white tuxedo, which is beautifully represented in our story by Eleventy (a look that I almost had a breakdown styling as the model walked through the grit and traffic of Times Square, hoping it would not get dirty). We also feature a beautiful tuxedo in dark blue from Tommy Hilfiger and, as Christian Dior once said, “Midnight Blue is the only color that could ever compete with black”.

It’s currently a big trend to add some sparkle to the lapel. Sure celebrities get access to high jewelry without a problem, but us mere mortals can look to brands like Tateossian and vintage to find a stick or lapel pin to add some shine to our special nights.

The summary is that it’s a great time for formal wear. Look past the black when shopping and embrace color, texture, and shine to give your customer something new to try and, if he’s hesitant, just Google “Trevor Noah Pink Jacket,” and show it to his wife. He’ll buy it.

 

Image at top: Trevor Noah on the red carpet at the 64th annual Grammy Awards. Photographed by Kevin Mazur for Getty Images.

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