It’s the third week of December, which — if our calculations are correct — means that you must be on at least your forty-seventh Christmas party. From the intimate dinners to the full-blown stay-away-from-the-photocopier office bashes, we imagine you’ve had enough novelty Santa hats, Mariah Carey and eggnog to last a tinsel-trimmed lifetime.
But, by far your biggest seasonal sigh will come as you pull your dinner jacket out of the wardrobe. Everyone loves black tie the first time around, but when three events in one December week demand it, the get-up loses something of its lustre. We’ve already helped you perfect the classic look here, but if there’s any leeway on the dress code, there’s no better way to breathe new live into your tuxedo than by injecting it with colour. We’ve rounded up the best acceptably alternative dinner jackets to show off this party season.
If you're feeling flat, mix up your materials
Who said you had to stick to classic good quality wool when it comes to your dinner jacket? We may like traditional threads, but nothing says ’tis the season like a departure from the dressed-up norm. To this end, keep those trousers understated and black, but mix up your jacket with an exciting choice of fabric. That means seeking out something like Gieves & Hawkes’ bronze and black silk jacquard number; a chic, subtly herringbone jacket with shawl collar and grosgrain silk flourishes.
Or something even more out-there. Look to Clements & Church and their Prussian blue corduroy tuxedo; a masterclass in subversive tailoring and cutting a casual fabric into a fine, fine thing. Or Hackett’s deftly done velvet offering, with peaked lapels and a deep, burgundy-wine colour. Whichever you choose, know that there’s more to black tie than silk and wool.
Gieves & Hawkes Silk Jacquard Evening Jacket
Clements & Church Prussian Blue Corduroy Tuxedo
Hackett Peak Lapel Velvet Jacket
If you're tired of the dark, go for bold
Of course, there’s nothing bolder than a big dose of Christmassy contrast. We’ve all fancied ourselves in a 007 worthy white dinner jacket over the years, but how many among us have actually ever taken the ivory plunge? This festive season, it’s time that you finally go for it — and ramp up the contrast on your tuxedo. As above, leave those trousers jet black or midnight blue, but bring a pop of colour with one of these bright, bold jackets.
From Paul Smith, this frankly outrageous teal tuxedo will take a particular type of man to pull it off. But, if that man is you, waste no time in slipping on its satin-lined, peak-lapelled loveliness. The same goes for Richard James’ Hyde evening jacket, elegantly hued and cut from a sophisticated brushed velvet. Of course, if you really want to crank up the luxury factor, go for Tom Ford’s mohair-blend cream tuxedo. Sumptuous; stupendous.
Paul Smith Teal Velvet Tuxedo
Richard James Hyde Evening Jacket
Tom Ford Cream Satin-Trimmed Tuxedo
If single-breasted bores you, switch up your style
Has your black tie back catalogue exhausted all the fabrics under the sun and all the colours of the rainbow? Worry not, there’s still life in the old dinner jacket yet. The third statement spin on your seasonal tuxedo is that of design; a twist on the cut or style that will elevate you high above your single-breasted, peak-lapelled peers. Favourbrook is leading the charge in this department, its sleek smoking jacket featuring a traditional black frogging detail at the waist.
Giorgio Armani has also switched things up; one of several fashion houses this year offering a mandarin collar on its tuxedos for a slightly softer black tie profile. Or, if you really want to sharpen up your eveningwear silhouette, you need only button up Hackett’s double-breasted, dark green dinner jacket — complete with contrasting lapels, velvet construction and bags of seasonal style.
Favourbrook Burgundy Velvet Grosvenor Jacket
Giorgio Armani Mandarin Tuxedo Jacket
Hackett Double-Breasted Evening Jacket
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