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Re: Tuxedos are for coachmen and weddings, not concerts.

Postby bloke » Fri Oct 05, 2018 8:38 am

I enjoy seeing it when ensembles play period music in period clothing.

Another trend (from which the orchestra "all black for the pit" thing evolved), the "casual" trend, saved me a whole bunch of cleaning bills when I was working nearly full-time with a jazz band back in the 1980's. Everyone wearing the same color slacks and matching polo shirts...much less expensive to keep clean than a blue blazer, grey wool slacks, white shirt, and a maroon tie...and - when we were at our busiest (prior to mostly going to the polo shirt thing...unless we were performing at a more formal event or full-blown "concert"), I had to have TWO blue blazers, and TWO pair of grey wool slacks...when one set was at the cleaners.

Today (and I suspect MANY musicians do this), I put on my tails or suit shortly before a concert and take that stuff off and hang it on hangers (hitting it with "wrinkle release") shortly after a concert. That's the strategy I now use to avoid a bunch of cleaning bills, and (frankly) "the playing of symphonic music" (compared to playing all the bass lines, doing some soloing, and singing some of the songs in a jazz band) is (how did the President describe it...?? oh yeah...) "low energy". I typically do not perspire at all when counting hundreds of measures rest and occasionally making a few loud sounds in the back of a symphony orchestra, as the string players, clearly, are the "worker bees" in those ensembles.
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Re: Tuxedos are for coachmen and weddings, not concerts.

Postby ghmerrill » Sat Oct 06, 2018 8:06 pm

I don't get the preference for long ties. Most of my life I wore long ties (when I had to wear a tie at all). But in the past ten years I've shifted over totally to bow ties. Why? They're more comfortable and stay out of the way (one reason a lot of doctors wear them). And no, I do not use pre-tied or clip-on bow ties. I learned how to tie them myself (with the help of YouTube and a mirror).

Long ties are comparatively a real pain to get to come out the the correct length when tied, and they get in the way of all kinds of things in front of you. And for some reason, a correctly tied bow tie is both snugger AND more comfortable than a long tie (no matter what knot you're using).

At least that's my experience. And I'm sticking with the bow ties -- despite any ridicule from my children.
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Re: Tuxedos are for coachmen and weddings, not concerts.

Postby Donn » Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:17 pm

Right. Long ties are bizarre and awkward. The only time I've ever seen the point of one, is when the attractive young woman seizes it to pull you off to a secluded location. I suspect that happens only in movies, but it certainly can't be done just as well with a bow tie. Also the bow tie doesn't get along with a saxophone neckstrap, but I doubt anyone really cares if the sax players are wearing ties.
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Re: Tuxedos are for coachmen and weddings, not concerts.

Postby bloke » Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:22 pm

ghmerrill wrote:I don't get the preference for long ties. Most of my life I wore long ties (when I had to wear a tie at all). But in the past ten years I've shifted over totally to bow ties. Why? They're more comfortable and stay out of the way (one reason a lot of doctors wear them). And no, I do not use pre-tied or clip-on bow ties. I learned how to tie them myself (with the help of YouTube and a mirror).

Long ties are comparatively a real pain to get to come out the the correct length when tied, and they get in the way of all kinds of things in front of you. And for some reason, a correctly tied bow tie is both snugger AND more comfortable than a long tie (no matter what knot you're using).

At least that's my experience. And I'm sticking with the bow ties -- despite any ridicule from my children.


I honestly WISH that the definition of a "suit" morphed into a matching black coat-and-trousers and a BLACK dress shirt (ok...sure...) with the top button buttoned, and NO tie.
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Re: Tuxedos are for coachmen and weddings, not concerts.

Postby pecktime » Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:41 am

I can’t stand the black shirt look, unless you want your ensemble to look like a bunch of waiters?

And a black tie on a black shirt? To me that reeks of boring big bands playing soulless music that no-one enjoys to an audience of disinterested snobs.

At least the dark suit/ white shirt/ dark tie outfit looks good on all sizes of male.

My hope is for a comeback of the 1970s Michael Caine look: suit jacket with a rollneck skivvy- sophisticated yet comfortable.
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Re: Tuxedos are for coachmen and weddings, not concerts.

Postby Donn » Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:07 am

pecktime wrote:And a black tie on a black shirt? To me that reeks of boring big bands playing soulless music that no-one enjoys to an audience of disinterested snobs.


Would make sense if the performers are painting their faces and other exposed skin black, though.
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Re: Tuxedos are for coachmen and weddings, not concerts.

Postby bloke » Sun Oct 07, 2018 9:58 am

Donn wrote:
pecktime wrote:And a black tie on a black shirt? To me that reeks of boring big bands playing soulless music that no-one enjoys to an audience of disinterested snobs.


Would make sense if the performers are painting their faces and other exposed skin black, though.


Let us know, Donn, when you've got your Jolson revival act ready to present.
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Re: Tuxedos are for coachmen and weddings, not concerts.

Postby Donn » Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:29 am

I scouted around for some images that might illustrate the appropriate look for black on black attire, and it turns out that you don't paint your face black, you paint it white. Lips may be black though. Anyway, it's exquisitely formal.
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Re: Tuxedos are for coachmen and weddings, not concerts.

Postby Dan Schultz » Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:09 am

Even dumber that tuxes and tails are the silly colored vests that brass bands are forced to wear over their concert black shirts. I have had to buy green, red, and blue vests over the years that basically aren't useful for anything other than in brass bands.
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Re: Tuxedos are for coachmen and weddings, not concerts.

Postby bloke » Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:38 am

Dan Schultz wrote:Even dumber that tuxes and tails are the silly colored vests that brass bands are forced to wear over their concert black shirts. I have had to buy green, red, and blue vests over the years that basically aren't useful for anything other than in brass bands.


Luckily, I've never been involved with any jazz bands that called for red vests and styrofoam Jaxon hats.
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Re: Tuxedos are for coachmen and weddings, not concerts.

Postby pecktime » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:43 pm

I saw Marcel Marceau perform once (the father of mime). He wore all black too.
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Re: Tuxedos are for coachmen and weddings, not concerts.

Postby Mark » Sun Oct 07, 2018 2:46 pm

pecktime wrote:I saw Marcel Marceau perform once (the father of mime). He wore all black too.


I don't think Facebook was around when Marcel Marceau was. How did he publish his memes?
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Re: Tuxedos are for coachmen and weddings, not concerts.

Postby iiipopes » Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:11 am

It is ironic that Bloke should be the author of this thread about "dressing down." When a person really looks into the history of the tuxedo, one will find it was the original semi-formal dress down from tails and starch collars in the late 1800's.

What next? For summer gigs, one community group I play in wears logo polos and black trousers. Another local group already has gone to matching logo t-shirts (yes, t-shirts, not polos) and jeans for their community performances.

I am the stick-in-the-mud. I prefer the tuxedo as the Duke of Windsor wore it: peak lapels, vest or cummerbund, single satin stripe trousers, tie-your-own-tie, and - most importantly - a pleated shirt with a TURN-DOWN REGULAR COLLAR. These stupid triangle wing collars that are part of the shirt and are not true detachable hard-starch collars are the worst bane to formal wear ever, even lower than a "Western" brown tuxedo, or the powder blue with ruffles of the '70's.

So yes, I will continue to wear my tuxedo proudly to gigs that call for it, including recent weddings and social events. I have it tailored properly, including an extra inch in the waist so I can breathe properly while I play. Even if I sit next to bloke in his t-shirt and jeans. :P
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Re: Tuxedos are for coachmen and weddings, not concerts.

Postby nworbekim » Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:10 pm

All of the groups I play in now, wear all black. We're not all that formal anyway...
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Re: Tuxedos are for coachmen and weddings, not concerts.

Postby dgpretzel » Mon Oct 08, 2018 2:42 pm

I like tuxes (with a bowtie).

I think they are simple, yet dignified and classy, and create a pleasing ambience. I also prefer that the women wear black gowns or even pants, and don't show bear legs or arms.

I think presentation enhances the performance.

I freely admit to being old fashioned.

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Re: Tuxedos are for coachmen and weddings, not concerts.

Postby Mike C855B » Mon Oct 08, 2018 4:34 pm

dgpretzel wrote:... I also prefer that the women wear black gowns or even pants, and don't show bear legs or arms. ...


Oooo. You touch on a sore subject with a college ensemble I play with. Concert attire for men is conventional black suit, white shirt, black long tie. Attire for the ladies is black dress or black pantsuit. Unfortunately, too many of the women interpret that as "little black dress" - or it's the only black in their closet - and as you can guess there have been issues vis-a-vis sitting on a stage. The past couple of years the director had to be specific about "below the knee, please" after getting nastygrams from offended concert attendees.
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Re: Tuxedos are for coachmen and weddings, not concerts.

Postby Wyvern » Mon Oct 08, 2018 4:43 pm

I like concert dress of just black trousers (pants to you Americans) and shirt (black, white, or agreed uniform color) without tie. Much more comfortable to play!
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Re: Tuxedos are for coachmen and weddings, not concerts.

Postby Biggs » Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:17 pm

dgpretzel wrote: don't show bear legs or arms.



This issue is likely much more common in Alaska.
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Re: Tuxedos are for coachmen and weddings, not concerts.

Postby bloke » Mon Oct 08, 2018 5:49 pm

Biggs wrote:
dgpretzel wrote: don't show bear legs or arms.



This issue is likely much more common in Alaska.


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Re: Tuxedos are for coachmen and weddings, not concerts.

Postby dgpretzel » Mon Oct 08, 2018 6:05 pm

Fortunately, the grizzlies are further North than Juneau!

We mainly have to deal with black bears, here.

But, even they need to be given high respect and wide berth. Interestingly, we just had one walk right into our local hospital last week.
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