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I think we may have just seen a permanent change in Men's dress codes. At this evening's Inaugural Balls, President Obama upstaged his wife by daringly wearing a white-tie with his dinner jacket.

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Inaugural Balls are typically white-tie and Obama's decision to wear a tuxedo (a bad one, sadly) instead was reported as a signal of frugality in the economic crisis. But then he wore a white-tie with it!

This may be a situation like the creation of the dinner jacket by the Edward VII (while Prince of Wales) or the adoption of the soft collar and authorization of midnight blue by his son the Duke of Windsor (when he, in turn, was Prince of Wales). In each case - as in most changes to the male dress code through the years - they used their status at the very apex of the social pyramid as license to change the rules. I wonder if we have not just seem the same thing from the new phenomenon/President - the final banishing of the tailcoat and the adoption of the dinner jacket for white-tie.
 

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Ouch! Now I wonder what the thought process was.....
 

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I'm hoping that he doesn't change white tie - at least not in the way he dressed today. I just don't think a Notch lapel dinner jacket and a white bow tie screams "appropriate for the most formal events"

Then again, black tie is becoming a lost art. A recent survey of the neighborhood tuxedo shop yielded a sea of too many buttons and notch lapels. This seems to be a common trend in many areas.

So... You may just be right. It would be a sad day, though. Just the newest casualty along the slow decline into a casual culture.
 

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This may be a situation like the creation of the dinner jacket by the Edward VII (while Prince of Wales) or the adoption of the soft collar and authorization of midnight blue by his son the Duke of Windsor (when he, in turn, was Prince of Wales). In each case - as in most changes to the male dress code through the years - they used their status at the very apex of the social pyramid as license to change the rules. I wonder if we have not just seem the same thing from the new phenomenon/President - the final banishing of the tailcoat and the adoption of the dinner jacket for white-tie.
The difference is that traditional dinner clothes are quite attractive, whereas President Obama's clothes tonight were, in my opinion, not. Vice President Biden, on the other hand, looked quite sharp, judging by the short glimpse I saw on television.
 

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A glittering jewel of colossal ignorance, as one man says.
Obama shines brightly tonight for all to see.
 

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Huh?

My late grandfather said that white tie with a dinner jacket was for the staff. With all of the implications of Obama being president, that's kinda ironic, huh?
And just what "implications" do you find so "ironic," eh?

Moderator, please!
 

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Unless he is an Oxbridge graduate attending a formal university ceremony/examination in full academic dress, no. What he wore amounts to evening subfusc which is is confined to said above situation and cetainly not a non-academic ball.
 

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Subfusc

Unless he is an Oxbridge graduate attending a formal university ceremony/examination in full academic dress, no. What he wore amounts to evening subfusc which is is confined to said above situation and cetainly not a non-academic ball.
I am not sure what 'evening subfusc' is, but you are right - he is dressed like an Oxford undergraduate who has forgotten his gown.
 

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As far as I am concerned it is hardly for the President of the US to change traditional rules of dress, especially in Europe.

This said I recall seeing pictures posted by Sator where you could see Victorian or Edwardian gentlemen wearing a dinner jacket with white bowtie and waistcoat. So it is not exactly a new thing.

What I would suggest is to wear a white waistcoat, wing collar and SB jacket with one button and peak lapels if you are going to try to wear a white bowtie.
Yours,

Phileas Fogg
 

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A white bow tie with a notch lapel, 2-button, center-vented dinner jacket? Didn't I see a drawing of that in a Flusser book as an example of what not to wear? Regardless, I was embarassed for him and the office.
 

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This may be a situation like the creation of the dinner jacket by the Edward VII (while Prince of Wales) or the adoption of the soft collar and authorization of midnight blue by his son the Duke of Windsor (when he, in turn, was Prince of Wales). In each case - as in most changes to the male dress code through the years - they used their status at the very apex of the social pyramid as license to change the rules. I wonder if we have not just seem the same thing from the new phenomenon/President - the final banishing of the tailcoat and the adoption of the dinner jacket for white-tie.
Two observations from me - one pedantic the other provocative?

First the Duke of Windsor was the grandson of Edward VII (his father was George V).

Second it is deemed OK for a Prince of Wales to 'break the Rules' because he knows better! President Obama does not!
 

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That's why I was wondering what it said on the invitation. If it said 'Black Tie' or 'White Tie' he clearly got it wrong. But if it said something like 'Formal Dress' or even 'Evening Dress' then he might be said to have created (or proposed) a new rule. After all someone in the US ought to be able to do that.
 

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Relax guys. Saying Obama has permanently changed "white tie" is like saying that JFK killed the hat - it just ain't so. If you all have taught me anything in my short time on this forum, it's that timeless style is just that - timeless.

That being said, the staffer assigned to his waredrobe yesterday should be SHOT! :icon_smile_big:
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
He Knows the Rules, He Chose to Break Them

Two observations from me - one pedantic the other provocative?

First the Duke of Windsor was the grandson of Edward VII (his father was George V).

Second it is deemed OK for a Prince of Wales to 'break the Rules' because he knows better! President Obama does not!
Of course, you are quite right on the first point. Thank you for the correction. (I don't think you need ever apologize for being pedantic in this forum.)

On the second point, this seems to me an assumption too far on your part. There is no reason to believe that Obama doesn't know black-tie means black-tie. He has likely attended literally hundreds of such events over the course of his career and while I obviously cannot speak for them all, I have seen may pictures of him in black-tie. Press reports have stated that he intended to wear black-tie (which was the dress code for the evening) but changed his mind because he thought the white-tie complimented his wife's gown.

I know it is a reflect for us Americans to "dis" our Presidents as clueless, but the evidence suggests that is not the case here. I may not agree with his choice (I don't, in fact) but I think we should credit it as a conscious choice.
 
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