The Golfer

Winter Issue

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The tale of the tuxedo B lack Tie. Or Cravat Noire if your host has a playfully cosmopolitan flair. The invitation sparks an intoxicating sense of excitement and anticipation. At the same time, it stirs an uneasy dread and a tinge of fearful apprehension. And rightly so. Black Tie is, after all, far more than a social invitation. It communicates a sartorial eloquence mastered by few. It is the unspoken but universally understood mandate to arrive properly and appropriately attired—a daunting challenge for both neophytes and those who only occasionally tinker in the ilk of uber-festivities requiring the social gravity and protocol of "Evening Dress." Black Tie heralds uniquely special affairs, those reserved exclusively for occasions of Old World grandeur, opulent celebration and festive revelry. Little wonder, then, that satisfying the fashion demands of Black Tie should cause an intimidating and dispiriting sense of fashion insecurity even among the most self-confident. It is serious and deliberate dress fashioned by monarchs, governed by royal protocol and dictated by decades of social custom and ceremony. It is pomp and circumstance—and never to be taken lightly. F or most, Black Tie and tuxedo are synonymous. In England, it is called a dinner jacket. In France, where it is worn in private men's clubs, it is called le smoking. In Scotland, it is paired with a kilt. And in Bermuda, it is worn with knee-length shorts. Like the chic "little black dress," the tuxedo is itself the ultimate expression of sophisticated elegance. And like all icons, its timeless design and refined styling is almost always corrupted and spoiled—and seldom improved—by trendy tinkering. That explains the small tolerance given by purists to fad-of-the-moment interpretations. by Andy Stinson Club Life s t y l e tie black

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