Tuxedo versus Black suit

Discussion in 'Officers of the Lodge' started by Lowcarbjc, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. Rifleman1776

    Rifleman1776 Registered User

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    In most of rural America you cannot tell the wealthiest man in the county from the poorest by appearance. In Lodge clothes have nothing to do with status.
     
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  2. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

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    No in America we just dont put as much emphasis on clothing as a status. I dont care if the guy sitting nnext to me is in shorts, hawaiian shirt and flip flops.....clothes dont make the mason. Now however i do try to dress up nice when i go to.lodge, but sometimes i show up in my camo uniform as im coming straight from work
     
  3. JJones

    JJones Moderator Staff Member

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    I've sat in lodges where all the brethren wore tuxedos and I've also sat in lodges where all the lodge officers had uniform polo shirt. In both cases the lodges wanted to raise their standards and, while I obviously feel that suits should be the minimum, I understand that each lodge is unique and they have to decide what level they want to raise the bar to.

    I don't feel it's about status because anyone can buy a suit regardless of their status. IMO it's about showing respect for yourself, the lodge, your brethren, and the fraternity. My rule of thumb is if you wouldn't wear it to church then you certainly shouldn't wear it to lodge.
     
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  4. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    I agree. It is NOT about status. It's about respect for the institution. It's about pride for my fraternity and how I present myself. We are all on the level but let's set that bar (level) high since we are pillars of our communities. You can get suits on Macys.com for super cheap that look just fine. We don't wear suits at my lodge but I would like to. I wear one on degree night out of respect for the candidate/brother and to set the example. It blows my mind when I see someone in a KISS or Aerosmith t-shirt the night they are being raised. People like to put too much emphasis on the fact that, yes, being a Mason doesn't require dressing up in tuxes and that it's not an uppity, snobby fraternity and that we don't want to convey that. All of that's true but as gentlemen we don't need to overcorrect this by being too casual I feel.
     
  5. Browncoat

    Browncoat Registered User

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    TUXEDO
    The ultimate in men's refinement. Aside from being in a wedding party, how often does a man get a chance to wear one in his lifetime? Very few. Most men don't even own one. Having the tuxedo as the dress code at lodge is the only way to achieve uniformity. The only way to truly meet on the level. As a lodge, decide which style of tuxedo to wear, ideally strike a discount deal with a local menswear store, and attend lodge like a bunch of pretty penguins.

    Pros: Uniformity. Achieving the highest standard.
    Cons: Price, maintenance. Can appear to be snobby.

    COAT & TIE
    The standard for most lodges in the US are off-the-rack suits. They're relatively inexpensive, and every man of a certain age owns, or at least should, at least one. The biggest downsides to the traditional suit are the wide variety of styles and colors, and the temptation to "dress down" by not including a coat or tie. Silly ties (Spongebob, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, etc) and accessories are also a distraction.

    Pros: Affordability, accessibility.
    Cons: Several "tiers" of style and acceptance.

    BUSINESS CASUAL
    Slacks, typically khakis, paired with a polo or button down shirt. Again, the slippery slope of fashion applies here. The category is too wide to effectively manage across budgets and age groups, and runs the risk of becoming "too business" or "too casual". Older members will inevitably don wild colored, large pattern shirts that belong at a Hawaiian luau. A lodge uniform shirt could be used here, with everyone wearing matching, embroidered polo shirts.

    Pros: Business, but casual.
    Cons: Business, but casual.

    COME AS YOU ARE/CASUAL
    The biggest argument for the free-for-all dress code is that the clothes don't make the man. Inner, not outer, and all that jazz. Butts in seats are more important than dress codes. I say, show me where casual dress code lodges have higher attendance, and I'll concede. The hot button issue here is where to draw the line. Do you allow jeans? Do you allow holes in those jeans? Metallica t-shirts?

    Pros: Cheap, comfortable.
    Cons: Can appear to be shabby, nothing special about the Craft.

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    Clothes do make the man. It's common for women to pamper themselves with hair, nails, and a day of shopping. Have you ever done that, as a man? I would implore you to make a day of it by going to a men's barber shop for a hot, straight razor shave and haircut, followed by being fitted for a new suit. You will not only look like, but feel like a million bucks. You should do this at least once per year, and every men's store has a big sale at some point during the year, which is the perfect time. That feeling will return every time you put on that suit.

    Most of us don't get to dress up for anything anymore. Even a lot of churches have adopted more casual dress codes in recent years, which aside from funerals and weddings, was the only place a lot of men had to dress up. A lot of men simply don't like it. They complain that their tie is too tight, when the reality is, they haven't been properly fitted for collar size. They complain that suits are hot or itchy, but haven't looked at the wide variety of fabric choices available. There is a difference between a summer and winter suit, fellas. Don't wear the wool one in July.
     
  6. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    Can I double-like a comment??? ;)
     
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  7. Joseph Thornton

    Joseph Thornton Registered User

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    I am still very green to all of this and trying to learn. I personally never really cared for dressing up. I did not read all of the comments as it would take a while but I did read many. If it was already pointed out forgive me.

    But I did read somewhere that all members should dress up so that everyone appears equal or (on the level) and no one is judged as a lesser man because of his appearance.

    I have never owned a suit or tie. The first time I went to a pre-lodge dinner (a couple months ago) I was luckily still in PART of my work uniform. White button up shirt and gray dress pants. I say luckily because I'd never dress this way on my own. Upon entering the lodge I found that nearly everyone was wearing a suit and tie.

    I felt like if I didn't do SOMETHING these men would think I didn't take them seriously. I saw a pic of Justin Beiber receiving an award from a politician or some such. The presenter was dressed in a suit and Bieber was in some very slouchy denim overalls. My impression of the pic was the young man had no respect for the enviroment he was in. I did not want to make the same impression, I bought a nice black suit coat and some dress shirts. I polished my boots and I think I was dressed a little more comparably for the dinners I've attended after that.

    It seems to me that Masons like to "dress well" and they enjoy the company of other men "well dressed". I've never owned or wanted a suit. But as a prospective mason, now I do.
     
  8. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    I'm generally not a suit-n-tie kind if guy, but I feel a change when I "suit up" for lodge. Clean suit, crisp shirt, an elegant knot in the tie, and slide on my ring... a physical and metaphorical transformation.
     
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  9. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Good call future brother..... we all learn different things. One brother told me a good thing Freemasonry taught him was how to behave in "polite company"... it is one thing that it has taught my partners daughters... they knew which fork, spoon and knife went with what.. but as confident women under 17 , I bet they could give a killer toast... they certainly know how to respond to one - because of being at Installation Dinners..


    I heard the same from many others.. and the "masonic uniform" here (tux, bow tie, black shoes, plain white business shirt & gloves) makes no distinction on the wealth of a brother..
     
  10. The Traveling Man

    The Traveling Man Registered User

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    Dress code varies by Jurisdiction and Lodge. In my Lodge the WM has stated that for stated meetings he wants Tux and tails for the MM, and suit and necktie for the other degrees. I have yet to see anyone in my Lodge wear a tux with tail. I have a tux (with no tail). Special meetings have a more relaxed dress code. I believe on the PHA side most Lodges that I have seen require tux and tails and usually a bow tie. Definitely depends on the Lodge though.
     
  11. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

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    "Tuxedo" is also known as a "black tie," and occasionally a "dinner jacket." Tails are very specific and generally called "white tie." I have never heard tails called a tux.
    Sidenote: a tuxedo is considered semi-formal, whereas tails are formal. That powder blue monstrosity you wore to prom (or Spring Formal) is NOT a tux.
     
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  12. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Depends on where you are. In some places, puting pants and shoes on is considered going formal. Tux here is formal. Tails are for weddings..
     
  13. Christopher Thompson

    Christopher Thompson Registered User

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    At my particular lodge Jewel P. Lightfoot, we are a Traditional Observance Lodge so we stick to the suit dress code for most meetings. Other times, like MM degrees, Festive Boards, and Installations we wear Tuxedo. Every lodge has a different culture and not one is better than the other, but this is just how we show reverence to the Work while in lodge. We are located in Downtown Dallas which has a lot to do with our dress as well. A lodge located in a small rural farming town in Texas wouldn't fit well requiring them to wear a suit, especially when members have been in the field working in overalls. But still, all in all, We are one band of Brothers where your character is judged by the internal and not the external.

    SMIB
     
  14. The Traveling Man

    The Traveling Man Registered User

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    It may just be a matter of where you live. Living in America I have always heard of them referred to as Tux Tails, Tails Tux or Tux and Tails. Here are a few websites here that sell Tuxedos. I have copied the links to the Tux Tails section. They are all referred to as Tuxedos.

    http://www.menswearhouse.com/mens-s...i-black-tailcoat-modern-fit-tuxedo-308D309D10
    http://www.buy4lesstuxedo.com/alber...gle_shopping&gclid=CMqVp9Ch0csCFQmRaQod4LcDMg
    http://www.finetuxedos.com/tuxedos/tails-tailcoats
    http://www.tuxgear.com/cart/boys-tu...ummerbund-set-32-available-colors-p-2929.html
     
  15. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    With all due respect, (and I'm not directing this towards you, Bro Traveling Man) while I agree that it is based one where one lives, it is only because certain areas are ignorant of the correct terminology. A tuxedo, by its very definition, does not have tails. Sadly, the wedding industry combined with Hollywood premier events have made such a mockery of formalwear that the majority simply have no clue what is what.

    I'm getting married in September and told the groomsmen to wear black tie and sent them the link to the Black Tie Guide. My sister (who is married to one of the groomsman) called me to ask where the tuxedos were to be rented from. I explained that he was a grown man and could dress himself provided it was proper black tie. She then asked what color the tuxedo should be. I explained that only black and dark navy were tuxedos. She asked what color vest and tie he should get. At this point, I pretty much gave up and told her to just read the guide.
     
  16. The Traveling Man

    The Traveling Man Registered User

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    But what defines Tuxedo? Who has it right, who has is wrong? I believe the dinner jacket may have started in the UK, but the word Tuxedo is an American creation, so could there be differences between the two? From what the tuxedo stores tell me (I have asked them a few times out of curiosity) the only thing that separates a tux from a suit is that a tux contains satin (and the fact that tuxedos are usually worn with matching slacks). So if a tailcoat contains satin that may be why its thrown in the Tuxedo category. And I've definitely seen them in all colors, not just black and blue.
     
  17. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

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    I would highly encourage you to read the black tie guide. Tuxedo stores are filled with people who don't have the slightest clue about their own business.
     
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  18. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

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    Business suit for stated. (Officers and Sideliners)
    Officers in tuxedos for degrees.installations and Grand Lodge of Instruction.
     
  19. Riaan Croucamp

    Riaan Croucamp Registered User

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    Scottish Constitusion requires Black Tie or Highland dress or Military ceremonial. Lodge meetings are highly ceremonial and we need to dress our best.
     
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  20. SCStrong

    SCStrong Registered User

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    Hello, friend. Welcome and congratulations, on your initiation. Best of luck. I would recommend a black suit before a tux as you will get more use out of it both, in and out of lodge. A tux is a great addition to any man's wardrobe but a black suit is essential.
     
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