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Menswear Hints & Tips...

Here are some answers to oft-raised questions. Customers are welcome to ask us for any advice regarding the most appropriate choice of menswear for their occasion or event.

Which do you recommend - made to measure, "tailored" or ready to wear?

We will be pleased for you to try our ready to wear clothing first. In many cases a pleasing fit can be obtained "off the peg" or with a little adjustment they can be "tailored" to fit you perfectly.

If you have a particular cloth in mind, or if your measurements are outside of the normally supplied ranges, we would arrange a fitting session for a made to measure garment (bespoke tailoring). Charles Richard can offer a superb choice of top quality bespoke suits, including Magee of Northern Ireland.

How to I go about buying a made to measure suit?

Simply call us to make an appointment for a personal fitting session. The more notice you can provide the better, especially as we can be exceptionally busy in the summer wedding season. Please allow at least four weeks turnaround.

What is the difference between "black tie" and "white tie"?

If unsure, it is wise to confirm beforehand the dress code with the hosts. Black tie events require you to wear a black dinner jacket and black satin-stripe trousers, a white dress shirt (either wing collar or traditional collar style) and a bow tie (black, white or coloured - check the dress code if necessary), black hosery (socks) and black dress shoes (ideally patent leather).

Some dress shirts use four studs instead of buttons, but they all use cuff links. A waistcoat or cummerband are optional. A white tie event requires a "tailcoat" instead, but black tie events are more usually held. Charles Richard can supply all of these items, or you can consider hiring them from us instead.

Can I hire clothing from Charles Richard?

Yes! You can order all your clothing and accessories from Charles Richard, who will make sure you are perfectly dressed for an event. We will always try to help with emergency or short notice needs, but it is best to allow two weeks or more at peak periods.

What is a tuxedo?

This is an American term for the traditional English dinner jacket. Note that an English Tuxedo is white!

Which is better, a single-breasted or double-breasted jacket?

A double breasted jacket has two or more buttons and the left and right side of the jacket overlap. This is likely to be more traditional-looking but more restrictive and less comfortable than a single-breasted jacket, which has a single button fastening. A double-breasted jacket also has pointed lapels.

Should I wear a cummerbund under my dinner jacket?

Cummerbunds make a stylish finishing touch (as worn frequently by James Bond!) around the middle but no, you don't have to wear one. They can be restrictive so are best for a slimmer figure. If you wear one, the pleats must face upwards. They are never worn with waistcoats! Choose either a waistcoat or cummerbund, (or neither) - but never both.

Can you supply cuff links to go with your shirts?

Yes — we have a range of accessories to complement your outfit. Cuff links should definitely be worn with dress shirts. Consider wearing a gold "dress watch" as well.

How do I tie a proper bow tie?

A "self-tie" bow tie is one that you tie yourself (as opposed to a ready-tied one). There is more guidance and diagrams on Wikipedia. If you are unaccustomed to tying them, allow an hour's practice time in front of a mirror to get it right - one you have done it, you will suddenly find it very easy and satisfying to tie a bow tie to perfection.

Please don't hesitate to call Charles Richard for any help or advice with your menswear or dress hire needs.



Evening wear for Balls, Events, and more