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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been lucky enough to get tickets to Magdalen College Commemoration Ball this year, which has a white tie dress code. The ball committee have arranged a discount with Moss Bros in Oxford, but I want to make sure I get one that fits properly (ie. trousers high enough and tailcoat and waistcoat cut so I don't get the horrible white band below the tailcoat) and I don't trust Moss Bros to happen to have one that fits me in on the day. Plus I'm sure there's somewhere that hires better quality white tie than Moss Bros.

I did a quick search and found a post mentioning . Is this a good place to go? The picture on their website doesn't fill me with hope, as the waistcoat comes down further than the tailcoat. Is there anywhere else worth trying, either instead of Buckleigh or in case they don't have one that fits me?

Hiring is probably best, as I can't afford to buy full dress new. However does anyone know of any charity shops or vintage shops that might sell it more cheaply? I'd love to go to the ball in something with a little character.

Many thanks for any help!
 

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I have used Youngs Hire (from a Suits You store) twice before, although not for white tie and tails. The first time was for a dinner suit and the second time was for a friend's wedding (groom's family sorted out hire package with Youngs'). They do have fancy things like two-button dinner suits, etc; however, you can get one-button shawl lapel jackets, etc. They will never be as good as high quality RTW/MTM but still a decent garment.

If there is Moss Bros local to you, it is worth seeing what they have to offer. Despite what people think about Moss Bros and their hire service they deal with Royal Ascot, May Uni Balls (not just Oxbridge).

There is this place - https://www.jomclaren.co.uk/index.php - not far from me, but it seems to on par with most hire services.
 

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To buy I don't know whether Old Hat or Hornet's of Kensington might be able to help?

https://www.hornetskensington.co.uk/

https://www.tipped.co.uk/listings/1856/old-hat

eBay is also always an option, provided you buy carefully.

Finally, if you have no issues about visiting Cambridge, the market outside King's some years ago used to have a stall full of vintage evening dress, etc., where I bought my first tails, dress trousers, tie and so on. I think it was a feature of the Tuesday market - it might be worth enquiring (perhaps from Tourist Information?) if it is still there.
 

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When I was up, i used Austin Reed on Regent St. They were marginally better than Moss Bross. The waistcoat will be a backless one-size-fits-none. I would buy a tunic/ neckband/ detachable stiff wing collar evening shirt. You could get away with your regular DJ trousers.

There is a better choice in London, and booking early gives you the best range.

Another option, might be Lipman & Sons:

https://www.lipmanandsons.co.uk/hire.htm

Leon
 

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Scary!

Another option, might be Lipman & Sons:

https://www.lipmanandsons.co.uk/hire.htm

Leon
The picture on the Lipman & Sons site looked a bit like a tryout for Mr. Hyde, with sleeve cuffs hidden and waistcoat showing.

It always concerns me when an establishment's "best foot forward" has errors, which is true of the Buckleigh site as well. At least their model looked less of a lout. In contrast, the McLaren white tie image shows it worn properly.

At 85 BPS per hire (at McLaren's), I should think you could pick something up, either vintage or coming off hire, that would be both interesting and reasonable. It also has the advantage of being available when you are invited to Magdalen's again. Of course, you should then buy your linen (including waistcoat) all new from the same place to go with your owned tails. Older white usually is liable to be a little yellow, and you'll want blazing white:icon_smile_big:
 

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At 85 BPS per hire (at McLaren's), I should think you could pick something up, either vintage or coming off hire, that would be both interesting and reasonable. It also has the advantage of being available when you are invited to Magdalen's again. Of course, you should then buy your linen (including waistcoat) all new from the same place to go with your owned tails. Older white usually is liable to be a little yellow, and you'll want blazing white:icon_smile_big:
I'd agree with this but would encourage you not to discount vintage linen entirely as with good thorough laundering it should be possible to return it to a suitable shade of whiteness - for example I once took on as a project a white waistcoat which had a distinctly orange tint as a result of the actions of age and deteriorating starch, but after a good scrub all over with laundry soap and a boil wash it was as good as new!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
if there are any alterations required i.e. shortening of trousers, sleeves etc. they will be done on the spot at no extra charge

The picture on the Lipman & Sons site looked a bit like a tryout for Mr. Hyde, with sleeve cuffs hidden and waistcoat showing.

It always concerns me when an establishment's "best foot forward" has errors, which is true of the Buckleigh site as well. At least their model looked less of a lout. In contrast, the McLaren white tie image shows it worn properly.
This is true. Though the Buckleigh site suggests they'll alter it for free, even for hires ("if there are any alterations required i.e. shortening of trousers, sleeves etc. they will be done on the spot at no extra charge"). I do wonder why a shop that goes to the lengths of altering hire clothes would post a picture of an outfit that doesn't fit properly. I think I'll pop into Buckleigh and Lipman and see if they have anything that will work.
 

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I am very envious. Would also love to join the ball.
Actually I never thought about hiring clothes but I am of the opinion that this is a good idea. Two years ago i actually hired a trailer and I think you can also hire other things on this website. Maybe you can check if this site is a possibility for you.
Maybe I can join the ball next year. At least I would love to.
 
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