2013: Over the top formal dress wear

My latest experiment with designing a formal suit

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The main elements:

  • near black navy blue fabric
  • four buttons that buttons my jacket all the way up the chest
  • contrasting white shawl lapel with design

Reference for standard black suits

A solid black colour or grey colour suit is the undisputed formal dress wear for corporate functions and events. Without posting a photo of the formal black suit, it is easily conjured in our minds regardless of how attuned the average gentlemen is to design.

I attempt to design an over the top formal dress suit that is more formal than the normal formal for this new suit.

My last two suits

Brown checkered

The collar and lapels of my brown checkered suit are normal. The pockets are normal as well. The sleeves and cuffs are normal too. However, because of the fabric design and colour, it may be considered too flashy for some gentlemen.

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Pastel blue seer sucker

A recurring reminder

I constantly myself that regardless of how exceptional I think my suit jacket’s design might be, it is likely to blend in with the world’s jackets like a normal one.

Any agency that I might perceive to have had in the design are likely to be limited to the choice of the fabric. I.e. replace the fabric of the two jackets above with black fabric and we get a black formal suit like most other suits.

To think otherwise would be to deceive myself. It is only through understanding that there are limits set by natural rules that I can truly break new grounds. Otherwise, I can simply throw in any elements and call it design.

Shawl lapel

I have two jackets with top collars and lapels. Perhaps it was time to try a shawl lapel. That was all there was of my considerations. I wanted to shun the regular looking traits easily found at banquets at all costs. Shawl lapels are not uncommon but it is almost impossible for one to be spotted at the average wedding except on the groom.

Muddy water design instead of blend in and with a slight sheen.

High collar meant the total amount of white was minimised even as I used it. A low hanging shawl lapel would have meant that I needed to consider not using white.

Near-black midnight blue fabric

Formal colour without touching black fabric.

Four buttons

To understand formal at an extreme end, I turned to military uniforms where formal is institutionalised and strictly enforced. Their dress uniform has four buttons resulting in a higher first button.


Yellowed collar

I was getting married and my collar had turned yellow.

Crown Tailor removed the collar without taking the suit apart and retro fitted a new one by hand stitching as the suit is intact.

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