Feeling like I had a clear picture of what I wanted to wear, I started my journey with finding the right clothier for the job. After a pretty extensive search for a NYC-based company, I was lucky enough, after a brief back and forth, to select Angel Bespoke. Angel is one of those menswear legends that you see in all the biggest men’s magazines. Always the most rakish and well-spoken gentleman in the room, he has been in the business of dressing men for sometime now. I was lucky enough to have his guidance and advice on this special garment.
Tuxedo, Vest & Shirt. My tuxedo was undoubtedly classic, but needed to adhere to a few strict details I desired. My intention was to be able to look back in 30 years and not feel like I was beholden to the fashion of the times. Sure, I could have done something different and went for a dark navy shawl collar, but sage advice tells me to never try to out dress your bride.
This Angel Bespoke jacket model was ironically named the “Stephen” (after its co-founder) a single-button peak lapel in a Super 160s Double Twist Wool by Ariston. Angel’s in-house lapel style was exactly what I was looking for. A 4.25” width in a traditional black grosgrain. It’s the epitome of what your first tuxedo should be in every sense of the word. Underneath the jacket, I had my heart set on a low, four button U-shaped waistcoat that would be hidden when my jacket was buttoned. In hindsight, I probably could have opted to go with the traditional cummerbund and probably will acquire one in the future. My pants were made in the same Ariston fabric and were flat front with side tabs and brace buttons. My shirt was cut as a placket-less, high-spread collar in pique cotton fabric by Soktas. Angel’s shirt collars are a thing of beauty and tuck perfectly under the lapels of the jacket when buttoned.
Cufflinks and Stud Set. A very dear friend of HSS, Steve Knorsch (aka The Snob Report) suggested that I take a visit to a New York City hidden treasure, The Missing Link , a small shop in the Chelsea Antique Center that deals with you guessed it, cufflinks! They have over 10,000 pairs of cufflinks ranging from 1920s all the way to today. After a little bit of digging, I was able to find what I was looking for…a simple pair of silver and onyx round cufflinks and stud set.
Bowtie. My bow tie was a self-tie style made by Angel in the same grosgrain fabric as my tux…but that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t love one from Le Noeud Papillon in the future!
Pocket Square. A simple white cotton square.
Socks. 100% Black Silk socks from Brooks Brothers.
Shoes. I wanted something elegant and timeless. I chose what some might consider an opera pump, in the Carmina Black Patent Slippers. Great shape and had the perfect grosgrain ribbon on top to complement my tux.
Wristwatch. Never the one for wanting to start controversy, I did wear a watch on my wedding day that was not a dress watch. A post-wedding re-read of Brian’s, Can You Wear a Watch with Black Tie, definitely made a great argument for and against the wearing of a wrist watch. Going forward, I probably wouldn’t wear a watch the next time I’m in black tie unless its something truly elegant. I believe Brian said it best: “When invited to a black tie event, there should never be a time you need to check your watch.” I wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment. Your wedding is the only place where time should never be a concern.
So what did I wear and why? On my wedding day I wore my wife’s father’s vintage Breitling Navitimer Pluton 3100. Sadly, he was not able to be there to walk his daughter down the aisle. I felt a responsibility that he be with me/us as I never got the opportunity to meet him and ask for his daughter’s hand in marriage. This watch was graciously given to me from my wife as a gift and it is one of my most prized possessions for that reason. There was never a question of whether or not it was appropriate for the occasion–I wanted to wear it regardless. It was however on a black leather strap and I tend to wear my watches higher up on my thin wrists. I’m not sure I even thought about looking at it once I put it on. Suum cuique. (to each his own in latin)
I know that it’s been over a year since that special day, but I do want to thank Angel again for dressing me on that momentous occasion. During the entire process, and there after, he’s been a pillar in professionalism and an even better friend. Any questions or problems that I have, he’s always willing to answer them. I can only hope that more clothiers are as patient, caring and passionate about their clothes like the gentleman of Michael Andrew Bespoke and Angel. If you’re interested in working with Angel on your wedding tuxedo, he is currently transitioning into a new company named Eighteenth Amendment. You can contact him via their website.
Thanks for reading. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.
Steven D. Elliott
He Spoke Style
Photography by Emma Cleary Photography