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Formal Fashion Terms Every Guy Should Know

Even though we at A. Tiziano specialize in urban menswear fashion, we know that there are going to be times in your life when you have an event that is simply out of our scope. But that doesn’t mean you need to be in the dark. Even though we don’t offer tuxedos or fancy shoes, our cool button-up shirts and nice sweaters for men can still take your outfit to a new level of formal. Before you get invited to a nice dinner gala, red carpet event, or White Tie wedding, be sure to brush up on some important formal fashion terms.

Need something a little more casual? Shop our collection of hip hop and urban clothing, quality jeans, and streetwear clothes for men.

Fancy Fashion Terms To Remember

Bespoke: This term is most often used to refer to custom-made suits as opposed to suits that are bought off-the-rack and tailored to fit you. A bespoke suit is made-to-order by a clothier after a client has been measured and picked out specifications for the suit from the fabric to the thread used to stitch it together. A quality bespoke suit can cost several thousands of dollars - and that’s on the cheap end. While this term may sound archaic, one of our favorite urban menswear influencers, Kanye West, rapped about bespoke suits in his feature on Estelle’s song, “American Boy.” Kanye says, “Dressed smart like a London bloke / Before he speak his suit bespoke / and you thought he was cute before / Look at this peacoat, tell me he’s broke.” Even Kanye can see that a bespoke suit is not for the light-spenders.

Button-Down: Button-down and button-up are often used interchangeably, but there is a difference. A button-down shirt is a button-up (meaning, it has buttons going up the front) with a button-down collar. Button-downs feature small buttons on the points of the collar to keep it snugly in place.

Black Tie: While not as common as it once was, occasionally an event will be labeled “Black Tie” or “White Tie.” At a Black Tie event, men should wear a black tuxedo with a white button-down, a black bow tie, black pants, black socks, and black Oxfords. Women should wear floor-length evening gowns to a Black Tie event.

White Tie: If you thought it can’t get fancier than a Black Tie event, think again. A White Tie event is the most formal type of event in Western society. Men should wear a black tailcoat, a black or white cummerbund, and a white bow tie. Women should, again, wear full-length evening gowns, but can also wear ball gowns with shawls, wraps, or long gloves.

Brogue: If you’ve seen any movies from the recent Kingsman franchise, you may remember the sentiment offered by one of the main characters, “Oxfords, not brogues.” Most likely, at some point in your life you’ve looked at a pair of brogues and called them Oxfords. The overall shape and cut of the shoe is similar, but brogues have decorative holes and imprints across the top of the shoe. While brogues have extra design, they are often thought to be more casual than Oxfords.

Notch Lapel Vs. Shawl Lapel: Both of these refer to the collar portion of a suit jacket. A notch lapel features a notch or a fold near the top of the collar (usually just about at your collar bone). These types of lapels are often seen on your everyday business or interview suit. Shawl lapels, on the other hand, do not have a notch in them and run seamlessly from the top of the shoulder to the buttons of your coat. These are often reserved for White Tie events and will most likely be seen on true tuxedos.

For Nice Men’s Clothes, Look No Further Than A. Tiziano

Whether you need a cool dress shirt for men to wear under that notch lapel suit-jacket or a nice sweater to go with your brogues, A. Tiziano has the urban menswear you need. Shop today.



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