Whether you’re attending a colour-mandated event, heading to Derby Day or just looking to channel some old-school neutral vibes, black and white tailoring is an area ripe for dapper dressing. Here are five tips to getting it right.
A black and white dress code is a prime opportunity to play with those grey areas in between black and white - details like a houndstooth pattern, a charcoal grey or suiting separates (perhaps a black blazer and white trousers, or vice versa) give you a white-hot opportunity to bend the code to your own taste and personality.
A ‘black and white’ themed party or event (like Derby Day) is different to ‘black tie’ in two key ways: colour, and formality. A black and white event means you should only be donning black and white tones, whereas a navy tuxedo or a bright dinner/smoking jacket is perfectly acceptable for black tie. A black and white event also does not have any specific dress code other than colour –you’re perfectly fine to wear an ordinary two-button suit, suiting separates and wear a tie, bow tie or no tie at all –hereas ‘black tie’ requires a dinner suit (or ‘tuxedo’) and a bow tie. Basically, feel free to have some fun for your next black and white event, playing with textures, accessories and details until your heart is content; so long as you stick to the colour scheme, you’re golden.
When you’re sticking to classic tones of black and white, there is always a risk your outfit can look a little flat. Revel in the details and accessories–the neutral tones mean it’s one of the few times you’re never at risk of overdoing it. A pocketsquare, suspenders, a lapel flower, tie pin and even a hat - it’s an opportunity to let your imagination fly. And if you’re designing a custom garment, celebrate those details that’ll separate your tailor-made look from the rest of the (off-the-rack) pack: wide or peak lapels, patch pockets, a fun lining, working buttonholes, side tabs and trouser cuffs are glimpses of personality that’ll anchor your look and show you’ve given this garment some real thought.
When the colour scheme is restrained, there’s an opportunity to have some fun with bold details that might ordinarily feel out of place. In fact, if you’re opting for a plain black suit, we actually suggest it - a two-button black suit with notch lapels can often risk come off looking like you’re attending a funeral, waiting tables or recycling your old high school formal suit. Double down on those bold tweaks that elevate the garment: a double-breasted blazer, or a double-breasted waistcoat, is a sure-fire way to inject some tailoring oomph into your look, while still playing to the classic tailoring tenets.
Fit is, and always will be, the single most important factor of whether a suit looks flattering and of high quality. This is never more important than when you’re dealing with neutral tones like black and white - there are no flashy pops of colour to distract from ill-fitting shoulders, tight trousers or pulling fabric. As all of our garments are made-to-measure and covered by our Perfect Fit Guarantee, there’s never an issue with ensuring you’re putting your best foot forward (into a pair of perfectly fitted trousers).