07 June 2010

Evening Dress

I have absolutely no need to own evening clothes, formal wear, or any of that jazz. Hell, you could say I don't really even need to own a suit (sigh). But shopping in the thrift world, one must be open to the things that find the shopper, as opposed to vice versa. The following is nothing short of a severe example:
Feast your eyes: a 1960s vintage tuxedo, well kept in near perfect condition, fits me like a glove. Best of all, it's not black, but rather the elusive 'midnight blue'. What could be more bad*ss than an old midnight blue tux? Check the fine details...

I always did dig the shawl collar. But look closely. The pants have a satin stripe down the out seam. The lapels, however, are not faced in satin, they match the suit. A tiny detail, but a damned important one. So cool.


Hailing from the no doubt long gone Miami Beach men's shop Jules Gillette. Anybody have any stories about this place?



Also, the thing is made entirely of silk. Real heavy stuff, with ribs, maybe shantung or dupioni. Anyway, seriously, a silk tux? Vintage? With dry cleaning tags still attached with safety pins? $12.99 (damn right)? How in the name of all things holy could I turn my back on such a prize?




And what with the recent gift of this bib front plaid tux shirt, from London-by-way-of Tin Tin, my formal wear knob was turned up to 11.

Complete with detachable pique collar. As Tin Tin himself said, a real pain in the *ss, but totally worth it.

Now, I could go on a rip about how I'll never be in need of this outfit, but that's just not true. If I don't get invited somewhere black tie, Lord knows with a rig like this in the closet, I'll damn well create the situation, host the event myself if I have to. Stay tuned.

Instead, I'll use this extreme example as a reminder of this blogs original intent, it's very heart, if you will.

A lack of money does not necessarily coincide with a lack of taste, as much as having money doesn't necessarily grant one good taste. Nor does a lack of money mean that any of us should be relegated to a slovenly and unkempt lifestyle. Many people think that thrift shopping is a dirty and pointless business resulting only in the acquisition of dead people's stuff and nasty old junk. In large part this is true, but remember, persistence will always be rewarded.

I'll bet this tux is better than a lot of rich guys. I could crash a mean fundraiser in that get-up. Maybe all this formal wear coming around at once is a portent of something to come...

20 comments:

Main Line Sportsman said...

Love a shawl collar...both my dinner jackets are shawl collar..the black one and the cream colored or off- white. I have fairly frequent call for these rigs.
Your purchase is one damn fine score Sir...and if you do not have an invite in the near future...I think you should create the Black Tie event as you threaten...and sport this tremendous outfit.

dznqbit said...

that pique collar is stupid hot

initials CG said...

That is one fantastic find! I doubt you can get one made like that anymore without going to some obscure backstreet in Naples...

You've got to create the occasion to wear it!

Vintage Vixen said...

The midnight blue dinner jacket is sheer class, what a tremendous find.

Jake said...

That is lovely, and very unusual. As you say, if you can't find a black tie event to go to, then simply host one. Most people will find it a pleasure to finally have a reason to dress up a bit.

Thornproof said...

So unfair! While I do have a reasonably nice tux, that one is super cool! Midnight blue silk ... too special!

Great thrifting and you just make me want to hit the stores even more ...

Cyclo2000 said...

Cyclo2000 here has been invited to Ralph Lauren's table at the Scottish Fashion awards and so has had to update his rig as it's strictly black tie, daddy-O!

I've gone all Ralph except for the coat which is velvet and was made for me by Ede&Ravenscroft. I just imported a Polo black'n'white polka dot evening vest from a geezer with a shop in Michigan and I've borrowed my mates Gucci evening shoes which have velvet bows to match the coat. My trousers are RL Polo found on Ebay for a fiver - they fit like bespoke and are finished with braid rather than ribbon.
All I need now is a decent evening shirt and I'm all set.

Hope you get a chance to wear the new rig soon mate.

What you need for that is a pair of Mary Janes...if they were good enough for Francis Albert...

http://www.bowhillandelliott.co.uk/Asp/ShowDetail.asp?ProductId=90

David M. said...

11 is one better than 10! You should host and awards banquet or have a roast like the Friar's Club.

davidsl said...

you never know when you might need evening wear. that is one hot tux. nothing like that thrifting here. just nylon sports wear 6 sizes too big. sigh.

TRVS said...

It's lovely. I say throw a party with a dress code.

Ollie said...

What is your opinion on mens casual footwear, such as CVOs and Topsiders?

Young Fogey said...

Wow. You have the best thrift stores EVAR.

Well, I can't complain too much. At least my thrifts have more than T-shirts, Dockers, and polyester coming out the wazoo, which is more than can be said for some.

Sheik of Araby said...

Schedule the next Flea swap shindig for an evening start, and you've got your black-tie event.

Otherwise, Date Night! Have you found Mrs. G any smokin' thrifted evening gowns or tiaras?

P. F. Pugh said...

Jealous, as usual. I've been dreaming of a midnight blue shawl collar deal for a while.

Zachary said...

Hey Joe,
great dinner suit (or tuxedo, to be pedestrian). Midnight blue is THE color for those things. Imagine a time when that wasn't even the most formal thing a man would wear, that was simply something a man would wear out to a nice restaurant or nightclub. A dinner suit. For dinner. At the turn of the 19th century and in to the early 20th it was common for men of means to change into their dinner suits even when dining at home. So there's all the excuse you need.

Also, seriously, your lack of an occasion to wear this thing is due to the fact that NOBODY has an occasion to. Look at the fundraising gala photos in any magazine. Even when women are in evening gowns, men are in suits. Even the very rich don't find ax excuse to wear dinner suits anymore.

Except in England.

Jho78 said...

Come on, where's the action shot? You really do have the best luck, don't you? I wish I lived in a city.

Giuseppe said...

No action shots until I get some black socks.

Seriously...I don't own any black socks.

Young Fogey said...

Three cheers for the black-sockless Giuseppe!

You know they have to be silk, right? You may have to buy new....

What formal footwear do you have?

ADG said...

Midnight blue...the bomb.

dandiacal said...

This is a lovely post and a lovely find. I had the opportunity to have a dinner suit or tuxedo made about twenty years ago and I chose Midnight blue instead of black. It has held up marvelously. You are performing an invaluable service by showing the detailing of a lost era when good men's haberdashers were much in evidence like this Palm Beach place.