Does the modern-day tuxedo exist? Depends on whom you ask. According to Alan Flusser, a best-selling author on men’s formalwear and a consulting tailor on Wolf of Wall Street, the answer is, flatly, no. “They’ve been trying to replace the tuxedo for ages” says Flusser, “but the fact of the matter is, no one has really improved on the original form,” which consisted of a black or midnight blue wool suit, a tummy-tucking cummerbund, and a bow-tie, and was supposed to make every man, no matter the dad-bod, look more or less the same.
But not every tailor echoes Flusser’s fundamentalism. Progressive ateliers like Australian import P. Johnson offer solutions to guys looking for some wiggle room in their suits. “You’ve got to be able to move with the times,” says Managing Director Edward Bertouch at P. Johnson, which is known for its breathable, made-to-measure suits.
“We tend to make our tuxedos from alternative choices of cloth as we like ours to be unique and to avoid any connection with the rent-a-tux,” adds Duncan Quinn, proprietor of his eponymous Savile Row-inspired Duncan Quinn atelier in Soho.
Consulting with these two iconoclastic tailors, we’ve compiled the modern man’s guide to breaking the rules when it comes to black tie. Click through the gallery to find out what they had to say.