- Then & Now: 1960 Black Tie Elegance
The most elegant item in the modern closet connects us to a better dressed past.
The dinner jacket was the last word in sartorial sophistication in the Sixties, and it remains so today. The men who wear it best take pleasure in the rituals that form the preparation for a night out, from choosing the right cufflinks to polishing a pair of black oxford shoes. It's these small things that separate a great tuxedo from a merely average one. And because the tuxedo is such a uniform the way a man looks is heavily dependent on the quality of his accessories, from the elegant watch on his wrist to the black silk bow around his neck.
The time it takes to dress is an opportunity to turn your mind away from the trivial concerns of the day and towards the more serious business of having fun. However, do keep an eye on the time, as it doesn't do to keep a woman waiting. It's the black tie that distinguishes eveningwear, and the ability to fasten a bow is the skill that separates real men of style from the clip-on crowd.
One thing that has changed since the Sixties is the suit's silhouette, which is now cut close to the body. Short, single-breasted jackets feel modern, particularly when they have slim, shawl collars. A crisply folded pocket square complements this Rat Pack inspired look, and a crisp cold drink should help to conjure the appropriate mood. As a man waits for his companion to get ready he should remember that the dinner jacket is not designed to produce a peacock display. The point of getting these details right is to create a severe and elegant outfit that contrasts with a woman's feminine brilliance.
Click on our film, above, to see these principles put into action.
Film shot on location at Rosewood London.