There used to be very few options for dinner jackets and formal wear. Where we used to have the options of “tails or no tails” for our tuxedos, now we can choose between lots of options.
What is a Dinner Jacket?
Dinner jackets are the main part of formal evening dress code, which also includes a pair of matching trousers to form a tuxedo, as it’s called in Canada and the United States, or a smoking in Japan and in most of Europe. Term dinner jacket is also sometimes interchangeable with the term dinner suit and even tuxedo itself.
Dinner jackets are usually black or dark blue, or white or ivory in tropical climates. White or ivory is sometimes a choice for the summer months in northern hemisphere as well. The dinner jacket is generally worn for semi-formal events or formal events after 6 p.m.
Choose the Dinner Jacket for You
It’s important to choose the right dinner jacket for your body type. Even if you are dressed properly for an event, you’ll never look totally right if you don’t dress according to your body. Here are some tips to dress yourself right for any occasion.
Short & Thin
Wear a dinner jacket that won’t overwhelm you. Try to avoid double-breasted styles, which can just swamp you even more. Try a jacket with just two or three buttons that are positioned low on the jacket. If you find a jacket with a wide lapel, you can add width to your upper body and appear more muscular.
Tip: Avoid large patterns, which can overwhelm your frame. A solid cummerbund and tie won’t compete with your shorter, thinner size.
Short & Stocky
Get a classic dinner jacket for your shape. It is an excellent choice, and if it is in black, it will be very slimming. Longer lapels add length; a shawl lapel is best for added length, too.
Disguising your shape is easy with a dinner jacket. If you have a thick waist, you can camouflage it with a vest instead of a cummerbund. The vertical lines add length and draw attention to your face. Play up this effect even further with a four-in-hand tie.
Tall & Thin
If you are lucky and are tall and thin, you can wear almost any type of tuxedo. Accentuate a classic jacket, a double-breasted jacket, or a 5-button style.
Tall & Stocky
Try to stay away from double-breasted jackets and wide lapels that add bulk. Try a dinner jacket with a thinner lapel, and if you have a wide face, avoid the skinniest ties paired with wider lapels. Pair your dinner jacket with a shirt with fewer or no pleats. The more pleats on your shirt, the more bulk will appear.
Wearing a dinner jacket will be far more simple now that you know what is it and when and how to wear it. Now go look your best!