Thursday, June 30, 2011

Summer Weddings Tuxedos and Tips Redux

We previously blogged here about tuxedo and formal wear tips and ideas for summer weddings.  But, here is some additional information regarding summer weddings that we hope you will find useful.

Last year, Be Stylish! did a great post entitled "Are Gray Tuxedos Stylish," which we think has some great thoughts on the gray tuxedo, especially for summer weddings. 

While we tend to be a bit more conservative, and generally recommend wearing a white shirt and bringing in color with a vest and bowtie, like in the picture you see to the left, we have to agree with the post's conclusion that:

The absolute best part about gray tuxedos is that you can wear a shirt in almost any color with it, no matter how vivid. You can go for white, pink, beige or even light green
So, if you are looking to mix things up a little, a gray tux may be just the thing for you! Our advice, though, would be to skip the colored pocket handkerchief if you're wearing a colored shirt - that look has a tendency to come off cheesy rather than individualistic and quirky (quirky in a good way, meaning unconventional). Rather, wear a white pocket square, and it will make the shirt really pop.

Also, a summertime wedding is the perfect time to debut a new 'do and a new you with your new boo.'s Daniel Billett recently did a great article on short hairstyles for men, perfect for the summer. It's got pictures of a lot of different hairstyles, as well as a lot of good information on how to achieve them. If you're looking for a new haircut, you should definitely check it out.

By the way, if you're ATTENDING a summer wedding as a guest, Dappered has a GREAT post about what to wear, depending on what the groom is wearing and what the invitation states, be it black tie, black tie invited, etc. Follow their advice and you are guaranteed to be outfitted perfectly.

We hope you have a good July 4th weekend!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wedding Reception After Parties

There's no reason that the end of a wedding reception has to be the end of the night.  Increasingly, we are seeing evidence (ahem, from the states of the tuxedo rentals that are being returned after weddings), that couples are breaking through the 11pm barrier and pushing on till the break of dawn.  It's a great way for your guests to enjoy the wedding in a more relaxed atmosphere, especially if your reception was formal.  

Plus, it can be a great way to unwind after the stress of a reception.  One after party we know of was in a hotel suite, and the couple spent the entire party on the balcony, alone with each other, reminiscing about the day, since they had had so little time to actually talk to each other.  How sweet.  We've also seen after parties in pubs on a karaoke night - much more fun than that can hardly be imagined!  You can be as low key or as formal as you want - we've even heard of after parties were the newlywed couple made another grand entrance!

Here are a few tips and ideas to make your wedding reception after hours a hit.

Some popular places for an after party to be held are:
  • a hospitality suite in the hotel where the reception took place
  • the hotel lobby bar
  • a nearby bar or pub
  • a nearby restaurant
  • someone's house or backyard
Some of these, such as a hospitality suite, require planning in advance, while others, such as a nearby pub, could be more impromptu.  However, if you want the event to go smoothly, it would serve you will to plan in advance.  For example, you can call a bar in advance and let you know that you'll be bringing a certain amount of people - they may close off a special section for you and/or offer you drink specials.

If you're going to host a hospitality suite in a hotel, you must plan in advance because you'll need to have a stocked bar.  Also, it's important to have some food for your guests to snack on. The same goes if the party will be at someone's house.  These types of after parties are great because you literally can keep on going for as long as you like - at a public venue, eventually you'll have to leave.

What's most important, however, is how close the party is to the reception location, both because the closer it is, the more people will come, and because you don't want people to have to drive if they don't have to - for obvious reasons. If necessary, you should arrange in advance for transportation to the after party if it's needed.
If you're going to have the after party in the hotel lobby, make sure you know around about what time you'll have to clear the lobby and take it to your room. The same goes for bars - this may influence whether you want to just get a suite in a hotel or make other arrangements.  If you're lucky, there may be a casino nearby you could hit up! 

A great way to spread the word about the after party is on your wedding website, if you have one.  Word of mouth always works too.  We've even heard of couples providing groomsmen with business sized cards that act as invites, which are passed around at the reception. The one problem with this method, though, is that not everyone may be handed a card - and etiquette requires that everyone that's invited to the reception be invited to the after party. Whether you choose to invite everyone, of course, is up to you.

We know that, generally, you're not going to want everyone at the after party - so structure it in a way that will minimize the chances that Uncle Ebert will show up with his ukulele -  a good way to do this is to have the party in a loud place!  But realistically, yes, the one drunken cousin will show up, but that's what keeps things interesting, isn't it?

If you're setting up a hospitality suite, then the couple (or their families) should be responsible for paying for the drinks and food.  However, if you're heading out to a bar, there's no reason why everyone can't fend for themselves and pay their own way, if that's what you want.

If you are going to pay for people's drinks at a public venue, you should make sure that you have a section reserved just for your party, or that there is some other way of making sure you're not paying for everyone at the bar - wristbands for the wedding guests are a good way to go. Or, you could go all out and rent out the whole place!


We know you're going to want to look like Frank Sinatra and loosen your tie.  It's inevitable. However, please, please, please do not do this if you are wearing a pre-tied bowtie.  If you are wearing a pretied bowtie, get a regular bowtie and switch it out right before the party - we won't tell. 



Wednesday, June 8, 2011

DOs and DON'Ts of Wearing a Tuxedo

A well fitting tuxedo creates a classic look

We want you to look your best in your tuxedo!  Here are some tips to keep you on track.

  • Wear formal shoes - preferably black lace-up patent leather oxfords, with the emphasis on the patent leather
  • Wear suspenders if you want to - tuxedo pants don't have belts, so there's no reason not to
  • Wear a white pocket handkerchief to bring together the look
  • Make sure your tuxedo is fitted correctly - about a half inch of your shirt cuff should extend past the end of the coat jacket when your arms are down
  • Wear black formal socks
  • Wear special cufflinks to set yourself apart
  • Remember to check the pockets of your tux rental before returning to the store- you don't want to forget your camera or anything else


  • Don't use the plastic buttons of the tuxedo shirt if it has them - use studs instead - they come with the tux rental - but to make it easy, put the studs in the shirt before you put your shirt on - that way, you can just close the shirt up as if you were using buttons 

  • Don't wear cufflinks backwards - the cufflinks should be facing up
  • Don't button the bottom button of a 2 or 3 button tuxedo
  • Don't wear a black shirt with a tuxedo unless it's a look that you're specifically going for (the look, by the way, unless you're a rock star, is that of someone that does not know how to dress properly or refuses to do so)
  • Don't wear brown or white socks with a black tuxedo (Just because MJ did it doesn't mean that you can)
  • JUST DON'T!!
  • Don't take off your bowtie and leave it hanging around your neck (like you're trying to look like Frank Sinatra) if you're wearing a pre-tied bowtie.  If you really want to rock the look later in the night, you can bring along a regular bowtie and switch it out
  • Don't wear a cummerbund with the pleats facing down

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

DC area Summer Music and Arts Events

We're all about tuxedos and formal wear here at Metropolitan Formalwear, but that doesn't mean that we can't take our bowties off every once in a while (especially now that the DC summer weather has rolled in), and enjoy some summertime and outdoor arts and entertainment.  Of course, we focus on the most refined entertainment we can find, so that we still have an excuse to wear cufflinks.  The following are some of our favorites.

Check out this link for an article from Washingtonian Magazine entitled Ways to Get Your Summer Classical Music Fix.  It includes some great ideas, including the ever-popular Wolf Trap Summer 2011 series.  There's something about laying out on a blanket on the Wolf Trap lawn as the sun sets with a bottle of wine that signifies that summer has truly arrived.

Click here for the National Symphony Orchestra's summer series schedule, which includes performances at Wolf Trap including Sweeney Todd, Casablanca, and Disney in Concert: Magical Music from the Movies.

For a slightly different vibe, check our the National Gallery's Jazz in The Garden Concert Series on Friday evenings through September 9 at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden, right on the National Mall.  It's quite literally the most fun you'll have on a Friday evening. Plus, it's free!

The Carter Barron Amphitheatre in Rock Creek Park has some great shows during its summer season.  It's also a great venue to catch Washington Post's Going Out Guide Weekend Concerts, which is an annual series of free music.

Photo by Flickr user riacale

The Corcoran Gallery of Art has its free Summer Saturdays series, with Gallery tours, workshops, and demonstrations. Fun for the whole family!

Of course, Screen on the Green, Mondays -  July 25 through August 15 on the National Mall - free and fun - and a classic DC experience.  This year's movie selections are amazing! Click here for a list of many other outdoor movie festivals in and around DC.