How To Pick The Perfect Tuxedo For The Hong Kong Tatler Ball
Cut & Fit
Like all suits, the tuxedo cut and will determine just how sharp you look at the ball. Going for a bespoke or made-to-measure jacket with a reputable tailor will ensure this, giving you a sharp shoulder, perfect jacket length and a mid-section that fits and flatters the natural shape of your torso. From here, personal taste (and body type) will decide the rest.
Two- or three-piece
The jacket, trouser and waistcoat are the black tie tradition. Nowadays, it’s acceptable to cut down the trio to a duo—jacket and pant—but never just waistcoat and pant. The jacket must always be worn.
Single or double
Now, pick your tuxedo jacket style: single or double-breasted. While the double-breasted tux is definitely seeing a comeback this season, the single-breasted shape is the more contemporary and safer tux option for men.
But it does depend on your body type, and what features you wish to accentuate, or minimise. If you’re a larger gent, the double-breasted suit, with overlapping material at the front and extra buttons, only broadens your midsection and should be avoided. If you’re shorter in stature, go for the single-breasted tux, with neat two-button closure that creates length thanks to its simplicity, which appears more streamline.
Peak or Shawl
The peak, which is the most common and classic lapel, is characterised by its width and pointed ends. It typically comes in a black grosgrain fabric, adding textural contrast to the jacket. The peak lapel will also add length you torso and will accentuate the chest and widen the shoulder, so it’s perfect for the slimmer gent or men needing help with that coveted ‘v’ silhouette.
Secondly, the shawl lapel is formed as a continuous curve collar and frames the chest and neck areas elegantly. Originating from the Victorian smoking jacket, the shawl typically boasts a satin finish, adding a little extra shine to your black tie look.
Black or Coloured
The event invite does say ‘black tie’, and tuxes are typically black, but they don't have to be. Midnight blue, dark green and ruby green are all acceptable jacket hues in 2018, and will elevate your ball look.
Previously known to be a touch garish in the past, white tuxedo jackets are also seeing a resurgence this year. However, there is one golden rule: pair whatever coloured jacket you chose with black trousers. Head-to-toe red, or white, or green, is not an option.
Patterned or textured
Tuxedo playfulness can even come via a printed or textured jacket. A patterned tuxedo jacket is a creative and bold option, but avoid office-y prints such pinstripes or check and opt for the more elegant floral, paisley print or a silk-jacquard.
Houndstooth is another stylish option that ticks the dress code boxes. Otherwise, go for texture instead of an all-over jacket print. Crush your black tie look in velvet, opting for a rich dark colour or plain black, letting the subtle plushness of the fabric do the talking.
Traditionally, a black tuxedo trouser will match your jacket, and will have a grosgrain stripe down the outer side of each leg, to tie in with the jacket lapel. However, if you’re going for a statement jacket, revert back to black, as coloured trousers aren’t a good look.
Pleats or flat-front
Front pleats are making a comeback, providing a traditional point-of-interest for those wanting to stand out. However, be warned with pleats: the extra ruffles at the front best suit leaner, taller gents due to the extra volume they provide.
Slim or Skinny
As for the fit, stick with a slim or straight cut, depending on your body type. But avoid a skinny fit. You want to ooze elegance at the ball, not use it as an opportunity to boost your streetwear cred. For the perfect fit, have your suit personally tailored to your size.
The waist should fit snug with no bunching or pulling, and ensure you nail the trouser break, where the hem kisses the ankle before the shoe. Style mavens can opt for a slight crop at the ankle (nothing crazy short though) and a chunkier hem for extra fashion points. Otherwise, stick with a traditional pant hem and leg length.
Above all, your tuxedo fit, both jacket and trouser, will literally make or break your black tie look. So invest in getting measured up and sized before anything else.
See also: Gentlemen's Guide: 5 Ways To Spot A Quality Tailored Suit