Sunday, December 18, 2011

New! Pan Am luggage and merchandise

We now offer Pan Am brand luggage and merchandise!  These items are the perfect gift for the holidays.  We can order a variety of items that reflect back to the heyday of airline travel.

We can order a variety of overnight and travel bags, as well as other accessories guaranteed to make you or the recipient of your gift look effortlessly stylish. Check out our selection here.

Please call us or visit us today for more information! (703) 385-4431 -

Friday, July 22, 2011

Tips To Look (And Stay) Cool In Your Wedding Tuxedo

It's hot out there right now.  Unbearably hot. And most brides didn't know it would be this hot one year ago when they planned their outdoor wedding in the backyard with no trees for shade, or their perfect beach wedding, with a beautifully appointed minimalist altar right on the water, the hot sand radiating and reflecting the sun's rays.  And even if they did know and planned the date anyway, you - as a groom - would have had little power to change it.  So here are some tips and ideas to beat the heat and stay cool in your wedding tux.

  1. Wear antiperspirant.  NOT deodorant.  Yes they are different. Use it liberally, and not only under your arms.

  2. Wear an undershirt.  It may sound counterintuitive, but it really does help to keep your tuxedo shirt dry, which will help immensely to prevent sweat stains when you take your tuxedo coat off (which hopefully will be later during the reception, and not during the ceremony.)  If you have a moisture-wicking undershirt, even better.  Plus, if you didn't get in that last workout before the wedding, there's Spanx for men (yes it's true).  These undershirts will make you look slimmer, and feel more confident (providing you can get them over your head). 

  3. Keep yourself hyrdated.  Drink plenty of water.

  4. If you're having an outdoor ceremony, consider having electric fans at the altar.  Do not make your groomsmen fan you as if you are an Egyption king.

  5. Wear appropriate attire.  Check out our blog post on summer tuxedos and skip the black tuxedo - it will retain heat and make you look and feel hotter.

  6. Make sure you have an extra handkerchief (not the one in the pocket of your tuxedo) to wipe the sweat off your face if need be.  Don't wipe your bride's face if you see a cute drop of sweat running down the side of her face.  You may smudge her makeup and she will kill you.

  7. You can get Botox.  We are not recommending this. But people do it. Especially Hollywood types.  

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.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Summer Wedding Season is Coming! Tuxedo Ideas and Tips for Destination and Beach Weddings

There are lots of places that a wedding and a reception can take place - from a country club, to a hotel, to a backyard, a home, or even on the beach. However, where the event takes place does not dictate whether the event will be formal, casual, or somewhere in between.  Just because you are having a wedding reception at an upscale hotel does not automatically mean that it has to be black (or white) tie, and similarly, getting married on a beach doesn't mean you can't have a formal wedding.

Rather, the bride and groom should decide how they want the wedding to look, so they can have an event that they are happy with.  This post provides some ideas for a beach or destination wedding that is formal - but sometimes with a twist.

A solid semi-formal beach look is a beige or khaki tuxedo suit. As you can see from the picture above, you can pair it with a long tie if you want to keep things a little less formal.  And, as long as you're going for the beach vibe, forget about shoes and wear a pair of sandals. 

For a more formal look, wear a vest and bowtie - but keep the colors breezy. A matching pocket square can bring together the whole look. If you want to take the beach theme even further, wear a pair of themed cufflinks - nautical perhaps? Trust us, people will notice.

You can go all the way with the "casual" theme - skip the tie and roll up your pant legs.  You'll look cool, casual, and absolutely appropriate. Notice how in this picture the coat is paired with a ivory vest - this will ensure that even though you want to look casual, you're still giving a nod to the fact that you're the groom.

Another option for beach weddings is a white tuxedo.  Here are two options:


This pinstriped tuxedo has a modern touch, and paired with a dark tie and pocket square, is a great look. You could wear this tux with a white tie, but the look would be a little too formal for a beach wedding.


An all-white look is clean and fresh.  By adding just a touch of color, the look remains youthful.

A gray tuxedo can set a formal mood but also keeps things light enough for a daytime wedding. This can be paired with any number of color combinations for the vest and tie. The look is very elegant and upscale while reflecting the fact that the wedding is outside or during the day.

Another option is to wear a blue tuxedo suit jacket with a formal vest - it's an unexpected look but every bit as appropriate. This look works especially well is you are going for a formal look without being too uptight or traditional.

Here are some additional tips for your beach wedding:
  • Generally, we'd prefer that you not wear sunglasses.  We understand that you're out on the beach and the sun gets in your eyes - BUT - it's just one day, you'll live. Plus, everyone wants to see you looking into your to-be-wife's eyes.
  • Wear sunscreen if you're going to be out in the sun for a while. 
  • If you have longer hair and are getting married on the beach itself, there's a very good chance that the wind will wreak havoc on your hair if you don't use a little hair product to keep your hair in place. While the windblown look may be in style, you don't want to have to keep moving the hair out of your eyes while reciting your vows.
All tuxedos seen here are available at Metropolitan Formalwear at SEARS Fair Oaks Mall, a Jim's Formal Wear retailer.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Don't Lose the Engagement Ring!

Check out this great post from Jewelers Mutual about keeping tabs on the engagement ring before you propose. It's got a lot of good tips.

We've heard a lot of stories where guys have gotten dressed up in a tuxedo to pop the question, which is a great idea, but there are a lot of other great ways to make the moment special and memorable.

It's usually a good idea to make the proposal something personal - try not to do it in a particular way just because you think that's the way it should be done.  The unexpected is always more fun!

If you haven't gotten the ring yet, Jewelers Mutual has a good dictionary of terms here.

Once she's said YES, it's time to start thinking about the tux! Remember, Metropolitan Formalwear's got you covered:

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Prom (Or Any Other Event for That Matter) Dinner Etiquette

There are a lot of dining etiquette guides out there, and most people know the basics - hold open doors, ladies sit and order first, no elbows on the table, don't talk when there's food in your mouth, etc. Lots of people are more advanced, knowing the "bread on your left, drink on your right" rule. Still others know the difference between a dessert spoon, a tea spoon, and a soup spoon.

That's all important, and it's all well and good, and if you want to find out what the proper way to eat a meal at a restaurant is, you can easily find lots of information out there.

But we thought we'd offer some additional tips for you to come off looking polished at your fancy dinner. These aren't all really etiquette tips per se, but you should follow them anyway if you want to come off looking like a gentleman, or even just a polite guy.

    Remember not to drink and drive
  • If you're driving, take your coat off - it will prevent it from getting wrinkled.  If you're in the back of a limo, you can leave your coat on.  (If you find yourself driving a limo, by the way, your coat should be on).
  • When you're walking on a sidewalk, you should always walk between a woman and the curb.  This is an old rule from the time there were horses on the street - the idea was to protect the woman from mud, splashes, etc.  The rule still stands - cars can splash too.

Small gestures can say a lot
  • When walking to the table, the lady walks ahead of the man.  He should pull her chair out for her when they get to the table.  If you want to be really formal, anytime a lady gets up from the table, the men should stand up slightly in their seats.  If it's a big group, only her date and the man sitting next to the woman leaving the table need to rise.

  • When you get to the restaurant DO NOT drape your coat jacket over the back of your chair. Also, if you are wearing a long tie, DO NOT throw the tie over your shoulder in an effort to prevent it from being stained.  You'll look like a toolbox.

    Give the server 30 seconds
    of your attention
  • When the waiter is telling your table the specials, please look at him/her, and don't zone out.  It's rude.  Also, you may end up hearing something that you like, and if you haven't paid attention you will have to ask the waiter to go through all the specials again.  That's boring for them. Also, if the waiter doesn't tell you how much the special is and you want to order it, it's fine to ask for the price, just do it directly and casually.
    Bread - left -- Drinks - right
  • Ok, here's the bread on your left, drink on your right rule: your water glass is on the right of your plate - here's a way to remember: make an "OK" sign with both hands, palms facing each other. Your left hand will form a "b" and your right hand will form a "d". Your bread (b) is on the left, and your drinks (water, wine, etc.) (d) are on the right.

  • If someone asks for salt, you should pass both the salt and the pepper - they stay together- and don't use them before you pass them on.

  • We hate to be a broken record, but please carry some mints.  If the restaurant is loud, you'll be leaning in close to your date to have a conversation.  Sometimes the pleasure of enjoying the taste of your food should take a back seat to having fresh breath.  Plus, you may need the mints after coffee (and later).
Also, remember to hold open doors, both car and restaurant.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Guys - Look Your Best for Prom Photos

There are a lot of articles out there about how girls can look their best in photos.  For example, and

But we really couldn't find that much information for guys.  So, we put together our thoughts: 

Well fitting clothes will ensure
you look your best

Before the photo is taken:
  • Wear a tux that fits.  If your clothes are too tight or too loose, you'll look off.  For your shirt, you should be able to slip two fingers between the buttoned collar and your neck.  Next, pull your pants up, it's a formal occasion.  And the sleeves of your tux should end so that some of the shirt underneath shows.

    Don't be afraid to use a little
    product in your hair
  • Yes, you should probably get a haircut.  But don't do it right before prom - do it at least a week before, even two would be good.  Some say the faux hawk is out.  We say, if you like it, go for it.  Is anyone going to argue with this guy?

  • Make sure you bring plenty of mints.  No, your bad breath won't show up in a photo.  Yes, it will show up in the disgusted look your date is making.

    Don't forget to smile!

While the photo is being taken:

    Have fun!  It's Prom!
  • Relax, it's just a picture. Stand up straight, but don't be unnecessarily stiff. Keep your chin down, chest out, shoulders back.  But not too much. You don't want to look posed.

  • Smile.  If you read the article above, by now you've perfected it.  Don't try to look like a thug if you aren't. 

  • Yes, you can touch your date.  Don't be awkward, you'll end up looking like Napolean Dynamite.

  • Have fun.  That's what this night is all about, isn't it?

After the photo is taken:

  • Don't worry if the photo didn't turn out well. There will be plenty more opportunities for you to dress up and get photographed.  Use this as a learning experience, and make sure next time it turns out better. And it probably isn't as bad as these:

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Prom 2011 Trends and Tips

We're right in the middle of prom season and we've seen some trends that we want to share with you, as well as some tips that will help you look your best on prom night!
  • Make sure to try on your complete tuxedo when you pick it up.  You want to make sure that you feel comfortable, that your shoe size hasn't changed on you, and that you're ready to go.

  • A great look for prom is a black tuxedo with a vest and a long tie.  Many times, the color of the vest and tie match the color of a guy's date's dress.  However, a lot of guys are foregoing wearing a colored vest, and just wearing a colored tie and matching pocket square.

  • We're seeing a lot more black bowties this year - it's a classic look that will never go out of style. Pair it with a black vest, and the look is guaranteed to be Bond - not waiter.

Remember, the best accessory is confidence - so make sure you pick a tux in which you feel your best!