Ok, I’m about to get my Nina Van Horn on here (remember her tirade on Just Shoot Me about how no one dresses formally anymore and then she falls in love with the J.Crew catalog and meets a guy named Jay Crew and thinks it’s the founder only it’s not?).  And don’t get me wrong, I’m as casual as the next person.  Hell, I don’t even tuck in shirts that should be tucked in.  As long as the event I’m dressing for is informal.

Case in point: The Oscars.  Are. A. Formal. Event. FORMAL.  That means black tie, gents (which is what I’m really pissed about. Most women understand the necessity of dressing formally at the Oscars).  BLACK TIE.  That means, simply put, a tuxedo.  Cut like a tuxedo.  Not a double-breasted, double-vented overly long cut “blazer” with a tuxedo collar.  It doesn’t work that way.

Now, there are a few people I will forgive this error. 1. Behind the scenes folks.  To me, it’s not that bad for a makeup artist or sound editor to show up wearing a suit.  It works. FOR THEM.  Same with musicians (who, frankly, can wear whatever they damn well please).  I mean, Glen Hansard is dressed pretty decently for a musician:

Glen Hansard
and he looks perfectly fine here.  FOR A MUSICIAN.  But my dear readers.  It is never ok to show up at a formal event in anything other than Black Tie (unless you are told otherwise). This does not mean that you need to run to Al’s Formal Wear and buy/rent a tux.  It does mean that your shirt needs to require cufflinks, the jacket and pants should be black and your tie should be black (preferably silk).  You can even wear a cumberbund.  Or a vest.  Hell, you can even go with color (solids only, please).  But for all that is good and pure, do not wear a blazer.  It should be a tuxedo jacket.  The collar doesn’t matter (neither does the shirt’s).  And the shoes?  Shiny, black, patent leather oxfords.  Not colored shoes. Not matte finish shoes.  Not cap-toed or wing-tipped.  Spats are optional.

And lastly.  If you are attending a black tie event: WEAR AN UNDERSHIRT.  You will get hot, you will want to take off your jacket; you will NOT want everyone to see your nipples and your underarm sweat seeping through the fabric.

So, please, formal wear for formal events.  (And belt or braces. NOT both.  It bears repeating).