The dinner jacket is both the oldest and the most formal garment in the male wardrobe, now that white tie is close to extinction. While it's hard to talk about dinner jackets without referring to the icons of menswear past, such as Sir Sean Connery playing James Bond, or the Duke of Windsor, it's worth remembering that the tux was once cutting edge. When it appeared in the second half of the 19th century it marked a radically informal alternative to the then standard white tie evening dress.
Life has moved on since the Victorian era, and so has style. This week, we reboot the tux with five contemporary dinner jacket combinations. Would King Edward VII - the man who's said to have popularised the dinner jacket - approve? No, he'd probably drop his monocle in his soup, but that's the whole point.
01. THE METALLIC TUX
For a true alternative go for gold with Brioni's incredible wool and silk shawl-collar jacket, which is lent a contemporary look by its slim cut. Keep the rest of the outfit sober to let the tux shine.
02. THE NAVY DB
A blue double-breasted tuxedo with four buttons, rather than the usual six, exemplifies Ami's modern take on tailoring. The white shirt, the black necktie and the severely folded pocket square keep the palette appropriately crisp.
03. THE PEAK LAPEL
Contrast a classic peak-lapel tuxedo in a substantial twill cloth with Dolce & Gabbana's offbeat Nehru-collar shirt, for a formal but quirky take on black tie style.
04. THE SHAWL COLLAR
For an outfit that's more Downton than down town, accentuate a tuxedo's formality with a shirt with a pleated front, a white marcella waistcoat, bow tie and pocket square.
05. THE DRESS-DOWN TUX
Dress down by going tieless and wearing a pair of low-slung black jeans, while retaining some panache with a patent leather belt and a wing-collar shirt.
...As seen in
The definitive guide to dressing for, and very much enjoying, the perfect party
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