Last week we were contacted by the stylin’ Michael Andrews Bespoke company, a NYC-based custom tailor that recently opened a shop in Washington, DC. They had some awesome information and advice to share, and also agreed to give Capitol Romance readers a fantastic offer: Buy 1 of their Primo Tuxedos and get a shirt and bowtie for free!
All you have to do is mention Capitol Romance at your booking![Oh and you might want to start the music above before you finish reading this post …. I just couldn’t resist]
A little more about Michael Andrews Bespoke:
Michael Andrews Bespoke specializes in slim-fit suits, shirts, tuxedos, sports coats, trousers, and overcoats for men, cut to clients’ precise measurements. MAB was launched in New York City in 2006 with the vision of crafting high-end, approachable menswear with a modern flare. The shop is now known as New York City’s premier custom clothier, having been named on the “Best Of” lists by New York Magazine, Time Out New York, Bloomberg Markets, AM New York and JW Marriott Magazine. Each customer is then measured by Michael Andrews himself; fittings are done at the studio and final adjustments are made by Michael Andrews’ premier tailors.
At Michael Andrews Bespoke, clients have the opportunity to choose the inner and outer patterns as well as thread color and button type (wood, horn, or mother-of-pearl), entirely personalizing their suit. Custom shirts, ties, and artistic cuff links round out the wardrobe. Andrews is a leader in taking a boy’s club approach to retail, with an off-the-beaten-path, location and ‘by appointment’ schedule. A key focal point at both the New York City and new DC studio is a lavish eight-foot long, fully stocked bar, which makes it easy to linger before (and after) appointments.
I mean, I don’t think I will ever be in the position to purchase a tuxedo, but if I was, I would want a place with a sick studio and a full bar. Just sayin; :)
Let us know if you happen to check out Michael’s new DC shop! We hope you enjoy this special offer for my readers!
Click inside for some awesome images & some great advice on suits & tuxes from Michael Andrews Bespoke himself!
Here is Michael himself offering advice on how to dress for formal, semi-formal, and casual weddings:
A “formal” wedding can be loosely defined as an affair that is held in the evening, indoors, at a grand venue such as a ballroom or a private estate. If the wedding is formal in nature, a classic tuxedo is the garment of choice. A classic tuxedo jacket should have either a peak lapel or a shawl collar, and either a one-button front closure or a double-breasted closure. While tuxedos designed like business suits with notch lapels and two button closures are quite common today, they lack refinement traditionally demanded of formal occasions. The front pockets on the jacket should not have flaps, and the pocket opening should be piped in the same trim as the lapels. While tuxedo jackets are historically unvented, this is the one area Michael Andrews Bespoke advocates deviating from tradition. Side vents are more flattering on nearly every body type, as they lengthen the leg line and enhance the overall silhouette of the jacket.
While most ready-made tuxedos come in black wool, the Duke of Windsor popularized the midnight blue tuxedo in the 1930s. As the tuxedo trim is always black, a midnight blue fabric has the added benefit of enhancing the contrast between the body of the garment and the trimming, creating a more dramatic look. For grooms who want to stand out from their groomsmen, the choice of a midnight blue fabric is even more compelling, assuming the groomsmen are wearing black tuxedos.
Tuxedo trousers may be either flat front or pleated, although flat front trousers offer a cleaner appearance. They are never worn with belts, and are always held in place at the waist, either by adjustable side straps or with suspenders. Tradition dictates that a man’s waist be covered, which was historically practiced by wearing a waistcoast (vest). In the early 1900s, British military officers in colonial India popularized the cummerbund as an alternative to the waistcoat. Today, either is appropriate. Whereas cummerbunds should be worn with matching bowties, waistcoats may be worn with either bowties or neckties. If the former is chosen, it should always be self-tied. Pre-tied bowties are for high school proms and wait staff.
For formal daytime weddings in warmer seasons or evening affairs in the tropics, an off-white dinner jacket is the sophisticated choice (think Humphrey Bogart in 1942’s Casablanca). Unlike a tuxedo jacket, the dinner jacket is typically paired with black tuxedo trousers, and is, more often than not, designed with a shawl lapel and a one-button front closure. Although the dinner jacket was traditionally worn at outdoor occasions, there is a growing trend toward its use at less-formal evening occasions. Michael Andrews’ clients often opt for the “costume change” between wedding ceremony and reception. Tails and morning coats are common in Europe and South America, but both are largely considered overkill for American weddings, and are generally reserved for waiters and bellmen.
Most tuxedo shirts feature either a pleated front or a bib made in a pique fabric. Either choice is appropriate provided the shirt does not look like it came from a ‘70s tuxedo rental shop. A tuxedo shirt should always be French cuff. One’s choice of cufflinks to accompany the shirt is a great opportunity to interject personality into the ensemble without being garish. Classic silver and onyx links are always a safe choice, however, more ornate options are always also acceptable. Tuxedo shirts are traditionally fasted in the front using four studs, but a hidden placket front is also an appropriate choice and offers a more modern look. The shirt collar should be either a traditional tuxedo “wing” collar or a classic spread collar. A wing collar is best paired with a bowtie, while a spread collar works just as well with a long tie as it does a bowtie.
To complete the look from head-to-toe, you must shift your focus downward. Black patent leather lace-ups are ubiquitous, whereas velvet slippers in the cooler months are an elegant choice. As long as you’ve had a good shine on the day-of, a simple black lace-up can be just as smart, not to mention practical with the added benefit to re-purpose them for work or semi-formal wear.
Whether you’re the groom, groomsman, or simply party crashing, not all weddings call for tuxedos. In many settings, such as a daytime wedding in a vineyard, a tuxedo may be too formal and will look out place. If you want to retain a degree of formality to a daytime affair, opt for a classic dark blue or dark grey suit. As an added benefit, semi-formal dress often gives ample opportunity to wear the suit again.
If the wedding is outdoors or during the daytime in warmer months, a lighter colored suit is also a valid selection. Solid fabrics are best; stripes tend to be suited strictly for the office, and checks are considered less formal. If you opt for a black suit, it is advised that you don’t pretend it’s a tuxedo (i.e. do not wear a bow tie and studs).
A classic white dress shirt is always a safe bet with any suit, but colored shirts are also acceptable. Solid color neckties are more formal than their striped or patterned counterparts. The addition of a vest is a great way to enhance the formality and sophistication of the suit. Generally speaking, black shoes are most appropriate at night, while brown or cordovan shoes are the best choice for daytime events.
Casual & Destination Weddings
The invitation may read “casual,” but a wedding in St. Barth’s is still a wedding. If you’re the groom, you want to make sure everyone attending knows that you’re the man of the hour. Linen, cotton, and summer-weight wool suits are ideal for a beach wedding. Linen suits can be worn with sandals and cotton suits look best with loafers (socks are optional). Any of these suiting options can be paired with a fine poplin or linen shirt, and in these settings, crisp white or a soft pastel color is an excellent choice. Don’t be afraid of incorporating regional flare into your outfit. If you’re having a destination wedding out West, a tuxedo jacket with dark blue jeans and cowboy boots can be the perfect blend of city chic and western flair. Just keep in mind that what works in Wyoming won’t necessarily work in Westchester. If you are in the South, a seersucker suit with white bucks is a classic look. If you are in Bermuda- you guessed it- Bermuda shorts with a jacket is a viable option.
A special thanks again to Michael Andrew Bespokes for the suit advice, and special offer. Our complimentary offer will be valid for 6 months from this post! Enjoy!