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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Everyday I look at the tail coat hanging in my closet, and my scorn for it grows, little by little. So, I'm not a white tie kind of guy; I don't want to be. I thought about selling the piece. At any rate, I'm keeping the formal pants that came with the tail coat; they look marvelous when worn as a tuxedo. The pieces were made in Finland in the '40s. 38L. Even the original hanger, with the name of the dept. store on it, is in tact. Then, as I started exploring other options, it came to me that I have a chance to do something seldem ever done anymore: turn the tail coat into a "dinner jacket." It sounds fun. Should I do as the lore says and have a tailor chop off the tails? Once altered, the coat would certainly stand out in a group of tuxedo wearers. I think a pursuit like this would be much more interesting than keeping the tail coat as is. What would you do?
 

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I would not do it. Tail coat is a tail coat. Tail coat with chopped tails is not a tuxedo, it's a tailcoat with chopped tails.

Either way, the braids on formal pants are different between white and black tie. It would be an abomination.
 

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Trousers for tails are different.....

Conversion to a correct tuxedo is problematical, as the correct trouser for a tail coat has two lines of braid down the outseam, a tuxedo trouser has one. (Debrett's 2001) In a room full of rented notch lapel tuxedos, this may go unnoticed, but you will know.....
This is a piece of history that should be enjoyed! (Do you have one in a 46XL?)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I have two pairs of tuxedo pants: one pleated by Purple Label, the other is plain from Brooks Brothers. To anyone curious about a comparison: the PL pair is far superior than BB in every which way.

Last year I acquired a pair of "formal" pants, made in Finland, when I bought the tail coat in question.

I am under the impression that the fundamental difference between "white tie" pants and "black tie" pants is the rise. Of course "formal" pants are double striped on each side, but they are also high waisted, or "English cut." Additionally, they have a fish tail back. It is the norm, in my understanding, that tuxedo pants have a normal rise. Tuxedo pants then don't have fish tail backs.

Because a tail coat was intended to be worn with "English cut" pants and short vests, only "English cut" pants and short vests could be worn with a modified tail coat, at least in my judgment.

It is also in my understanding that various forum regulars, whom I look to for inspiration, are fond of wearing formal pants as a tuxedo. Additionally, some view such a combination as not only harmless, but more elegant, correct and sophisticated than normal rise pants! Such members, if reading this, are welcomed to chime in re. the use of "white tie" wear with "black tie" wear, but it isn't necessary. I don't need back up for what I deem as nice looking.

While I did pick up the idea of wearing formal pants as a tuxedo here, at Ask Andy's, I will continue to wear what I deem as nice despite which way the current view of what said sways.
 

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Although you might think the result would be exciting due to the attention you would receive, be aware that some of the attention will be of the sarcastic and teasing nature
"Well, tell me sir, which regiment has an all black mess dress?"

Because like someone else said, what you would have would be an abomination, looking like an oversized all black mess jacket sans braiding and colour.
 

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It seems a shame to break up the set or mutilate the coat; perhaps better to sell it on to someone who will appreciate it "as is." As to the trousers, in British usage, the only difference between trousers for wear with a dinner jacket and full dress trousers is the number of stripes; the question of rise is immaterial. (I understand that in US usage some deem single stripe to be acceptable for both.) As has been said, the result of cutting off the tails will be a black mess jacket and not a dinner jacket; I believe that such a style enjoyed a brief vogue in the 1980s; as such, it is likely to look dated, and not in a good way!
 

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From the 19th century until 1967, boys under the height of 5'4" were required to wear the Eton suit, which replaced the tailcoat with the cropped Eton jacket (known colloquially as a "bum-freezer") and included an Eton collar, a large, stiff-starched, white collar. The Eton suit was copied by other schools and has remained in use in some, particularly choir schools.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eton_College
 
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