The Rail: Party Season Dressing

Whether it’s a Christmas party, an awards ceremony or New Years Eve, there are plenty of opportunities and circumstances where you’ll be required to don a tuxedo or evening jacket. For this edition of The Rail choose traditional; a white shirt with a black bow tie- a look that will never fade. Just bear in mind the fit and proportions and you’re half way to becoming the most suave gentleman at the party.

Or, for slightly more relaxed affairs, the option of picking a more contemporary style can be a winner. Stick to traditional and timeless outfits, but maybe play with the texture in terms of fabrication and colour. Above all; remain confident in your choices- below are Ape’s suggestions.

The Classic


You can never, I repeat, never, go wrong with a classic black tuxedo and Lanvin’s black wool and mohair-blend delivers the goods. The tailored, single-breasted jacket is fully canvassed to mould to your body- accentuated with slim, straight-leg trousers. The contrasting silk-bend satin shawl collar is a traditionally welcome detail. Sure to make an entrance at every party you go to wearing this.

Gentleman: Shawl-collar Single-breasted Wool-blend Tuxedo, £2,500 by Lanvin at MATCHES FASHION

Ape: Lazio Plain Black Tuxedo, £379 from SUITSUPPLY

A Subtle Differential in Navy


If you’re feeling bold then try this refined piece of formalwear- expertly tailored from soft navy wool and trimmed with black satin lapels and outer leg seams. In the house style by Gieves & Hawkes with strong shoulders, broad peaked lapels and a sculpted waist. Worn with a slick pair of slippers you’ll look the part.

Gentleman: Handmade Midnight Blue Dinner Suit, £1,895 from GIEVES & HAWKES

Ape: Ludlow Tuxedo Jacket in Italian Wool, £525 from J.CREW

Something Different


A wonderfully elegant blazer from Canali made in a rich midnight-blue velvet which has a soft, sumptuous handle and features an interesting overlapping button fastening. Best worn with a smart cotton trousers in navy, a pair of black tassel loafers and a navy blue John Smedley roll-neck.

Blue Kei Slim-Fit Cotton-Velvet Blazer, £700 by Canali at MR PORTER


Wing Collar + Character


The best shirt to wear with your bow tie. A double cuff design in off-white with textured bid detail finished off with pearlescent buttons. Giving your whole attire a crisp and look and elegant charm.

Gentleman: Off-White Slim-Fit Wing-Collar Double-Cuff Cotton-Poplin Shirt, £185 by Caruso at MR PORTER

Ape: Pleated Wing Collar Slim Fit Evening Dress Shirt, £49.95 from T.M.LEWIN

The Classic


Special occasions allow for special pieces. This wonderful shirt by Turnbull & Asser is sartorial starting point, every gentleman should invest in an exceptionally-made white cotton dress shirt for formal occasions. A clean, fresh design accentuates minimalist looks, and boasts an ultra-soft feel with the highest grade of Egyptian cotton.

Gentleman: White Sea Island Cotton Tuxedo Shirt, £305 from TURNBULL & ASSER

Ape: Pleated Slim Fit Evening Dress Shirt, £49.95 from T.M.LEWIN



The key to footwear and formal evening wear, specifically a tuxedo or dinner jacket is patent leather. To the layman that’s leather with a glossy varnished surface. These black patent leather Oxford shoes are perfect.

Black Patent Oxford shoes, £620 by ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA

Rodrigo Patent Oxfords, £195 from SCAROSSO

Finishing Touches

Bow Tie


An evening accessory that every man should have. And as ever, better to stick to a classic black bow tie. An essential for formal dressing, a soft satin design will see you through a lifetime of stylish soirées.

Black Satin Bow Tie, £85 by TURNBULL & ASSER


These Jasper brass cufflinks from Alice Made This are machined with circular details and incorporate clean honest and refined, geometric layering. Simple, understated yet an essential and stylish finishing touch with a splash of colour.

Jasper Brass Cufflinks, £95 by ALICE MADE THIS

*Image (top) courtesy of Thom Sweeney – Autumn/Winter 2017 Collection.

Chris Chasseaud

Chris is the Style & Features Editor at Ape to Gentleman, and one of the UK's leading style commentators. Having worked in the fashion and design world for his entire career he's well placed to deliver sartorial advice.