High Quality Formalwear Since 1939

Advice & Tips

Dressing For a Charity Event

Kenneth Cole once said: “Don’t let your outfit be the cause for concern”

If you are about to attend a charity event to help raise funds and awareness, not strange looks, your outfit should be respectful and respected at the same time.  Big time charities are almost always a terrific time, everyone is dressed to the nines, and most non-profit organizations know how to throw a memorable party.  That plus the cause, whatever it may be, allows you to spend a little more than normal and feel quilt free.  Not only does your presence at a charity function benefit those unfortunate, in which you are attending the function to support, but it can also assist you from a social standpoint, as well as a professional one.  Many charity events or balls are formal functions which have strict dress codes that must be followed by all guests.  When dressing for a formal function it may be a good idea to rent or buy a tuxedo if you do not already own one.

Here are a few tips to follow to make your grand entrance with confidence and grace.

Be sure to look on the invitation to see if there is a dress code requirement as there are several levels of dress.  Here are the basics, beginning with the most formal.  White Tie: Men wear a black tuxedo with tails, a white shirt, a white vest and a white tie.  Black Tie: Men wear a black tuxedo, no tails, a white shirt, a black vest or cummerbund and a black tie.  Black Tie Optional: Men wear a black tuxedo, same as black tie attire, or a dark suit, a white (or light colored) shirt and a conservative tie.  The most common dress code for charity events is a Black Tie Event.

If you are looking to purchase or rent a suit, it is worth spending extra time trying everything on and paying close attention to the form of each garment.  If there is any pulling, bunching or creasing, consider going up a size.  Shoulder seams should be right at the edge of the shoulder and you should be able to comfortably button your jacket.  If other areas of the body do not fit properly, taking the suit in to get tailored is an easy solution in order to have the suit fit your body perfectly.

Consider the quality of the fabric and details of construction.  Think about texture and shine and look for a suit that has a special touch, taking it beyond every day wear.  Not only will this set yourself apart from all the others but it will make you feel fantastic wearing it.

Some would argue that shoes are the window to the soul, so don’t neglect them.  Dark socks with shoes to match are a must and need to go with the trousers you are wearing.  White socks or the wrong style of shoes will take the elegance away from the rest of the outfit.  Appropriate shoes for the event provide a polished finish to the whole look.

Fun Socks and Formalwear

Gone are the days where weddings were predominately black and white tie parties. Today’s engaged couples are having fun integrating a spectrum of different colors to their wedding themes.

It’s not too surprising then that many grooms and groomsmen today are embracing different color combinations for their wedding day attire as well. Fun patterns and brightly colored socks is a quickly growing trend. So gentlemen . . . to get started, find inspiration from the colors that you and your partner have selected for your big day. Brides love to wear brightly colored shoes . . . they totally make for many great photo ops! Choosing your socks or tie based on the color of her pair of heels is a good way to help narrow down your choices as well. I also find that wedding blogs such as Style Me Pretty are great sources for inspiration and wedding ideas. Or you can stop by Derks Formals & Menswear to see our great selection of Happy Socks, they’re definitely statement making. But in the end, just have fun with the process.

Formalwear Facts

When looking for that seamless looking suit or tuxedo, you should always look at the reputation and quality of your options. Get referrals from friends and family. You don’t want to compromise on quality or service. Keep in mind that you want to find a retailer that carries current styles. The last thing you want is a tuxedo that looks like it’s from five years ago! Ask your tuxedo retailer these questions:

  • Is stock replaced on a regular basis?
  • How many times is a garment cleaned, and what methods are used?
  • Is there a full-time, on-site tailor?

Here are some additional tips and other important things to consider when finally going out to get your perfectly fitting tux . . .

1. Why be measured by a formalwear specialist?
It’s essential in ensuring you get a properly fitting tuxedo. Properly fitted formalwear is a must for comfort and look. Ask for a trained, knowledgeable fitter.

2. When is the best time to book our formalwear?
You should book your formalwear as early as possible, especially if you’re looking to rent during May through September. The summer is the most popular time for weddings. Booking early will ensure that you get the style you desire. Four to six months in advance is suggested.

3. Does everyone need to be there when we book?
No. It may be easier to come in alone, or just with your fiancé, when making your decisions. Once the styles are chosen, your consultant will enter them into the computer system. The rest of your party can then come in at a time that works best for them, but make sure they are prompt.

4. When is payment is required?
Payment is usually required at the time of booking, but make sure to check with your formalwear provider.

5. What should I do in the event there is a problem with my formalwear on my special day?
Check with your formalwear provider to see what their policy is. On Saturdays, Derks has an extra person on staff to assist you, should a problem arise, and Derks can even send someone out to you. Should something be forgotten, or if something needs fixing, call our emergency service department and we’ll do what it takes to make it right.

6. When do we return our formalwear?
To avoid late fees, all garments must be returned as soon as possible. Your formalwear specialist should cover all of this information with you, including when the tux should be back, as well as late fees, and the hours your location is open for returns.

An Elegant Toast for All

Congrats, you’re officially married . . . What now? The reception lunch/dinner party of course! With every wedding celebration, there will surely be toasts all around. Therefore, by providing unique “drink” options, it is a great way to allow everyone to join in on the festivities.

We recently came across these two fun beverage alternatives that look just like your regular flute of bubbly champagne or an elegant glass of red wine . . . but they’re non-alcoholic!

Using the finest quality tea, Golden Star’s sparkling tea is hand steeped in small batches, sweetened with raw sugarcane juice, and finished with a mild fermentation that combines age-old traditions with modern winemaking techniques. The result is a non-alcoholic (0.5% ABV) beverage that provides a perfect balance of rounded sweetness and complex acidity.

Golden Star describes that it has a “flush of effervescence reminiscent of fine Champagne, and a delicate note of ‘brioche’ with a floral jasmine nose. Golden Star White Jasmine Sparkling Tea pairs superbly with a wide variety of cuisines, and is sure to deliver an ideal performance on the table and when raised up in celebration.”

Who can say no to that?

Next on our watch list is Unwine’s list of wine-like juices that are free of sugars, preservatives, and filled with polyphenols – antioxidants found in blackberries, red grapes, and black currants. With their wide selection, there is sure to be a UnWine flavor & color for every non-alcoholic wine drinking connoisseur. Yoyo mama’s review of PureBlue affirms that it was a hit at their Un-Wine Tasting! Yoyomama describes PureBlue as “much sweeter than your average bottle of red wine, [but] not nearly as sweet, or grape-y, as grape juice. Here’s a short list of UnWine’s juice selection:

PureBlue – a blend of juices from wild blueberries, black currents and unfermented merlot, sauvignon blanc and syrah grapes, the same grapes that make red wine beneficial to your health!
PureBlack – featuring blackberries and aconia berries.
PureRed – pomegranate and cranberry based, and incredibly dry and delicious.
PureWhite – combines coconut water and lulo fruit with sauvignon blanch grapes which coconut lovers will enjoy!

With these delicious non-alcoholic beverages to supplement your drink list, get ready for the lovely toasts that will be given by all . . . Cheers!

A Gentlemen’s Guide to Purchasing His Wedding Band

By doing your research prior to shopping for a wedding band, it will save you A LOT of time in the jewelry store. Jim Siegel from Siegel Jewelers recommends that learning about the different metals that are used to make men’s wedding bands will help you in decide what ring best suits your personality and lifestyle.

So before you walk into that jewelry store, make sure to know about the qualities of the different metals and also have a set budget in mind. In his recent article “Finding the Perfect Men’s Wedding Band”, Jim Siegel shares his expert knowledge on the 5 different metals men’s wedding bands are usually made out of and also provides a price range for each. Read on to see what Jim Siegel has to say about each metal . . .

First, you have the precious metals category (Platinum, Palladium, and 14k Gold):
Platinum is the most precious of metal and ranges from $1,000 and up. The most appealing characteristic of platinum is its durability. It does not tarnish and maintains a white appearance.

Palladium is another precious metal that is in the platinum family but is closer to the price of 14k gold. This precious metal ranges from $500. Palladium is a metal with the ability to withstand corrosion and oxidation. Palladium is 95% pure which is a great feature for people that need a hypoallergenic band.

14k Gold can be seen in white gold, yellow gold, or two toned gold wedding bands. It is has been used most during all of history for making fine jewelry. Gold is still the most traditional choice and it also the easiest to engrave.14k gold ranges from $450 and up.”

And then there are the alternative metals that are both budget friendly and perfect for men with more active lifestyles . . .
Tungsten Carbide is incredibly tough and rugged, which makes this ring a compliment to any man’s active style It is one the most popular types of wedding band materials today . Tungsten is in a great price range starting approximately about $200.

Titanium is durable but lighter than Tungsten. This characteristic is great for men who like the look of Tungsten but want a lighter weight band. The price range for Titanium is $125 and up. Both Tungsten and Titanium are considered alternative metals.”
To learn more insightful tips on men’s wedding band purchasing, check out Jim Siegel’s article: Find the Perfect Men’s Wedding Band


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Tuxedos can be Flexible and Comfortable

Do you have a special occasion to attend this fall or winter that demands black tie attire? If you’re not accustomed to wearing tuxedos, you might expect your tuxedo to be restrictive or unflattering.  Rest assured that this is not the case. Properly measured and tailored formalwear will make you look your best.

At Derks Formals, the staff will be able to help you to select the outfit that’s going to work best for you. That means considering your body type to determine what’s going to look best on your frame.  Derks will also ensure that your tuxedo is tailored just right.

Once you’re wearing your tuxedo, it’s important to relax. Remember – You wear the suit, not the other way around.  All tuxedos are designed to be flexible enough for movement. Wearing a tuxedo is no excuse to avoid the dance floor.

Derks also offers styles for the little men in your life.  Your boys will be dressed to impress for your special day in tailored suits and tuxedos, and ranging in sizes 0-14, no boy is too young to look his best. Remember that young boys grow very quickly, and may outgrow their tuxedos if they are purchased too far ahead of the event date.  Look to start shopping four to six weeks ahead to ensure the proper fit.

The Endless Options of a Suit

If your groom decides to purchase rather than rent, then the sky is the limit when it comes to buying a tuxedo or suit. From wild cuts and fabrics to the classic black one button, anything is possible.

There are many variables to consider when choosing a suit: time of day, location of event, themes, etc. Discuss what you both want (and what you don’t want). Your personal tastes will come into play when choosing the attire for the big day.

Suits in particular have gained a lot of attention recently. From Fashion Television to GQ, everyone is excited about the various ways to dress up and dress down a great fitting suit for any occasion. There seems to be no better time to buy than now, but remember to choose wisely when purchasing a formal outfit or suit.

Since formalwear is not a typical daily outfit, most people want to purchase something that will last them at least eight to ten years. Most formalwear specialists will recommend opting for a more classic design to get the most out of your purchase.

From neckties, bowties, cummerbunds, and cufflinks, there seems to be a never-ending selection of accessories that men can choose from. Experiment with your accessories, shop for the occasion, and don’t be afraid to break free from your usual conservative style.

Another option is to pair a classic, basic colored suit with a dressy shirt and accessories. Opting for a suit rather than a tuxedo is a practical choice as you can get a lot more wear out of both the pants and blazer of your suit. Once the big day is over, you won’t need to hang your suit in the back of your closet. Simply pair up dark denim with your suit blazer and you will be set for a casual dinner or outing. So be creative in putting together different outfits with your suit pieces. Opt for suits like Ted Baker’s Passion Kier and Worlds suits (first two suits above) which are great for versatility and easily able to be dressed up or down.

To make a classic suit stand out, accessories can also be used with suits to change your look from event to event. Choose accessories that will not only fit the occasion, but also help to bring out your personality. You can go to from one event in a silk dress shirt and bow tie to another event in a black dress shirt and an infamous silk tie from Altea. No one will ever know that you are wearing the same suit.

Have fun selecting the perfect accessories for your event and be open-minded about trying on different styles and designs – some may look surprisingly better on you than in the display case. Choose ties such as Ted Baker’s Archive Stary & Yemin or Passion Jomon & Cieba. Ties with subtle patterns or colors will pair well with suits and dress shirts of all sorts. With so many different styles of accessories available, you surely will never run out of ideas and looks to choose from or create.