Blog

Let us pick the perfect plaid bowtie for you

Plaid has been worn for centuries. This ancient pattern, originally called “tartan”, originates from Scotland and always gives a comforting and stylish look to those who choose to sport it!

We carry a wide variety of plaid bow ties at Black Tie Formalwear. There are so many colors and combinations for different events, occasions and times of the year! Let us help you pick out the perfect plaid:

The Halloween Plaid Combo

Perfect for the Fall Wedding color scheme, these two ties add a pop of color to your wedding party.

The perfect plaid bowtie | Black Tie Formalwear | Chicago

 

The Millennial Plaid

Pastels are all the rage with millennials. Why not add a pastel plaid for your next formalwear event?

Perfect Plaid Bowtie | Millennial edition | Black Tie Formalwear

Timeless Plaid

You can never go wrong with a classy silver, white or charcoal plaid. These maintain a unique style with the classic color scheme that adds a sense of elegance.

The perfect plaid bowtie | Black Tie Formalwear | Chicago The perfect plaid bowtie | Black Tie Formalwear | Chicago

The Military Wedding

Honor your loved one’s service with this Marine Blue plaid color.

The perfect plaid bowtie | Black Tie Formalwear | Chicago

 

Ready to shop our plaid bowtie line? Let’s get you ready for your upcoming event! Contact us today for a fitting.

11 Men’s Fashion Instagrams to follow

These boys have serious style. Here are 10 Men’s Fashion Instagram accounts you need to go follow… like, NOW.

Let’s get into it:

@kylehocking

Starting out with a hometown Chicago boy, Kyle Hocking showcases looks from cozy and casual to formal fashion.

@joeylondonstyle

Moving across the pond, Joey London covers fashion, fitness, and travel. His pro photos will leave you wishing you were scrolling IG in a designer suit!

@kleidsam

This self-proclaimed watch lover and pro-style consultant has a studious aesthetic that might make you want to recline with a cup of Earl Grey with a matching suit to boot.

@guerreisms

This storyteller has a unique style that we simply cannot get enough of!

@dapperdan553

This gent has the hipster trend down and elevated with a vintage sophistication. We love our Dapper Dan Man!

@jislainduval

Jislain has the fashion and smile that makes you want to retreat to the countryside with a glass of wine and infinity scarf. Check out his fashion sense and get inspired.

 

@marquelleturner

Social influence is in style and Marquelle certainly embodies that. His instagram showcases his sharp style and eloquent blurbs about life.

 

@dapper_melbourne_man

Sam Diamond is one of our favorite men’s fashion instagrammers. His bold taste and bad boy look couple to create a great overall personal style. GOLD STAR, SAM!

@taronegerton

We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to feature the Kingsman of style, Taron Egerton. Get Eggsy’s style and support the #OrgangeJacketChallenge supporting Help For Heroes foundation!

10 mens fashion accounts to follow on instagram | The Black Tie Formalwear Blog

@jprstyling

Overflowing with designer suits, the JPR Styling account is our go to for a pop of unexpected color or patterns!

@twhiddleston

Rarely is Tom Hiddleston seen not in a suit or tux. Get inspired by the famous actor’s style. Follow Hiddles today.

 

And that’s it! If you’re still hungry for more men’s fashion on instagram, follow @BlackTieTuxes and get inspired today!

5 eye-catching wedding transportation ideas

Plan your wedding transportation ahead of time and arrive and depart in style. Here are some great transportation ideas for any wedding:

5 unique transport ideas for your wedding | Black Tie FormalwearVintage Vehicles 

Ride in style for your wedding and rent an antique car like a vintage Rolls-Royce. Vintage cars are a stylish and glam way to get yourselves to the ceremony and reception, not to mention make your wedding pictures stand out with the car in the backdrop. Pick a vintage care based on your wedding theme to make your wedding stand out.

5 wedding transportation ideas | Black Tie Formalwear

Limousine

Stick with a classic option and get a stretch limousine for your wedding transportation. Plenty of room for your entire wedding party and combines formality and function with a sleek design. Get the VIP treatment when you order a limo and rent from M&M Limousine.

Guest Shuttle

Looking to have more room for your wedding party? Then a charter bus or shuttle is going to be perfect which usually holds up to 60 passengers. Take all of your friends and family to and from the wedding ceremony and reception. Chicago offers many different types of guest shuttles such as vintage trolleys, classic buses, and more.

Horse-Drawn Carriage

Chicago and many other cities allow your to rent a horse-drawn carriage for your wedding to give you the ultimate storybook ending for your wedding. Make it romantic with just the bride and groom or even get buggies that can fit between two and six passengers so you can bring your wedding party along.

Parking in Chicago

Having your wedding in the city? Then you’re going to n eed a lot of convenient parking spaces for your guests. Make it easy and find a central parking destination to have hassle free parking for your party. Use Chicago Parking Map to find the closest and most convenient parking spaces for your wedding.
Currently in the planning phase? Let us help with your formal wear needs. Book a fitting and let us do the rest

Weird wedding traditions and why we do them

Ever wonder why we do what we do at weddings? Here are a few weird wedding traditions and why we do them

Garter and Bouquet Toss

The garter toss is known for being probably the most risque aspect of any wedding. It involves the groom removing the garter from the bride’s leg, and throwing it into a crowd of bachelors. Supposedly the man who catches the garter will be the next guy to get married.

It’s similar for the bouquet toss: the bride will toss her bouquet into a crowd of bachelorettes, and whoever catches it will be the next woman to tie the knot. Usually the bouquet toss happens before the garter toss, and afterward, the man who caught the garter gets to put it on the woman who caught the bouquet.

But why?

One theory for the garter and bouquet tosses says that owning a part of the bride’s attire is good fortune. Back in the day, people forgot their manners entirely and ripped off pieces of the bride’s gown, just so they could get a bit of good luck. The bride giving away her garter and her bouquet signified that she would rather someone take just two pieces of her attire instead of destroying her wedding dress.

 

The Bridal Shower

The bridal shower tradition goes waaaay back to when women needed a dowry to marry a man. There came about the tradition of throwing a shower in which a woman’s friends would come together to give her gifts for her dowry if her father was too poor to do so. Of all the weird wedding traditions, we’re glad this one stuck.

 

Groomsmen

So this one is a tad awkward…. Turns out groomsmen date back to more primitive times. Back when your boys had to kidnap a bride. often times, women were in short supply, so the groom would recruit his buddies to go to neighboring villages and steal a bride! They literally used to be called bride-knights and would fight off the bride’s angry relatives when they came to steal her back at the wedding.

 

Throwing Rice

Did you know that this is another ancient superstition? Apparently throwing rice on newlyweds is meant to help them have children. Rice was, in Medieval times, a sign of a fruitful harvest. Therefore showering the new couple in rice was a hope for future kiddos!

 

Regardless of what you do at your wedding, we think the wedding tradition that stands the test of time is a clean suit or tuxedo. Your groom and groomsmen will look sharp in any of our wide selection of formal wear options. Schedule a fitting appointment today or contact us for more information!

The Pros & Cons of marrying a Mama’s Boy

Mama’s boys: they’re either the bane of your existence or exactly the type of man you need in your life. Truth be told, mama’s boys can be attentive, nurturing, and respectful, or they can be your worst nightmare: childish, needy, and neglectful.

We’ve broken down the pros and cons, so what are we waiting for? Let’s see if a mama’s boy is the husband for you.

So, what are the benefits of marrying a mama’s boy?

Pro #1: He knows how to dress himself.

For most men, the thought of having to shop for a wedding suit is a daunting task. Even if your mama’s boy doesn’t have a huge eye for fashion, he will at least have confidence in finding the outfit that works for him.

It’s nice to know that he won’t be annoyed at the thought of picking out a wedding suit, and it’s even nicer knowing he can shop for clothes himself.

He’s done this his whole life by his mom’s side, so when he’s shopping at Black Tie Formalwear, you won’t have to force him into the dressing room.

 

Pro #2: He will treat you right.

It’s no lie that if a man loves and respects his mom, he will love and respect you as his partner.

He’s not ashamed to be the man you need him to be, because his mom taught him how to be a gentleman.

With foundations of progressive morals and good values, his love for his mother will complement your strong feminine spirit.

 

Pro #3: He sees you as his equal.

There’s nothing more annoying and damaging than dating someone who wants to control you and dominate your life. A man who loves his mom wasn’t raised in a male-dominated environment; he understands that people deserve respect no matter what their background is.

He’s willing to let you grow and become your own person through your career and social life; he won’t try to manipulate your decisions, and he will support you through the good times and the bad.

 

Pro #4: He knows the importance of communication.

Women are often more vocal about their emotions than men are. If your future husband is close to his mom, it means they’ve spent a lot of time together and in that time, he’s learned how women express their thoughts and emotions.

He’s ready to listen to what you have to say and be there for you when others can’t, because he knows that’s what you need from him.

A good listener means great communication and an even better relationship.

We’ve looked at the positives; now, what are the drawbacks of marrying a mama’s boy?

 

Con #1: She won’t like you…at first.

You’re walking into his life, about to marry him and take him from his mother forever — and that sounds like the last thing a mom wants for her son.

In her mind, she’s supposed to be the only woman he’ll ever need, and you might notice her acting strangely around both of you when you’re with him.

Don’t take it personally, because she just has to cope with this until she warms up to the fact that he’s starting a new life of his own with you.

 

Con #2: She will always be his mom.

A man who loves his mom more than anything will always look up to her as the ultimate role model. He looks up to you too, but sometimes it might feel like you’re being shoved to the side if he wants to meet her for lunch instead of you. Just remember that you’re his partner, his fiancee, his wife, et cetera — not her — and you’re always there for him when his mom isn’t.

 

Con #3: No one likes to be the middleman.

When you date and eventually marry a mama’s boy, you might begin realizing that this is an unwanted three-way relationship.

The fact is that your man might get in fights with his mom about you, or you and she might express concerns about him, and eventually, you and your partner will fight about her always getting in the way of your relationship.

It becomes a triad of utter chaos, and it might not be for you.

If you and your partner are willing to resolve issues and try to amicably keep his mom out of your way, there is hope for your relationship.

Otherwise, because he is so close to her, you might just say enough is enough, and you may feel tempted to move on and find someone worthwhile.

Con #4: He’s her child, not yours.

Sometimes a mama’s boy means that he relies on his mom for everything. Then, when you two find an apartment together, he starts relying on you for everything.

That’s not okay, period.

If you’re dating a mama’s boy and you feel like he’s asking you to do things that he would normally ask his mom to do for him — because she does it out of unconditional love — like doing his laundry or buying his meals every night, tell him he needs to learn to take care of himself.

You have to take care of yourself first, so don’t waste time on someone who treats you like his mom.

If he’s unwilling to change, you might want to give the marriage a second thought. But if he does change, you can at least take his good mama’s boy qualities with you.

 

 

Tying the knot with someone who loves his mom can be great because he is more attentive to your emotional needs, he excels in areas where other men lack, and he will love and respect you passionately as his equal.

At the same time, don’t get stuck with someone who pushes you to the side to spend time with his mom or someone who treats you exactly like his mom. A good mama’s boy knows how to treat you like the unique, independent woman you are without making you his second mom.

 

Are you engaged or married to a mama’s boy? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!

6 reasons The Wedding Suit by BTF is perfect for your big day

Shopping for the perfect suit for your upcoming wedding can be the biggest hassle: there are so many brands, fits, prices, and styles to look for. On top of that, the bride and groom’s fashion scheme sets the tone for the entire wedding day. Most importantly, you want to feel comfortable and feel like yourself in your suit — and maybe impress the in-laws while you’re at it.

 

That’s why Black Tie Formalwear created the perfect suit for your big day: The Wedding Suit. It’s what she wants to see you wearing, and you’re going to be glad you did. Here’s why.

Modern fit

Looking back on your wedding day, scrolling through the photos that take you back to that beautiful day, you’re not going to regret wearing a suit that not only looks good and felt great, but stands the test of time.

Let’s face it: a wedding day is a huge chapter in anyone’s life; it’s going to be documented by the photographers, friends, and family. You want to look through the pictures and say, “Wow, we look awesome” and not “Wow, what are we wearing?”

The Wedding Suit’s modern fit and style is GQ chic, sexy enough for your bride but smart enough for the parents, and most importantly, it’s timeless.

Rent or buy

Some guys want to keep their Wedding Suit, whether they plan on using it for other formal occasions in the future, or just store it in the closet for the memories. On the other hand, some men know they’ll only wear it once and never again, and that’s okay. That’s why BTF lets you either buy or rent. Buy it and you can keep it forever; rent it and it will still be worth it.

5 colors to choose from

The modern American wedding isn’t just black and white; everyone knows that every wedding comes with its own theme, color scheme, and style. BTF is living in the now and they’re ready for the future.

So, whether your wedding’s colors are hot pink, teal, grassy green, or canary yellow, BTF offers five glorious neutrals for you to choose from: gray, dark gray, tan, navy, or black. Because in the midst of all the crazy colors of your wedding, you’ll be the color of subtle, neutral goodness that will wow the crowd.

Adjustable waist

No more visits to the tailor to make sure the pants still fit! We’re only human; we gain a little weight and lose a little weight here and there. With all the stress that comes with wedding planning, there’s no doubt the lbs. will jump around each time you stand on the scale. The Wedding Suit comes with an adjustable waistband to make sure that each fitting will still fit. For all the changes that may come, your suit is there to adjust to the changes.

Men and boys

Did I mention that this suit isn’t just for the groom? The Wedding Suit is available for all the men in the wedding party — and the boys, too. If there’s anyone at the wedding who hates dressing up, you better believe it’s the little boys. BTF makes it so easy with the Wedding Suit because of all its great features, and the boys won’t complain. They don’t want to shop for formal wear any more than you do!

Separates

Many formal wear companies automatically give you the pant size that corresponds with your coat size. That doesn’t work too well for a lot of men; we all come in different shapes and sizes, and not everyone’s top half matches with the bottom half.

BTF orders coats and pants separately because who wants pants that don’t fit? You get to choose not only your coat size but the perfect pant size too.

The Wedding Suit is a no-brainer. You want to have options, and Black Tie Formalwear gives you options. You want a suit that looks good and feels even better, and The Wedding Suit fulfills both needs. No more fittings and no more shopping for your dream suit; the Wedding Suit is your dream suit for the day you’ve been waiting for.

5 Ways to up the fun at your summer wedding

Looking for some ideas to up the summer fun at your wedding? Look no further! Here are 5 ways to take advantage of the beautiful weather for your 2017 Summer Wedding!

Summer Wedding Ideas 2017 | Black Tie Formalwear

The Unity Bonfire

While it’s not a traditional staple at a wedding, the unity bonfire is growing in popularity because, well, it’s just fun! Unity candles are typical, but your love burns stronger than a wimpy little candle, right? It’s a raging fire!

 

S’more Fun

After the ceremony wraps up, invite guests to start the reception fun by using your bonfire to create s’mores!

A Sweet & Tipsy Memory

Send home a reusable stadium style cup complete with bendy straw after filling them up with swirly tropical colored daiquiris! Click on the picture above if you’re interested in purchasing these customized stadium cups with your wedding details printed on them.

 

Sparkler Sendoff

What says summer better than sparklers and fireworks? Send off your newlyweds with sparklers and maybe even an entire fireworks show. It’s a great photo op and a fun way to commemorate their new bond, to infinity and beyond! Click the photo above if you’re interested in purchasing a wedding sparkler pack!

Group Games

Another great way to bring families and new friends together is to provide some fun lawn games for your summertime reception. Games like bags, giant jenga or bocce ball are cost effective and customizable for your wedding! Get crafty and you can whip up these games for little to no money and include some of the bride and groom’s favorite themes.

5 Romantic places to propose in Chicago

It’s Summer, Chicagoans! And that means summer love. So we teamed up with the city experts at UrbanMatter to show you five romantic places to propose in Chicago.

 

logan square arts fest | 5 places to propose this summer

Take in the beauty at the Logan Square Arts Festival

No matter your taste, the Logan Square Arts Festival is a feast for the eyes, the soul and even your tastebuds. Sip on local brews while enjoying food, music and of course art (but we all know that the best work of art will be your significant other). For more info on what you can look forward to, visit UrbanMatter’s post here.

 

chicago running | 5 places to propose this summer

Run your heart out

Chicago is a city of movers and shakers and, you know it if you are one, runners! With the miles of paths around the city, it’s hard to choose which direction to take, yet, many times, couples meet while running the miles along Lakeshore. The rest is history. UrbanMatter has compiled “4 Chicago running paths to get your heart pumping”; pick your path and then propose!

city winery chicago | 5 places to propose this summer

A concert at City Winery

Get groovy at City Winery. This intimate setting is the perfect place for music lovers to pop the question. For info on who’s playing this week, check out UrbanMatter’s article here.

 

rose day chicago | 5 places to propose this summer

Wine & Dine on Rose Day

Does your significant other appreciate the finer things in life? Wine, dine and then pop the question in River North on Rose Day. For more information on the happenings of Rose Day, visit UrbanMatter’s article here.

 

lincoln park zoo chicago| 5 places to propose this summer

Can you feel the love tonight?

Lincoln Park Zoo is hosting Adults Night. For $15, you can roam the zoo after the gates close, enjoy cash bars, music and concessions. For animal lovers, this would be the perfect place for a memorable and wild proposal! More info at urbanmatter.com.

 

And there you have it: five romantic places in the city of Chicago to pop the question! Interested in more events happening in and around Chicago this summer? Head over to UrbanMatter for the hottest new happenings in this city we love so dearly.

Leave a comment below if you have another recommended location in Chicago to propose! And if you use any of these suggestions, we’d love to help you get wedding-ready at one of our convenient Chicagoland locations.

Now get out there and pop the question!

The Wedding Suit by Black Tie Formalwear is here!

Here at Black Tie Formalwear, we are always looking for new ways to make the wedding process easier and deliver more value to our valued customers. This year we set out to find a new solution to the age-old problem of outfitting your wedding party in matching suits. That solution is The Wedding Suit!

So what’s been the problem? Some of your groomsmen may want to rent, some may want to buy; some of the party is older, taller, shorter or much younger, etc.

But at the end of the day, you wanted an easier solution to getting your boys in matching suits for your wedding.

That is why we came up with The Wedding Suit by Black Tie Formalwear.

 

The Wedding Suit by Black Tie Formalwear is a one of a kind collection of suits with features and options not available anywhere else! Some of the features that we put in would be things that we realized the customer may not have been thinking about or looking for initially but would still be of great benefit to them.

These features include:

Modern Fit: Designed specifically to give all range of sizes a tailored look.

Rent or Buy: A wedding Formalwear first! Each guy can decide on his own if he wants to rent or buy.

5 Colors to choose from: All of the most popular colors are covered.  The wedding suit comes in light grey, dark grey, navy, tan and black.

Adjustable Waist: A pant feature all guys love. The waistband adjusts for a range of 3 inches.

Men & Boys: Guys come in all shapes and sizes this collection is made with that in mind.  All are available from little boys up to big and tall.

Separates: With most suits you have to take the pant size that comes with your coat size.  That can lead to expensive alterations.  Your coat and pants are ordered separately according to your size.

The Wedding Suit by Black Tie Formalwear

More Benefits:

Just take the suit coat and pant separates part of it for example. Most suits that are sold come automatically with a pair of pants that are 6 inches less than the jacket size. In other words, a 42 coat comes with pants that are 36 in the waist. That is called “The drop”. Well, there are some guys who need a 42 coat for their shoulders but have a smaller waist like 32 or 33 inches. In those cases, that guy must go and pay for expensive alterations to be done on the pants because he will automatically get a 36.

Separates mean that no matter what size your coat is you will get a pair of pants according to what your waist measurement actually is so no alterations are needed on those pants.

Adjustable waist on the pants is another great benefit. Some guys have a waistline that goes up and down a bit.
Now they won’t have to go to a tailor if they haven’t worn the suit for a while and find they’ve gained or lost a few pounds.

Unlike other tuxedo rental company styles the wedding suit has belt loops on the pants. For a suit look a wedding party will usually want to have the guys wearing a belt that matches their shoes. Now they can.

The buy or rent option is important and we’re catering to the entire wedding party on this one. Obviously, we want the Bride and Groom to be happy, but they want their guys to be happy as well.

The groom, groomsman, ushers, dads, and ring bearers Mom’s all like the fact that they can decide if they want to rent or buy individually. The best man may already own a dark grey suit but it doesn’t match the wedding party so he would rather rent instead of buying another dark grey suit. Another groomsman doesn’t have a dark grey suit at home so he would prefer to pay a bit more and buy one at a reasonable price. Usually the ring bearers Mom wouldn’t want to do that because he will outgrow the suit within a couple of months.

The Wedding Suit has the best design feature in a suit or tuxedo. They are all proportioned differently by size to give guys of all shapes and sizes the same great looking tailored fit!

For more info on The Wedding Suit, visit our dedicated page here.

 

The Comprehensive list of How to Tie your Tie

Can you actually tie a tie? Here’s your comprehensive list of the top ways to tie your tie.

Want to learn the Windsor knot? Maybe the Pratt? This website has directions on these and many more.

how to tie a tie website

Next up we have a video how-to. With over 20,000,000 views, this gentleman surely explains perfectly how to tie a classic knot with any style of neck tie.

 

Next, another simply illustrated step by step on how to execute a Windsor Knot:

how to tie windsor knot

More of a reader than picture follower? Here are the directions broken down:

  • 1. Start with the wide end on the right & the small end on the left. The small end should rest slightly above your belly-button (this will vary depending on your height and the length & thickness of your tie). Only move the wide end.
  • 2. Wide end over the small end to the left.
  • 3. Up into the neck loop from underneath.
  • 4. Down to the left.
  • 5. Around the back of the small end to the right.
  • 6. Up to the center, towards neck loop.
  • 7. Through the neck loop and down to the right.
  • 8. Across the front to the left.
  • 9. Up into the neck loop from underneath.
  • 10. Down through the loop you’ve just created in the front.
  • 11. Tighten the knot by pulling down on the wide end. Slide the knot up & adjust.

Still not convinced you know all the ways to tie your tie? Stop in to any of our convenient Chicagoland Black Tie Formalwear locations for friendly service and a smile.

MAKE AN APPOINTMENT