Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Mr Cameron and White Tie mishaps

Poor Mr Cameron seems to have suffered a slight white tie wardrobe malfunction at last night's Lord Mayor's Banquet. I don't especially wish to post pictures of the PMs chest on this blog so, if you wish to see for yourself, you shall have to visit the Guardian, which has no such compunctions.

As far as I can tell, what happened is that he has used a type of stud designed for shirts so stiffly starched that it is impossible to push the stud through, and so they must in fact be inserted from either side and screwed together. Perhaps his are an old family set and the threads are worn, but it seems that several have come undone at once, which is highly unfortunate.

Ah well, such are the perils of wearing a wardrobe that requires you to be screwed in to your shirt, but at least he made the effort and generally looked jolly smart.

Still, those of you with an eye for correct formal attire will no doubt notice that he has committed the classic white tie sin of wearing a waistcoat that extends well below the bottom of his tailcoat.

Of course, he's hardly the first man to have this problem. The difficulty arises because the coat must be short, coming to barely below the ribcage, and the waistcoat must (obviously) cover the waistband of the trousers. Therefore, one is left with two options: either the trousers must come to somewhere around your navel, which is correct but unpopular these days, or the waistcoat must extend below the tailcoat. Finding sufficiently high-waisted trousers is all the more difficult if, like the PM, you hire your white tie. Mr Cameron gets his from Buckleigh in Chelsea which is, I am sure, a step up on Moss Bros but no doubt has likewise given up on trying to talk the modern customer into wearing trousers that sit a good half a foot higher than those he is used to.

It's a shame, and Mr Cameron of all people could surely justify buying his own evening suit and having it properly fitted. Even Gordon Brown, he of the baggy suits, eventually shelled out £3,000 (of his own money) on his own. That said, he probably didn't get as much use out of it as he'd hoped, so perhaps Mr Cameron is still hedging his bets.
The moral of the story? Buy evening wear that fits, and be sure that your studs are up to the task before you step infront of the national press.


  1. The best that can be said is that he still managed to look better than either of the two US presidential candidates managed in their full fig: http://blog.blacktieguide.com/2012/10/28/alfred-e-smith-dinner-2012/

    Someone, I see, is complementary about your white tie outfit in the comments.

    1. Yes, it absolutely amazes me that these senior politicans gets things so wrong, particularly Mr Obama who, presumably, is surrounded by protocol experts who could guide him flawlessly through the most awkward bits of international diplomacy. I assume the fact that they don't advise him on how to wear white tie suggests that neither he nor his advisors thinks it matters very much. And that is terribly sad.

      But how nice to see a random compliment - exactly the kind of small ego boost that one needs on a dull day in the office.


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