OK, I need a new dinner jacket

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  • OK, I need a new dinner jacket
  • Premier Icon Jon Taylor

    My budget probably keeps me to off the peg types, not really more than £200 is available for jacket and trousers.

    The M&S stuff fits me really well but I’m unsure about the styling of the lapels

    M&S Jsen Wintle

    What’s the feeling about rounded collars? This would probably suit me if I’d have found the right size. In M&S styles I need a 36″ chest to find something that’s suitably fitted around the chest and waist.

    M&S Collezione

    I’ve tried Austin Reed – the jackets fit nicely but the trousers are way too baggy.

    The ones in Debenhams were rubbish.

    Burton suits fit me well, but they don’t do DJ’s any more.

    Is there anywhere anyone can recommend? I have a particularly slim frame and shoulders so either 36″ or 38″ chest. Cyclists legs so I can’t get away with anything particularly skinny fitting though I do need something slightly ‘fitted’/’tailored’ to look good. That and my old DJ didn’t fit so I’m determined to get one that fits well to make up for it!

    and I’m off that that there london this weekend if that extends my search, though likely not within my budget.


    Places like Chesire Oakes are plentiful of discount suits. They often have bargains in extremes of sizes really cheap so a 36″ would be even more affordable. I got a Calvin Klien suit for £230 which I wore then ebayed for £250. Not a fan if rounded colars. Depending on your age I would avoid M&S. Finding a good fit is half the battle, I tried on a Tesco suit for £25 it fitted me really we but the fabric was shiney and too value looking.


    If you can find another 50 quid, TM Lewin are good for the slimmer gent…

    TM Lewin Mayfair Black Dinner Suit £249

    Their trousers are good for cyclist legs, and they appear to do midget sizes as well 🙂

    Premier Icon MartynS

    what about Moss Bros?

    £129 for a suit.. granted, possibly not the best but good value!

    into de_void

    JT, (please excuse me whilst I adopt a suitably stuffy mode of speech to give this subject the necessary gravitas)…what ever you choose there is a basic code for black tie, by tradition it consists of:

    • Black wool dinner jacket. Single-breasted with no vents, silk peaked lapels (or a shawl collar) and covered buttons.
    • Black trousers – slightly tapered – with a single row of braid down each outside leg.
    • White marcella evening shirt with a soft turn-down collar, worn with cufflinks and studs (ideally plain and matching).
    • Black bow tie. NB it must be hand tied, (warning, shameless name dropping to follow) HRH Queen Elizabeth has a passionate dislike of ready tied and I once saw her take delight in embarrassing a very senior RAF Officer by pulling his ready made tie and asking if he was unable to manage to tie one himself due to either a medical or mental condition! Avoid novelty ties or colours, unless your there as entertainment ie you’re Paul Daniels.
    • Highly polished or patent black lace-up shoes.
    • Black silk socks, long enough to ensure that no leg will show between the trouser leg and sock when seated.
    • A white silk scarf is an optional but traditional accessory.

    Top Tip: cummerbands or low cut black evening waistcoats are rarely worn nowadays except by chubsters and as a member of the ST Massive you clearly fall outside of that catergory!


    You could always try one of the cheaper made to measure foreign tailors unless you’ll be wearing it loads. I had a dinner jacket and trousers made when I was in Thailand – I can’t say it was the best quality but good enough as it is made of wool and fits exactly how I want it to. Bearing in mind if you only wear a dinner jacket a couple of times a year (if that) having one that fits you properly will look a lot better than an expensive one that fits badly but is better made.
    If you look online I’m sure there are Thai, Indian, or Vietnamese tailors that will make a suit to your spec for peanuts.

    I got mine ex-rental about 15 years ago. It’s all about the fit though!


    I got one from Moss – didn’t go for the cheapo one (cut was a bit ropey) but got a nice Italian number for just over £200.

    I think Moss is a decent place as they seem to cater for anything from budget to reasonably pricey and everything in between.

    Oh and get a proper bow tie and learn to tie it (YouTube is your friend for demos!) – it makes a HUGE difference to the overall look.

    Also, if you’re being particularly hardcore about the whole formal dressing thing, you should wear opera pumps:

    I kid you not – cool huh?

    They’re a step too far for me – and I wear a low-cut dress waistcoat with a pocket watch.

    Premier Icon Jon Taylor

    Thanks all.

    Yes I have highly polished leather shoes(not patent though they’d never get worn with anything else).

    Yes I use a real bow-tie and I cna tie it properly myself.

    No, I do not rock the cummerbund look.

    I have a choice of collars, either normal collar or more std for black tie; wing collar. Yes, one requires cufflinks for these. Unfortunately they use a button front and not proper studs.

    FFS do they not teach you anything at university these days.

    p.s. I had to sit all of my university exams in suit, bow tie and gown. That’s how you learn to dress.

    having one that fits you properly will look a lot better than an expensive one that fits badly but is better made.

    Which is why I’m drawn to the M&S one even though I’m unsure of the style of the lapels. The wool is good and the fit is very good on me.

    Will give Moss Bros a try.




    I had a browse on the M&S website, they had another DJ in the same collection with a normal lapel.


    Two button though.

    Hope this helps.



    tk max…i got a calvin klein one that fits like a glove a couple of xmass’s ago…..150 for the whole thing i think


    Matalan – then spend what you save on the champagne.


    Shawl collars don’t seem to date as much so probably better in the long term.

    I think you will find that a snob will tell you that normal shirt collars (i.e. not winged) are appropriate for black tie, although a separate celluloid wing collar could be acceptable but an all in one wing is not, hence Turnbull & Asser don’t sell them. A separate winged collar is required for white tie – but not with sub-fusc.

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