The Emperor’s New Tuxedo: Naked Navels

Posted on October 8, 2013

BOSS "Stars/Glamor" by Hugo Boss.

BOSS “Stars/Glamor” by Hugo Boss.

Ever get the feeling the fashion industry is little more than a barometer of consumer gullibility?

Here I was thinking that celebrities of late have been sporting exposed shirt waists on the red carpet because they were oblivious to the way that the unbroken lines of a tuxedo’s black trousers and matching jacket imbue men with height, stature and dramatic presence.

Silly me.  Turns out they were just following the lead of upscale tuxedo designers.

Yes, some cabal of fearless fashionistas have decided that a perfect way to improve the peerless sophistication and elegance of a formal suit is to disrupt it with a  patch of shirt sticking out above one’s crotch.  Not content with mere glimpses of cotton navels as a byproduct of the industry’s banishment of traditional waist coverings, these aesthetic geniuses are now cleverly employing excessively tight jackets and comically low-cut trousers to ensure the shirt waist is featured front and centre.  Sadly, even the traditional stalwarts of American sartorial  taste and class Brooks Brothers and Ralph Lauren have fallen for this bad joke.

I can’t wait for these impeccable arbiters of style to give us the thumbs up to promenade around  swank black-tie galas with our shirt tails  untucked and our ties discarded.  It’s not like the fashion world ever led us astray, right?

BOSS "Sky/Gala" by Hugo Boss

BOSS “Sky/Gala” by Hugo Boss

Brooks Brothers Regent fit tuxedo.

Brooks Brothers Regent fit tuxedo.

Black Label "Anthony" tuxedo by Ralph Lauren.

Black Label “Anthony” tuxedo by Ralph Lauren.

For the record, here’s a comparison I created to demonstrate how an uncovered waist severs the body into parts while a properly covered waist creates a unified whole:


Posted in: Formal Fashion