Creative Formal…???

What the heck does this mean?

I have blogged about formal attire for weddings in the morning, afternoon, evening…but not “creative formal”.

In fact, this might be a new term…but I find myself faced with hosting a party where the birthday girl wants to wear a “pretty, summery, dress”. So…the dress attire code “creative formal” was chosen.

Women may wear cocktial dresses, silk pants with white or colorful halter tops, etc…women just don’t need help with what to wear…so…

Guys…here are my recommendations…

Black tie is for socializing. It is for relaxing, having a good time, drinking, dancing, and otherwise making merry with friends. It is NOT for work or business. (Props to the Style Forum for having posted this neat description.) hcttp://

Let’s start with some basic building blocks and morph forward.  “Formal” typically involves a black or midnight blue tuxedo, white shirt, black tie…or white dinner jacket.  Creative Formal does NOT mean you have to wear a tux!

Let’s get creative and qualify that the party is on a summer, Saturday night at a home in the woods.  If we just remember black/white…we can’t go wrong…from dark jeans/white shirt worn out over jeans to white jeans/black shirt…one will be dressed appropriately.  If, on the other hand, a guy wants to step it up…

One can’t go wrong with a tux jacket…but I’d dress down the tux jacket by going sans tie.  Try a pair of lighter jeans…or white jeans…or shorts…this is a fun, summer party!


This elegant tux jacket looks pretty good over those tattered jeans!  Lose the tie or go with white tee!  No socks…very cool outfit!


I don’t care for Kanye’s act but this is a cool outfit!

Now, for those without a white or black tux jacket:

Have a linen or seersucker suit or jacket?   This would be a great alternative…roll up the sleeves and pick an idea from below.


My good friend, Jeffrey Ammeen rocks out in a seersucker (Haspel of course) and a pair of indigo jeans with white shirt…simple!

if interested, try a thrift shop…might be able to find a used tux jacket for <$10.

if not, do you have a sport coat?  If yes, dress it , with old tux pants, black pants/jeans, or shorts.  White shirt/bow tie…or black tee shirt ala Giorgio Armani works too…


For a “creative Formal” event, pair your sport coat with a white shirt or tee, dark jeans…and you can’t miss!

No jacket or jacket not your style?

Black pants with white shirt or white jeans with black shirt…shirt can be long sleeve, short sleeve, polo, or nicer tee.  Jeans with a white collared shirt would be great…darker seems better for this occasion than worn or lighter blue.  Use the torn, faded jeans with something dressier like a tux jacket or favorite sport coat!

imageThis dark jean/ white shirt provides a basic look for “Creative Formal” .

Shoes…have fun!  The funkier the better…sneakers with tux jacket!  No real rules here but I’D stay from boots…sandals with tux jacket?  Why not?

So…”Creative Formal” to me is an opportunity for guys to dress up a little or a lot…but keep it funky…here are a few more ways to take a tux jacket and funk it up!


For those with mustaches!

imageRyan Gosling shows us how to take an old dinner jacket, a tee and a pair of black jeans…and have fun!


How about a favorite corton cable under that jacket?


If you are a beard and tat guy…well…you get the picture!

Have fun!


Vinnie Rua-Founder, Christopher’s Custom

What Topics are Acceptable to Post on LinkedIn?

Let’s get some dialogue going from those who use LinkedIn about what topics should get filtered out of the mainstream into “job” forums.

I am a custom clothier who regularly posts about fashion trends.  This has been my specialty for over 20 years.  Lately, however, my posts have getting booted out of regular posts and into “jobs”.

I have a somewhat unique background and accordingly am a member of diverse groups.  I am am a CPA, was a partner in the largest single office CPA firm in the country, was a CEO and Chairman of the Board of several companies, and accordingly am a member of CPA groups, CEO groups, etc.  as well as fashion-related trade groups.

If one is accepted into a group, it seems to me that as long as one isn’t blatantly selling a product, their posts should be accepted by the group.  I am told annually by LinkedIn that my profile gets the top 1% of hits in the world…each year!  Someone must be interested in what I’m posting…yet, of late, my posts are getting bumped into “job” boards.

Most who are on LinkedIN with whom I speak are on for one reason…to further their careers one way or another.  Most abide by the rules and try to post about subjects over which they command some lever of expertise.

Are there new algorithms that automatically kick out posts based on certain words?  I have reviewed other posts in groups where my posts are getting booted…and must say there are many posts that are explicitly job solicitation posts…which are not booted into the “job” board.

Can anyone add anything?

Lapels, Vents, Length…what are the rules now?

There is plenty of confusion surrounding how a guy should style his suit or sport coat jacket…along with plenty of opinions.

Today, I will share my personal thoughts and advice on lapels.  Watch for future posts on venting and jacket length.

Notch lapels are the most popular collar style.  Their width should vary depending on one’s size.  I recommend staying away from trendy alternatives such as peak lapels for most customers.  The real variable is lapel width.  We are faced with an interesting dichotomy today…retail stores in the USA typically trail fashion runway style. It not unusual, accordingly, to find lapels as small as 2″ in box stores…while European designers are featuring lapels 3 1/2″ and larger!

A better alternative is a fashionable 3-3 1/4″ lapel.  Generally, if one has a chest size of 43″ or smaller, a 3 1/8″ lapel is perfect.  A 3″ lapel would be reserved for a lighter build while a 3 1/4″ lapel works for those wearing 44″ and larger jackets.  If a guy as bigger…let’s say 50″ chest or larger, a larger lapel might be appropriate.  You should defer to your professional tailor.


Featured above is a gorgeous red linen from my Summer Track Collection.  The model is a slim 40″ Regular, and the lapel width is 3 1/8″  I think most would agree that this lapel looks fine, providing its wearer a timeless look sure to provide years of wearing enjoyment.

Please feel free to contact me via email with your sartorial questions.


Vinnie Rua- Founder, Christopher’s Custom

#fashion #customsuits #customsportcoats #customshirts #finalfour #golf




If you are available this coming Thursday nght, visit the Pruyn House starting at 6p.m. For the Center For Disability Services annual Aficianado night featuring Tommy John signing autographs, an awesome live auction including:

Plus…Christopher’s Custom will donate 20% of every purchase from appointments made at this event to the Center For Disability Services ( new customers and existing who have not purchased from Christopher’s in last 12 months).

This event is selling out fast!  Order your tickets from the below link today!

Get Your Tickets Here

Hope to see you Thursday night!


Vince Rua-Founder, Christopher’s Custom

Summer Sizzler!


This outfit is perfect for a day in Saratoga or an evening at your golf club’s Member-Guest dinner dance!  100% linen jacket is the bomb for comfort…white mother-of pearl buttons really lighten it up and note the casual patch pockets!  Green cotton stretch custom pants are uber comfortable and can be styled as you like…trim, relaxed, flat front, even 5-pocket jean!  Bold pailsey tie with complementary and  vividly colorful silk pocket square over a subtle striped custom cotton shirt will have you looking your best!

Try a pair of sand-colored suede bluchers with a pair of yellow socks!

Talk with your custom tailor today…before the summer gets away from you!

If you live in the Capital District, are free Thursday night, June 4, and want to support a good cause, stop by the Pruyn House for the Center For Disabilities Aficianado Night.  Tommy John will be signing autographs, live auction items include the Yankees’ Perfect Suite, a one week vacation in St. Maarten, an outfit like the one above from Christopher’s, Four 50- yard line seats at  NY Giant game, and a lady’s Baum & Mercier watch.

Get your tickets ahead of time though as this event is nearing sell out status quickly! Quick Link to Center for Disabilities Fundraiser