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Didi’s Manners & Etiquette: The Blue Tuxedo + Other Updates

Thursday, February 26, 2015


Eddie Redmayne in a midnight blue suit at the 2015 Oscars.

Wedding Etiquette + The Blue Tuxedo

After watching all those colorful tuxedos on the red carpet at the Oscars last night, we’re thinking about my fiancé and his groomsmen wearing navy blue tuxedos at our fall wedding. What is the etiquette on tuxedos that are not black? 

~Fiancée, Providence

More and more, the standard black wedding tuxedo is shunned in favor of a tuxedo in midnight blue, royal blue, navy blue, off-white, beige, grey, and even deep red. The groom sets the dress code for the groomsmen, which means if he is wearing a navy blue tuxedo, his groomsmen will follow suit.

From Oscar winner Eddie Redmayne in midnight blue to fellow British ‘Selma’ star David Ovelowo donning deep red, colorful tuxedos studded the red carpet in an array of vivid and soft tones -- all equally stunning on stage.

Choice of color reflects the season or the climate. LA’s mild weather means any color goes. On the other hand, in the depths of a northern winter, beige, light blue and off-white tuxedos would look silly, because they’re too summery looking.

You would not inconvenience your male guests by listing a mandatory dress code such as ‘Navy Blue Tuxedo.’ A well-mannered host would give guests the unspoken option of wearing a standard tuxedo or best business suit by not listing a dress code on the invitation — however, you could list the dress code on your wedding website — for example, by simply using ‘Business Suits.’ 


Leonardo DiCaprio

Who Wears Suspenders?

My father wears suspenders and my grandfather wore suspenders, but who wears them now? They are so cool, I would like to give them a go, but how do I know which are right for me? I am forty-five and wear business suits five days a week, although the dress code at my office loosens on Fridays. My partner and I have an active social life, which calls for suits as well as blazers and sport jackets. 

~Thomas, Manhattan

Suspender wearers are dashing lookers, and, yes, forty-five is just the right age to start wearing them. They reek of success. Nevertheless, there are serious dos and don'ts.

For instance, you wouldn't wear suspenders, also called braces, with metal clips in the front and back. Instead, suspenders/braces should have buttonholes in leather and the trousers have to have buttons on the inner waistband. Ideally the suspender fabric, which would be silk or felt, should not be too narrow.

For a cool guide to wearing suspenders/braces, Antonio Centeno is  an authority. To learn more, here is a link to his helpful infographic, 'How To Properly Wear Suspenders?'

To find up-to-date suspenders/braces, go to the Paul Stuart website and click on Belts + Braces. 


What's Up With Plaid?

Not sure about plaids, when to wear or not wear. Casual Fridays? Out on a dinner date? 

~Zoe, Newark, N.J.

A limited amount of plaid in small grids is chic. Especially in combos of beige-brown or gray-navy. Think Burberry — where you hardly see the plaid lining of the trench coat until it is unbuttoned. A red tartan evening gown would be too much of a good thing. Try to avoid a plaid that has bright contrasting colors with a wide grid — because it will make you look much larger than you are.  People in show business under thirty wear bright plaids to catch the eye of the paparazzi.

Honestly, it is the tight black and white glen plaid — that looks grey from a distance — that is the plaid nobody tires of -- ever. Especially on a blouse worn with a well-fitted pantsuit or as a slim fitting skirt paired with a white or black top. The best match with a plaid or tartan is solid black or white. The plaid or tartan of a well-cut slim blazer, skirt, or slacks are fine, but avoid it on billowing sleeves and puffy skirts. For men, a plaid bathrobe is hard to lose sight of, but bright red plaid trousers and blazers are really a bit much.

Mixing plaids with florals and animal prints is hard to pull off, unless in apparel by Etro or Roberto Cavalli. However, a pop of plaid as a bag, scarf, tie, socks or women's shoes can be festively warming and playful. 


David Beckham

Shirttail étiquette

How do I know when it's alright to leave my shirttails out? For instance on casual Fridays, can I leave my shirt out or do I have to tuck it in? Same when meeting up with my fiancée's parents, who are kind of casual, but also old-fashioned. On a buisness trip, can I relax and leave my shirt out after work hours when hanging with colleagues, or not? Some take their shirt out, some leave it in. 

~Anonymous, Providence

'Manners maketh man,' should include shirttail etiquette. Men mistakenly think that leaving shirttails out makes them appear more youthful. Well it isn't true, the skinny on this myth is that loose tails make a man look fatter.  Athletes like David Beckham can get away with their shirttails out -- because who would even notice the shirttails -- nevertheless, other men in the public eye like Brad Pitt opt for keeping their shirttails securely belted into their trousers.

With your shirttails hanging out you would look like you were trying to still be a teenager who doesn't know any better. Nor do you want to go for the stylishly rumpled look by wearing your tails under a jacket or with a business suit, because you'll then look as though you pulled an all-nighter -- and I don't mean at the office.

The simple rule is this. Any shirt with tails is meant to be tucked in. Shirts with a flat bottom hem are designed to be worn untucked. However, a Hawaiian shirt or polo shirt can go either way. When in doubt, a shirt with visible tails -- that is not even all the way around the bottom hem of the shirt -- looks tidier tucked in.

Are you thinking about wearing a polo shirt to work on casual Friday? Tucking it in looks ever so slightly more business-like -- but don't forget to wear a belt.

The etiquette is all about getting the shirt to stay in your trousers, so make sure you buy shirts that fall at least four to five inches below the waistline of your trousers. Otherwise your shirt is likely to ride up and fold over your belt. Slim-fitting shirts are easier to keep tucked into your trousers -- especially when worn with a tightly cinched belt.

Don't get caught up in the style-trap apparent on men of a certain age, who think it's cool to tuck in one tail and leave the other out dangling in the wind -- to presumably hide their beer or wheat belly. The 'Beckham half-tuck' looks good only on a man in as good shape as David Beckham -- and especially don't think of it, if you're over 25 and are not a professional soccer player.

For detailed expert advice on the etiquette on how men should dress, search 'Shirt Tails' on The Art of Manliness.


Do you have a dilemma about love, family and life in general for Didi? Go ahead and "Ask Didi."  If your Question is used, we can withhold your name and/or location. 


Related Slideshow: Oscarlandia? Oscar Winners and Nominees with Ties To Oregon

GoLocalPDX speaks with Oregon film historian Anne Richardson, to find out more about past Oscar winners and nominees with ties to Oregon.

Prev Next

Clark Gable

"Best Actor" Winner- It Happened One Night (1935).

As a teen Gable worked as a logger in Seaside, Oregon and worked as a salesman in Portland’s Meier & Frank department store.

Clark Gable, James Beard, and Mark Rothko were classmates in a Portland acting class that Josephine Dillon taught. "They performed together during a student production at what is now Portland State University’s Lincoln Hall" says Richardson. 

Prev Next

Will Vinton

Close Mondays- Best Animated Short Film Winner (1975)

Close Mondays, Will Vinton’s stop motion animation was Oregon’s first Oscar win. 

Vinton grew up in McMinnville Oregon and studied architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. “The list of award winning animators trained at Will Vinton Studio include Brad Schiff (ParaNorman), Travis Knight (Coraline) and Mark Gustafson (Fantastic Mr. Fox)” says Richardson.

See a interview with Richardson and Vinton HERE

Photo Credit: Will Vinton Twitter 

Prev Next

One Flew Over The Cuckoo

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest- Best Picture (1976 Academy Awards)​

Not only is the book set in Oregon, but the movie was filmed at the Oregon State Hospital in Salem, Oregon.

The film won five Oscars including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actor and Actress.

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Joan Gratz

Mona Lisa Descending A Staircase- Best Animated Short Winner (1992)

Joan Gratz founded the animation technique claypainting. Small chunks of clay  are blended with colors and then composes fine lines to create a flow of images. 

Art history and key artworks of the 20th century, are the subjects behind the animation Mona Lisa Descending A Staircase.

In her Academy Award acceptance speech, Gratz thanks Portland figures and the  the Portland public library, “which helped in the research. ”

Gratz’s The Creation was a 1982 Academy Award nominee and is based on a poem by James Weldon Johnson 

Prev Next

Brad Bird

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year-Ratatouille (2007) 

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year- The Incredibles (2004) 

"Brad Bird's family came to Corvallis from Montana when he was old enough to go to school. He grew up entirely in Corvallis,” says Richardson.

Bird was mentored by Disney legend  Milt Kahl and graduated with John Lasseter and Tim Burton from the California Institute of the Arts. 

Bird was a creative consultant on The Simpsons, created by Matt Groening who was born and grew up in Portland. He then went on to make some of Disney’s highest- grossing features; The Incredibles and Ratatouille.   

Photo Credit: nicolas genin via Wikimedia Commons (image cropped)

Prev Next

David Fincher

Best Achievement in Directing Nominee- The Social Network (2010)

Best Achievement in Directing Nominee- The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)

Film director David Fincher was born in Colorado, grew up in San Anselmo, California and moved to Ashland, Oregon during his teen years. That is where he graduated from Ashland High School. Making movies since a very early age he would go on to make classic films like "Fight Club" from the book by longtime Portland resident and Northwest native Chuck Palahinuk.

Photo Credit: Elen Nivrae via Wikimedia Commons

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Dave Metzger

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song- “Let It Go” (2014)

Dave Metzger grew up in Corvallis, Oregon and began composing music in the 7th grade. He received a music degree from California State University, Long Beach. 

Metzger has orchestrated on films like Training Day, August Rush, and Brother Bear. He recently arranged Frozen’s "Let It Go,” with the Frozen album passing Beyonce on the Billboard Charts at one time. Metzger’s music studio is in Salem, Oregon.

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2015 Actress in a Leading Role Nominee- Reese Witherspoon 

2015 Actress in a Supporting Role- Laura Dern

A love letter to Oregon and the Pacific Coast, Wild is the new quintessential Oregonian novel.

Wild chronicles author Cheryl Strayed's 1,100-mile hike on the Pacific Crest Trail and her recovery after a catastrophe. Oregon locations include Portland, Bend, Crater Lake and Ashland: providing a beautiful backdrop for her journey.

Reese Witherspoon chose the memoir for her company, Pacific Standard before it was published. The memoir is on Oprah's Book Club 2.0 list. 

Prev Next

E. Max Frye

2015 Original Screenplay Nominee- Foxcatcher 

Frye was born in Oregon and grew up in Eugene. Before moving to Europe, Frye attended Lewis & Clark College. He attended New York University after returning to the States. He has written the screenplay for action comedy film Something Wild which was nominated for three Golden Globes. 

Foxcatcher stars Steve Carell, Channing Tatum and Mark Ruffalo

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The Boxtrolls

2015 Animated Feature Film Nominee- The Boxtrolls

The Boxtrolls is LAIKA’s third feature film. LAIKA is well known for its stop motion feature films Coraline (2009) and ParaNorman (2012). Both were nominated for “Best Animated Feature Film”. 

Deborah Cook, LAIKA’s costume designer for The Boxtrolls, recently shared information about the costumes created for the citizens of Cheesebridge. See the story HERE


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