ASCOT (as-kot)
A cravat with wide square ends; secured with an ornamental pin.

BESOM (be’-zum)
Narrow welted edging on coat body above pocket lip.

An event where a tuxedo or dinner jacket is encouraged but not required. If not a tuxedo, proper dressy attire (coat and tie) is necessary.

An event where a tuxedo or dinner jacket may be worn but is not required. Proper dressy attire (suit, not a sport coat) is necessary.

An event where a tuxedo or dinner jacket is required. Don’t even think about attending without one.

BOUTONNIERE (boo’-t?-nîr’)
A flower or small bunch of flowers worn in a button hole. From Old French, buttonhole.

Standard formal attire. Wide array of fabrics, colors and patterns. Black is always the preferred choice. Available usually pre-tied with a neck band to wear on a wing-collar or dress-collar shirt. Be bold, buy a black silk tie that you tie yourself. Very James Bond-like.

A straight black cane with white tips on both ends. Traditionally carried when wearing “white tie and tails”. Usually accompanied by white gloves and a top hat.

Traditional formal attire. Usually available in gold, silver, silver plate, gold plate, and nickel-plate. Normally coordinated with four shirt studs worn on the front placket of the shirt in lieu of buttons.

CUMMERBUND (kum’-er-bund’)
A broad sash, especially one that is pleated lengthwise and worn as an article of formal dress, as with a dinner jacket. Worn so the open side of the pleats are up (as if to hold opera tickets).

CUTAWAY (aka morning coat)
Classic daytime formal attire that used to be worn only for events prior to noon. Now acceptable up until mid-afternoon, but never for evenings. A charcoal grey or black coat with a long coachman back. The front of the coat “cuts away from the button down. Worn with a dove grey or black vest, striped or pin-dot ascot, wing collar shirt, and either striped or nailhead pants. Black formal shoes or dress calfskin shoes are a must.

Traditionally, for summer, white, off-white or Sahara tan. Panama weave, single or double-breasted, self-faced shawl collar dinner jacket with black formal trousers. Worn with a white pleated wing-collar or spread-collar shirt.

The number of inches smaller the trouser waist of a suit is than the coat. A size 40 regular tuxedo, for example, usually has a 6 inch trouser drop… a 34 inch waist.

FEDORA (fí-dôr’-uh)
A soft felt hat with a fairly low crown creased lengthwise and a brim that can be turned up or down.

The simplest of neckwear knots to tie. Name comes from a coach being drawn by four horse in two teams, driven in tandem by a single person. Young blades took up the sport, organized into clubs and adopted the professional coachman’s tie as a mark of distinction. A four-in-hand is a small knot for wear with a narrow-spread collar.

A full satin back like on a traditional three-piece suit, usually found with an adjustable strap across the lower back to cinch-in any excess fabric. Available in a wide array of colors and patterns.

The seam on a coat where collar meets lapel.

A silk or satin fabric square folded in a variety of manners and placed in the outer breast pocket of a tuxedo. Does not have to match the vest but should complement the colors in the tie and or vest.

Type of lapel on which the top line slants down in line with the collar seam.

A fabric woven or printed with colorful curved (amoeba-like) abstract figures.

Type of lapel on which the top line slants up from the horizontal.

An unnotched lapel with no gorge.

Slit at center or sides on the bottom of the back of a jacket or coat.

The largest of the three neckwear knot styles. Worn with wide spread collar shirts. (Half-windsor is worn with medium spread collar).

A smooth, compact yarn form long wool fibers, used for smooth, firm, compact fabrics.

Scroll to Top