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Silk and wine with your evening wear

13 April 2011

The fair haired boy of the beach walk

Esquire, January 1935: “This is the semi-formal evening outfit that will be worn by the best-dressed men at Palm Beach this winter. It consists of a white shawl collar dinner jacket with dress trousers of black or midnight blue tropical worsted. The jacket is of lightweight washable material in the single-breasted model that finally won out over the double-breasted type in the preferences of Newport and Southampton men by the end of last summer.

“The soft shirt is of white silk with collar attached, worn with a black rep dress tie in the popular semi-butterfly shape. The hose are sheer black silk with a deep maroon clock, and the pumps are patent leather. The maroon silk foulard handkerchief in the breast pocket here replaces the omnipresent red carnation. A tan camel’s hair topcoat and a sennit straw hat complement this outfit on cool evenings. A wine silk cummerbund is recommended here.”

Unless you do vacation in the classic sunspots of North America, and go to a lot of dinner events, I can’t recommend a white dinner jacket. But those going to this season’s awards dinners should take note of the other aspects of the dinner ensemble, including wine-coloured accessories and use of silk.