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Going Formal

Despite All the Dressing Down and Casual Fridays, Formal Evening Wear Still Has Its Place
G. Bruce Boyer
From the Print Edition:
Danny DeVito, Winter 96

(continued from page 2)

Literally at the bottom of any evening outfit are the shoes. Plain black oxfords are always appropriate, and unadorned black slip-ons are a comfortably nice touch if a dinner jacket isn't worn. But what about monogrammed velvet slippers? Sulka's come in five colors, with either monogram or decoration ($295). Or, particularly natty, a pair of tweed Albert slippers (from the English firm of Holland & Holland, at $210).

Last year, a professor at Cambridge, John Harvey, published a lengthy and complicated treatise on why men wear black. I'm not making this up, you know. The study runs to 280 small-print pages, including 18 pages of even smaller-print notes. It's slow reading, and I'm not sure what the conclusion was (it had something to do with gender-coding and power-assertive sociological aspects). I found a much more easily understandable answer reading a survey conducted in 1994 for the International Formalwear Association by a marketing research firm. The survey found that 64 percent of the women believe men are more attractive in a tuxedo than a business suit, while 68 percent of men think women pay more attention to a man in a tuxedo than in a suit. And, finally, 55 percent of the men surveyed say they feel more attractive in a tuxedo than a suit.

A frequent contributor to Cigar Aficionado, G. Bruce Boyer is the author of Eminently Suitable (W.W. Norton, 1990). Black Tie Affair


Shopping suggestions for the best in formal wear:

Brioni / 57 East 57th Street, New York, New York 10022; 212/376-5777. For other venues, phone 212/956-4155

Bruce Cameron Clark / 968 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10021; 212/772-7701

Alfred Dunhill / 450 Park Avenue, New York, New York 10022; 212/753-9292

William Fioravanti Inc. / 45 West 57th Street, New York, New York 10019; 212/355-1540

Holland & Holland / 50 East 57th Street, New York, New York 10022; 212/752-7755

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