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November 18, 2014

The Dressy Holiday Party: Gents’ 6 Key Looks for 3 Types of Parties

A dressier holiday party can range from standing cocktails and appetizers to a blow-out affair. And some may be hosted by your office, while others are hosted by friends or organizations you are involved with. Either way, these dressier parties are the biggest effort for your host…and probably for you. But they are also an opportunity for you to show your appreciation by putting together a dapper look. Step up to the plate, gents, and get ready for a good time. We see this type of party broken down in 3 fun ways:
1. Cocktail: Who doesn’t love a cocktail party over the holiday season? Whether your employer hosts it or a friend or a charity you are involved with, it’s generally a very upbeat atmosphere – and hopefully, with a great bar and lots of passed appetizers. Go for a suit, but add a little festive flare – that can be in the pattern of the suit or your choice of shirt and tie. A sophisticated sport coat and wool trousers, with a festive shirt and tie can be a strong sartorial choice, too, if you know the venue is more casual.
2. Sit-down Dinner: Companies will often hold a nicer sit-down dinner as a moment to thank their employees and give everyone a chance to mix-and-mingle. Often, significant others are also invited. This is also a time when extended families take the holidays as an opportunity to meet-up somewhere special and share a meal. For occasions like this, similar attire to a cocktail party is appropriate, but we tend to err a little more on the sophisticated (vs fun) side.
3. Formal: This is going to be a seriously great party. There is often music and dancing, and lots of fun to be had. A formal holiday party means one of two things – great tuxedo or a sleek, sophisticated suit.
Here are our top picks for some key looks for each type of party –whether you are looking for something a little more classic or something more playful. Let us know what you think in the comments below and on social media. Let the holiday season begin!
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/robert-graham-lindenwood-classic-fit-velvet-blazer/3843733
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Robert Graham - Lindenwood Classic Fit Velvet Blazer
Lindenwood Classic Fit Velvet Blazer
Robert Graham
Sold by: Nordstrom

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A statement blazer can make your holiday outfit. And a black velvet one is iconic. This Robert Graham version, made with beautifully luxe Italian velvet and textured peak lapels, is an utterly timeless pick in its classic fit. Dress it up with charcoal wool pants and dark shirt, or a tuxedo shirt and tie. If the party atmosphere allows, it looks just as good with your favorite pair of dark wash jeans. Adding a black suede loafer will complete the outfit.

http://www.ralphlauren.com/product/index.jsp?productId=43700346 Polo Ralph Lauren - Bedford Flannel Striped Suit
Polo Ralph Lauren - Bedford Flannel Striped Suit
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Polo Ralph Lauren - Bedford Flannel Striped Suit
Bedford Flannel Striped Suit
Polo Ralph Lauren
Sold by: Ralph Lauren

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1. Cocktail Party: A navy chalk stripe suit is a sophisticated look, especially for a holiday cocktail party. The rich texture of the Italian wool flannel in this one from Polo Ralph Lauren has a seasonal feel that is just right – all winter long. But for now, the deep blue is the perfect background for a little accent of holiday color in your tie. The fit is classic with a modern edge, so it will look great on most gents.
http://www.ledbury.com/products/the-blue-bengal-120-shirt Ledbury - The Blue Bengal 120 Shirt
Ledbury - The Blue Bengal 120 Shirt
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Ledbury - The Blue Bengal 120 Shirt
The Blue Bengal 120 Shirt
Ledbury
Sold by: Ledbury

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A spread collar white shirt is always an appropriate choice. But pairing this suit with a blue and white Bengal stripe dress shirt, which is a classic pattern, has a more modern and dressy feel.

http://www.barneys.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-BNY-Site/default/Product-Show?pid=00505036261987 Alexander Olch - Plaid Wool Neck Tie
Alexander Olch - Plaid Wool Neck Tie
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Alexander Olch - Plaid Wool Neck Tie
Plaid Wool Neck Tie
Alexander Olch
Sold by: Barneys New York

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Alexander Olch makes some of the best patterned wool ties around, and we cannot wait to wear this tartan plaid to holiday events. While it certainly plays into the spirit of the season, the fabulous wool texture keeps it sophisticated and timeless. If a quieter tie is preferred, this dark red patterned tie from Hugo Boss will look just as good. And don't forget the finishing touch of a pocket square.

http://www.zappos.com/allen-edmonds-strand-black-calf Allen-Edmonds - Strand Shoes
Allen-Edmonds - Strand Shoes
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Allen-Edmonds - Strand Shoes
Strand Shoes
Allen-Edmonds
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Black shoes can certainly be worn with this suit, and the perforated cap toe on these Allen-Edmonds is a good match to its classic chalk stripe. You can never go wrong with the comfort, quality, and classic style of Allen-Edmonds. It is even available in four widths, so you can buy your exact fit.
https://www.jcrew.com/mens_category/sportcoatsandvests/velvet/PRDOVR~22273/22273.jsp J. Crew - Ludlow Shawl-collar Velvet Sport Coat
J. Crew - Ludlow Shawl-collar Velvet Sport Coat

2. Cocktail Party: If you want to have some fun and make a completely appropriate fashion statement, this navy blue cotton velvet shawl collar blazer from J. Crew is the perfect choice. It’s not everyday that we get the chance to step outside the box a little, so while it’s not something you’ll get to wear to the office, you’ll certainly get to reach for this jacket a few times this holiday season – and next. J. Crew’s price makes it an easy choice to try this dapper and distinctive jacket in a sleek, contemporary fit. When completing the outfit, we treat it as a dressy navy blazer, so there are plenty of options.

http://www.hugoboss.com/us/jaron%27-slim-fit%2C-spread-collar-easy-iron-cotton-dress-shirt-/hbna50229666.html BOSS Hugo Boss - Jaron Easy Iron Cotton Dress Shirt
BOSS Hugo Boss - Jaron Easy Iron Cotton Dress Shirt
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BOSS Hugo Boss - Jaron Easy Iron Cotton Dress Shirt
Jaron Easy Iron Cotton Dress Shirt
BOSS Hugo Boss
Sold by: Hugo Boss

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For a dressy holiday cocktail party, a crisp white shirt is the proper choice that will make the jacket pop, and keep the look sophisticated. The fit of this Hugo Boss pick is contemporary and the exaggerated spread collar is a smart finish under the jacket. It is, of course, also a great shirt with your business suits are year long.
https://www.jcrew.com/mens_category/tiesandpocketsquares/ties/PRDOVR~B6198/B6198.jsp J. Crew - Scottish Wool Tie
J. Crew - Scottish Wool Tie
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J. Crew - Scottish Wool Tie
Scottish Wool Tie
J. Crew
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We cannot pass up the opportunity to finish this look with this blue/green tartan wool tie from J. Crew. The colors and narrower width are the ideal match to the shawl collar and color of the blazer. A tartan bow tie is an equally strong option – you can’t go wrong with either choice.

http://www.eastdane.com/embroidered-cactus-handkerchief-east-dane/vp/v=1/1523796973.htm East Dane Gifts - Embroidered Cactus Handkerchief
East Dane Gifts - Embroidered Cactus Handkerchief
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East Dane Gifts - Embroidered Cactus Handkerchief
Embroidered Cactus Handkerchief
East Dane Gifts
Sold by: East Dane

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The green and white stripe of this pocket square - a holiday party must-have, in our opinion - play up the tartan plaid tie perfectly. There’s even a fun cactus embroidered in the corner…the holiday season doesn’t always need to be about a spruce or pine or fir.
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/ted-baker-london-jefferson-flat-front-trousers/3678537 Ted Baker - Jefferson Flat Front Trousers
Ted Baker - Jefferson Flat Front Trousers
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Ted Baker - Jefferson Flat Front Trousers
Jefferson Flat Front Trousers
Ted Baker
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Wondering what pants to wear with a navy velvet blazer that will look polished and appropriate? The answer is these medium grey wool trousers from Ted Baker. The heavier texture and mid-tone of the neutral color make them a great mate to the jacket. The contemporary fit ensures a balanced trim look, as well.
http://www.eastdane.com/stanley-oxford-cap-brogue-grenson/vp/v=1/1532604544.htm Grenson - Stanley Oxfords with Cap Brogue
Grenson - Stanley Oxfords with Cap Brogue
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Grenson - Stanley Oxfords with Cap Brogue
These Grenson shoes are a real must-have. The quality is amazing, and they will never go out of style. This tan looks great with the grey color of the trousers, and work with jeans just as easily. The classic wingtip styling strikes the right balance with the blazer.
http://www.barneys.com/on/demandware.store/Sites-BNY-Site/default/Product-Show?pid=500179396 Canali - C Model Suit
Canali - C Model Suit
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Canali - C Model Suit
C Model Suit
Canali
Sold by: Barney New York

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3. Sit-Down Dinner: A dressy holiday dinner party calls for a bit of luxury and a lot of class. And for that, you can’t go wrong with this dark navy, all wool suit from Canali - known for their high-end Italian quality and fit. This is a timeless suit that you will have years to come, so finish the year off right by adding it to your wardrobe. Pair it with a dressy pattern or white shirt and holiday tie and you will be one good looking dinner guest.
http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374306607795&PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524446733478 Canali - Striped Dress Shirt
Canali - Striped Dress Shirt
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Canali - Striped Dress Shirt
Striped Dress Shirt
Canali
Sold by: Saks Fifth Avenue

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The grey stripe of this Canali dress shirt work perfectly with the dark navy suit.  The French cuffs and spread collar add that touch of dressy feeling that is just right.

http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/burberry-london-woven-silk-tie/3858097 Burberry - Woven Silk Tie
Burberry - Woven Silk Tie
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Burberry - Woven Silk Tie
Woven Silk Tie
Burberry
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This red Burberry plaid tie is a sophisticated way of introducing holiday color without going overboard, in its muted color palette. The newer, somewhat narrower width, gives the suit a modern feel.

http://www.zappos.com/to-boot-new-york-aaron-tan To Boot New York - Aaron Shoes
To Boot New York - Aaron Shoes
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To Boot New York - Aaron Shoes
Aaron Shoes
To Boot New York
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A navy suit always looks great with a brown shoe. Made in Italy, the rich burnished leather of this To Boot New York cap toe with a leather outsole has the same level of polish and sophistication to hold up effortlessly to the suit. As noted on Zappos’ site, this style does run large, so we suggest ordering down a half size. With a brown shoe, you need a brown belt, and this Allen-Edmonds is timeless.

http://www.brooksbrothers.com/Milano-Fit-Double-Breasted-Stripe-1818-Suit/MK00495,default,pd.html Brooks Brothers - Milano Fit Double-Breasted Stripe 1818 Suit
Brooks Brothers - Milano Fit Double-Breasted Stripe 1818 Suit
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Brooks Brothers - Milano Fit Double-Breasted Stripe 1818 Suit
Milano Fit Double-Breasted Stripe 1818 Suit
Brooks Brothers
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4. Sit-Down Dinner: Double-breasted suits are a dressy fashion statement, perfect for a more stylish crowd and a great choice for a holiday evening event. Brooks Brothers delivers with their modern, contemporary fitting navy stripe that’s made in Italy of luxurious pure wool. The fit is key to the updated look – making the silhouette look modern since it is meant to be worn close to the body. And yes, keep it buttoned up to avoid looking sloppy.
http://www.hugoboss.com/us/%27eastonx%27-slim-fit%2C-modified-spread-collar-cotton-dress-shirt/hbna50232785.html HUGO Hugo Boss - EastonX Cotton Dress Shirt
HUGO Hugo Boss - EastonX Cotton Dress Shirt
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HUGO Hugo Boss - EastonX Cotton Dress Shirt
EastonX Cotton Dress Shirt
HUGO Hugo Boss
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A white dress shirt is the basic staple that you need for a suit like this, so bring it up a notch with this trim fitting version from Hugo Boss. What makes it special is the more extreme spread of the collar and the dressy texture of the shirt – a perfect balance to the suit’s dapper details. Click through the “shop it” button to zoom in and get a closer look.
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/boss-hugo-boss-woven-silk-tie/3860224 BOSS Hugo Boss - Woven Silk Tie
BOSS Hugo Boss - Woven Silk Tie
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BOSS Hugo Boss - Woven Silk Tie
Woven Silk Tie
BOSS Hugo Boss
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What’s a holiday party without a nod to the holidays? The single red stripe in this Hugo Boss tie is all you need. And of course, you’ll get plenty of use out of this one year round.
http://www.zappos.com/to-boot-new-york-carter-black To Boot New York - Carter Shoes
To Boot New York - Carter Shoes
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To Boot New York - Carter Shoes
Carter Shoes
To Boot New York
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Keeping with the updated look of the suit, To Boot New York’s modern derby style shoe has all the fine details we require - made in Italy from beautiful calfskin leather, lined in leather, as well as a leather insole and outsole. You will enjoy the comfort of these shoes, while everyone else can enjoy the look. Don’t forget this coordinating black leather belt from Magnanni – modern and really well made, so you’ll have it forever.

http://www.brooksbrothers.com/1818-One-Button-Fitzgerald-Tuxedo/327K,default,pd.html Brooks Brothers - 1818 One-Button Fitzgerald Tuxedo
Brooks Brothers - 1818 One-Button Fitzgerald Tuxedo
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Brooks Brothers - 1818 One-Button Fitzgerald Tuxedo
1818 One-Button Fitzgerald Tuxedo
Brooks Brothers
Sold by: Brooks Brothers

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5. Formal: A classic tuxedo will serve you well at any event, and certainly at the formal holiday affair you’ll be attending this season. Invest in a classic black 1-button from Brooks Brothers. The Fitzgerald model we’re suggesting here has notched, narrower lapels, and a closer-to-the-body fit with somewhat narrower flat front pants. This is to modernize and update the look – it’s still an “everyman” fit.
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/david-donahue-pique-bib-front-regular-fit-tuxedo-shirt-online-only/3269564 David Donahue - Piqué Bib Front Regular Fit Tuxedo Shirt
David Donahue - Piqué Bib Front Regular Fit Tuxedo Shirt
As we’ve talked about in the past, you have many choices for a tuxedo shirt – pleated front, pique front, plain front, wing collar, straight collar. And all are proper. For a formal holiday party, the pique front and wing collar have a festive air. In its classic fit, this David Donahue pick will work for everyone.
http://www.brooksbrothers.com/Houndstooth-Cummerbund-Set/MA01810,default,pd.html Brooks Brothers - Houndstooth Cummerbund Set
Brooks Brothers - Houndstooth Cummerbund Set
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Brooks Brothers - Houndstooth Cummerbund Set
Houndstooth Cummerbund Set
Brooks Brothers
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Once you’ve got your staples of a tuxedo and coordinating shirt in place, it’s time to add that festive touch. Do it right with this red and black houndstooth bow tie and cummerbund set. The classic pattern makes for such a sophisticated holiday look. Each piece stands on its own, so feel free to wear the bow tie with a black cummerbund or no cummerbund at all. You can also wear the cummerbund with a black bow tie. In today’s more relaxed world, it is acceptable to not wear a cummerbund, so do what feels comfortable.
http://shop.nordstrom.com/s/david-donahue-onyx-cuff-link-stud-set/3167601 David Donahue - Onyx Cuff Link & Stud Set
David Donahue - Onyx Cuff Link & Stud Set
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David Donahue - Onyx Cuff Link & Stud Set
Onyx Cuff Link & Stud Set
David Donahue
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Since we’ve decked the halls with our bow tie and cummerbund pick, go with a straight forward sterling silver and black onyx stud set. The clean, rich look completes the outfit. They’re an investment you’ll have forever – and one that you can pass down to future generations. David Donahue does also offer a more affordable alternative that is good looking, too.
http://www.ralphlauren.com/product/index.jsp?productId=10768156 Polo Ralph Lauren - Irish Linen Pocket Square
Polo Ralph Lauren - Irish Linen Pocket Square
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Polo Ralph Lauren - Irish Linen Pocket Square
Irish Linen Pocket Square
Polo Ralph Lauren
Sold by: Ralph Lauren

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A classic white Irish linen pocket square is a must for your tuxedo jacket. It can even be monogrammed – Ralph Lauren thinks of everything.
http://www.zappos.com/magnanni-dante-black-patent Magnanni - Dante Shoes
Magnanni - Dante Shoes
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Magnanni - Dante Shoes
Dante Shoes
Magnanni
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To finish off this classic look, stick with these plain toe patent leather oxfords from Magnanni. While a smooth black leather shoe is perfectly acceptable, the shine of patent leather makes a nice dress statement.
https://www.jcrew.com/mens_special_shops/BlackTieShop/thejacket/PRDOVR~50678/50678.jsp J. Crew - Ludlow Italian Wool Tuxedo Jacket
J. Crew - Ludlow Italian Wool Tuxedo Jacket
6. Formal: For a contemporary take on the traditional tuxedo, J. Crew’s 2-button, peak lapel black tuxedo in a wonderful Italian wool is the answer. The jacket fits close to the body and the pant is trim – you can order the exact size you need in each, since they are so cleverly sold as separates.
https://www.jcrew.com/mens_special_shops/BlackTieShop/theshirt/PRDOVR~22181/22181.jsp Thomas Mason® for J.Crew - Ludlow Tuxedo Shirt
Thomas Mason® for J.Crew  - Ludlow Tuxedo Shirt
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Thomas Mason® for J.Crew  - Ludlow Tuxedo Shirt
Ludlow Tuxedo Shirt
Thomas Mason® for J.Crew
Sold by: J.Crew

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We have discussed the wonderful fabrics produced by Thomas Mason, and J. Crew’s partnership with this iconic fabric mill, in past weeks. This spread collar tuxedo shirt includes many old world details, like reinforced gussets and sleeve plackets, that we expect from the Thomas Mason line of shirts. It also has mother of pearl buttons so you can leave your stud set at home. The fit is contemporary and the quality is superb.
http://www.brooksbrothers.com/Satin-Pointed-End-Self-Tie-Bow-Tie/018I,default,pd.html Brooks Brothers - Satin Pointed End Self-Tie Bow Tie
Brooks Brothers - Satin Pointed End Self-Tie Bow Tie
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Brooks Brothers - Satin Pointed End Self-Tie Bow Tie
Satin Pointed End Self-Tie Bow Tie
Brooks Brothers
Sold by: Brooks Brothers

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Against the modern silhouette of this tuxedo jacket, a classic black satin pointed end self-tie bow, like this one from Brooks Brothers, looks fresh and updated. Remember, the more “self-tied” it looks, the better, so don’t be intimidated.
http://www.saksfifthavenue.com/main/ProductDetail.jsp?FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374306621787&PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524446653146 Eton of Sweden - Pinwheel Print Pocket Square
Eton of Sweden - Pinwheel Print Pocket Square
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Eton of Sweden - Pinwheel Print Pocket Square
Pinwheel Print Pocket Square
Eton of Sweden
Sold by: Saks Fifth Avenue

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We didn’t forget this is all for a holiday party. This red wool pocket square from Eton of Sweden is that perfect splash of color.
https://www.jcrew.com/mens_special_shops/BlackTieShop/theaccessories/PRDOVR~38515/38515.jsp Drake's® London - Drake's® Suspenders
Drake's® London - Drake's® Suspenders
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Drake's® London - Drake's® Suspenders
Drake's® Suspenders
Drake's® London
Sold by: J. Crew

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From Drake’s London, an iconic brand from England that specializes in men’s quality accessories, these black suspenders in a modern, narrower width will keep your tuxedo pants properly on your waist in style. But that’s not why we chose them. We just really love the retro feel of the suspenders with the modern style of this tuxedo. They come with silver plated fittings (the part you slide up and down to get the right length) and a button kit, so you can sew the buttons on to any tuxedo pants to use them - especially the ones we’re talking about today.
http://www.eastdane.com/dress-lace-plain-toe-oxford/vp/v=1/1589961060.htm John Varvatos Star USA - Lace Up Oxfords
John Varvatos Star USA - Lace Up Oxfords
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John Varvatos Star USA - Lace Up Oxfords
Lace Up Oxfords
John Varvatos Star USA
Sold by: East Dane

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These plain toe oxfords from John Varvatos Star USA - like the tie we've featured - are a classic accessory that is a great balance to this tuxedo. These shoes are made from smooth calfskin leather and have the all-important leather soles, a must-have for dancing the night away (or standing by the bar).
 

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