Leave it to a Brit to show Americans a thing or two about formalwear. White tie is not dead if Idris Elba has anything to say about it.
Elba served as one of the celebrity co-chairs for this year’s Met Gala, and it’s clear he wanted to dress to impress.
And he completely nailed his white-tie outfit, from the traditional tails and white vest to the black patent leather dress shoes. He even finished it up with a stylish — but not flashy — boutonniere.
But he paired with an Apple Watch, which, despite Apple’s insistence, is not quite trendy or fashionable.
Essentially, this is “tech white tie” (the gala’s dress code this year) personified.
Here’s why it worked so well:
Adherence to the dress code is important.
If the invitation says white tie, you need to wear white tie.
Showing up in anything other than the requested dress code signifies a lack of respect for both the event and the event planner. There is no more that can be said for that.
If you don’t have the requisite clothing, an attempt must be made in earnest. Otherwise, don’t bother showing up.
But that doesn’t mean you have to live in the past.
Dress codes are inherently old-fashioned, at least in the western world. As a whole, workplaces and events of all kinds have dialed them back quite a bit, making them more suggestions than explicit requirements.
Sure, Elba is rocking his 20th-century white tie, but he finished it off with an Apple Watch, a solidly 21st-century gadget. We won’t get into the debate on whether you should wear watches with formalwear (for the record, we think you should), but he smartly chose a black strap to help it blend in.
We love that the wearable takes his entire outfit into the present without compromising anything about what makes it appropriate for the event.
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