dapperQ recently got an e-mail from Emma who wrote: “Any chance there’s going to be a tux feature anytime soon — what with prom coming up for us little high schoolers?”
When I asked for specific questions, she wrote back:
A general suit guide, I suppose. Jackets, ties, renting vs buying, things you should avoid, and what kind of fit to look for, because most men’s suits make you look like you’re wearing a box under your jacket once you put it on. And tie and shirt combinations, too. Stuff like that.
The vibe of formal wear always bothered me. Everyday wear can be pretty androgynous- sweaters, jeans, those things are pretty interchangable. When you go formal, though, it’s just girl-dress and boy-tuxedo. Given the choice, I’d rather be a little different and stand out (not always in a good way) in a suit than blend in nicely and not rock the boat and conform in a dress. Sure, you’re almost bound to get funny looks and the stink eye but a good suit screams power and confidence and it hardly matters. Also, ties are awesome. And hats. Just my two cents.
P.S. This site is great and He Said/We Said is awesome. Just saying.
I’d love to whip out a tux feature but we are a small group of volunteers and already jammed to the gills with assignments. So I reached out to some of the most stylish dapperQ’s recently photographed by Tiffany (a.k.a. Persia) Bailey at the Capital Queer Prom for their advice. The first response comes from Melissa Shaver (pictured right in a photo by Tiffany Bailey.):
So my advice on the formal wear shopping to be go on what you feel comfortable in. I myself do a vest and tie and never a jacket. Jackets cover my body to much and give off a very square look. It all depends on your body build. I am more of the athletic build, but I like to be able to move my arms and I can’t do that in a jacket. For the shirt I would go with something simple, solid colors are always a good choice because then your vest and tie can match. I preferably chose black because I do not like white shirts (they get dirty too fast). Also with the shirt you have to pick a material that is going to be breathable. I try to go for an off the shelf polyester type shirt. I got my shirt at Burlington Coat Factory.
There’s no need to spend a lot of money I enjoy putting on formal wear so I always make sure I have everything for my full attire. When you are getting your pants you want to make sure they don’t look like hi-waters unless that is the look you are going for. As for the tie you pick, I’m a straight tie, not bow tie. Some people can pull off the bow tie, but I can’t.
When I pick my ties I go for patterns that will ‘bounce’ off the vest color.
For example, I would pair a paisley tie with a black vest.
Formal wear can be hard for some of us to buy especially since it’s in men’s sizes. Go with something a little bigger, so you can get it hemmed to your size.
Our next recommendation also centers on formal wear. If you’ve got ideas for non-traditional looks, please write (hopefully including a photo of yourself?) to [email protected].