Black Tie Execution, In All of Its Meanings (Inaugural Ball, Pt. Five)

Now that we were at the ball, mostly smashed together like sardines, I decided to watch people and take note of what they were wearing as far as “black tie” was concerned, just for fun.

I kind of expected that a lot of people, the men anyway, would take the route my husband wanted to take – just wear a suit.  And some did.  But others chose to take the “middle road” in some way, with quite strange results.  Here is a partial list of what I saw:

  • White tie.  Even the pres actually wore white tie.  This is not wrong; it’s just a little higher on the “elegance” scale to wear white tie properly done.  Bonus points.
  • Tuxedo jacket with notched collar and center back vent (my husband for one), with a straight black tie.  No, that just looks like a suit.  Might as well just wear a suit.  Hubby did the self-tie bowtie, suspenders, and cummerbund.  I guess that made up for the notched lapel and center back vent.  Maybe.
  • Tuxedo jacket with peaked lapel and straight tie.  No, no, no.  Sigh.
  • Tuxedo jacket with whatever lapel, bowtie, pleated shirt, and no studs!  Were the studs too much to worry about?  Too expensive?  What?  White plastic buttons just don’t make it.
  • Tuxedo jacket, bowtie, no studs, AND no cummerbund, AND the jacket open to show the world the workings of the pants and belt.  The cummerbund (or waistcoat) is supposed to cover that up for that streamlined look.  At the very least, button the coat.
  • Black tuxedo jacket with a grey/black/white striped straight tie.  How did “black tie” translate to grey striped?
  • Black tux with bright pink straight tie and high bright pink vest a la wedding attire.  Sigh.  Pink does not equal black.
  • Saw way too many five- and six-button high vests that cover up that expensive pleated shirt.
  • Regular business shirts, plain front, white and self-striped shirt (that is within the weave or maybe a different thread), sometimes with a bowtie, most often with a straight tie.  Might as well have just worn the suit.
  • National costumes of some European country, I don’t know which one.  It was very interesting to see.  I really should have struck up a conversation to find out more.  Although it was rather impossible to have any kind of conversation in there without shouting.
  • Sikh turban with what appeared to be a tux, but I didn’t investigate to find out.

Most dresses were floor length; a few were not.  Most women wore high heels, including six-inch spike heels on one- or two-inch platforms.  I’d never be able to do that.  I gave up and didn’t wear the fancy shoes.  My husband says that he’ll stay a little annoyed with me for all the trouble I gave him about the tux since I didn’t bother to wear my shoes.

One more.  Link to Part Six:


About Laurie Higgins

I play with clicker training - with my horses, dogs, and cats. I also attempt to grow vegetables with the hope of one day being able to feed my family from my garden. My daughter and I are learning ballroom dancing. Well, we were. But she left me for a paying horse job, so now my husband and I are learning ballroom dancing. I'm also now helping Peggy Hogan, of Clicker Training Horses (and The Best Whisper is a Click) to teach people how to train their own horses using "clicker training".
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One Response to Black Tie Execution, In All of Its Meanings (Inaugural Ball, Pt. Five)

  1. Pingback: The Ball (Inaugural Ball, Pt. Four) | Core Connexxions – Laurie Higgins

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