1 The measurements you need beforehand
Jeremy Hackett: "Ask your tailor or be measured in store. Ideally you need...
Chest: measured using a tape measure at the same level as the nipples and across the shoulder blades.
Waist: measured an inch below the belly button.
Collar: measured under the gentleman’s Adams apple, but you must ensure you can fit one finger under the tape measure to allow extra room on the collar.
Sleeve length: measure from the centre of the back, across the top of the shoulder, down to then wrist and then add one inch
Inside leg: Measure crotch to floor minus two inches.”
2 Choosing your jacket style
JH: "While lapels are mostly personal preference, remember that certain style suit certain body types. As a general rule, peak lapels suits a slimmer shape and a shawl collar is more flattering on a stockier guy. Taller men should wear shawl collars with a slim lapel as they draw the eye down. Shorter men should opt for a one-button peak lapel dinner jacket as it will elongate the body. A double-breasted jacket is very traditional and is generally favoured by older gentlemen, but we have seen a distinct rise in popularity this year with younger guys.”
3 Ensuring the jacket fits
JH: "Firstly check the collar fits and sits flat around the back of your neck. Then ensure the back of the jacket hangs straight and follows the curve of your spine. To check the sleeves you should bend your wrist out and the jacket line should sit on the top of the wrist.”
4 How you can alter your DJ
JH: "Remember you can’t lengthen velvet, linen or cotton garments, but you can always shorten your jacket. As long as your tailor cuts excess material from the crown (the shoulder end) as opposed to the cuff, sleeves can be shortened a maximum of two inches, as well as slimmed down as necessary. The jacket can be taken in using either the side seams or the back drape (this can be let out too depending on the material) and can be shortened in the body if cut from the bottom and reshaped. Remember, as trends change the lapel can be switched to a different fabric.”
5 A superior class of shirt
JH: "There are two shirt options for formal dress: Marcella (a golf-ball style material) and pleat front. You should always wear a soft forward collar for formal dress. The only time you should wear a wing-collar is with white tie. Dress shirts are always double cuffed shirts so you have to wear cufflinks (preferably chains).”
6 Which vest is best?
JH: "For evening dress you can choose two types of waistcoat: shawl collar or scooped (which doesn't have a lapel). These should only ever be worn with single-breasted jackets and never with a cummerbund or belt. Shawl collars should be worn by larger gentleman and scooped for a slimmer guys. A perfectly fitted waistcoat should sit below the waist band of your trousers by one inch. You should never be able to see the shirt and, unlike office attire, for black tie you should fasten all the buttons for formal dress.
7 Choosing the trousers
JH: "In formal dress you should never have a turn-up on your trousers – everything has to be plain and clean. Belts are never acceptable with formal dress. You either have braces or you adjust the side of the trousers to fit.”
8 Making your trousers waltz-proof
JH: "When it comes to alterations you can let-out trousers from the V inlay at the back of the waistband, but you must always ensure you have 3/8ths of a seam either side or else you run the risk of splitting them mid-waltz. When it comes to length, trousers should be two inches from the floor up and you should always try them on whilst wearing the shoes you are likely to wear for your event.”
9 Contrary to popular belief, you can go ready-tied bow tie
JH: "Coloured and patterned bow ties are acceptable, but if your invite specifically states "black tie” you should stick to black. Contrary to popular belief, decent ready-tied bow ties are acceptable, but you can’t achieve that cool Bond-esque relaxed look when you undo it at the end of the evening.”
10 How to stand out amongst the march of the penguins
JH: "The easiest way to do this is with your pocket square, dress studs and cufflinks. If you’re headed to a conservative event and can’t add a splash of colour, remember you can add personality with the way you tie your bow tie. I like "the butterfly” which is a tie with pointed ends that you can flare out after tying.”
11 Why a smart (and shapely) man wears a cummerbund
JH: "Cummerbunds are the "gentleman’s corset” as they allow you a little extra room around the waistline, but streamline it away. They should only be worn withsingle-breasted jackets - a DB should always be fastened. Belts are never acceptable with formal dress. You either have braces or you adjust the side of the trousers to fit.”
12 Don't be afraid to wear a pocket square
JH: "The most sleek look you can go for with your pocket square is to press a white handkerchief so it peeks out over your top pocket as a thin, straight line. If you go with a colored or patterned option just mess it up, make it puffy and add to the jacket. Don’t be too fussy about it.”
13 The shoes you need to complete the look
JH: "For footwear you should opt for classic patent dress shoes or something in plain black, well polished. Tassels should be avoided, but velvet slippers are perfectly acceptable. No matter which style you choose, all shoes should beworn with top-quality thin black socks.”
14 The finishing touch?
Luke Evans: "A Montecristo, if you don’t mind”.