Ask TPL: Best Place For Dinner Jackets
I have a black-tie event coming up and want to wear something a little more unique than a standard black tuxedo or dark suit. Where would you recommend a guy get a nice dinner jacket? Thanks!
— David R.
Well, for starters, you understand the dinner jacket well, which is a good thing. Let’s actually elaborate on that and back up for just a second. Dinner jackets can almost always be worn in place of a standard tuxedo jacket, and they are a way to remain in black tie attire, but add all sorts of color, flair, or uniqueness to what would otherwise be a standard black and white look. Indeed, a dinner jacket is perhaps the gentleman’s best opportunity to really wear something quite “out there” without it looking the least bit strange. In fact, it’ll be quite the opposite. You’ll be the coolest person in the room.
Black tuxedo pants will work with most any dinner jacket, so simply swap out your standard tuxedo jacket for a nice dinner jacket, and do everything else the same, and you’ll be good to go.
Perhaps the one other note, before we get into it, is that a nice, unique dinner jacket is, while one of the nicer pieces of menswear to own, also definitely one of the least necessary. Most guys don’t own a standard tuxedo in the first place, and even those that do, do not get much wear out of it. If you have a tuxedo already, and wear it often enough to consider buying a dinner jacket to switch things up, by all means! Otherwise, spend your money smarter, elsewhere.
Now, with all that out of the way, here are some excellent places to get some great dinner jackets.
SuitSupply — $399+: Some of the best, classiest options out there, at super affordable prices for what you are getting. Excellent profiles and proportions, and the sort of lapel options you would normally only see on much higher end dinner jackets. Think of them as Tom Ford on a budget. The downside? Their selection is limited when it comes to dinner jackets (as opposed to their slightly more extensive line of tuxedos proper).
Indochino — $399+: Very similar selection to SuitSupply but with the added benefit of being custom made to your own measurements, as well as style decisions. If you prefer peaked lapels over a shawl collar, you can do that. Vented pockets as opposed to flaps? No problem. Of course, the wait time until you receive it is considerably longer, and the quality is not in the same league as SuitSupply, but, over all, still a solid buy, especially for something like an evening jacket.
J Crew — $298+: A super reasonable price for a solid quality dinner jacket. The downside? A more trendy design, typical of J Crew, with narrower lapels, shorter torso lengths, and an oddly low button stance at times. They also do have a nice selection of velvet options as well. For J Crew, their selection is surprisingly robust. This is definitely an underrated, unexpected, but solid place to get some nice and unique dinner jackets.
Tom Ford — $3,690+: The splurge of all splurges, and perhaps the least necessary purchase a guy can ever make. But, if you’re looking for something truly special, there really is nothing else like it. Tom Ford is known for a lot of things, and making some of the best evening wear out there is definitely one of those things.