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Thread: Black Tie Affair, Balls, and Similar Events.

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    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Black Tie Affair, Balls, and Similar Events.

    On Saturday, the Marine's Birthday Ball was being held in Lansing. I was at a place near buy and it looked like it would be great fun. All the marines were in there dress uniforms and all the female dates were in adult versions of prom gowns and the male dates were in tuxedoes.

    I have only been to a few black tie affairs, mostly for charity events, and I always seem to enjoy them. I don't think that they are all that common anymore since we live in a more casual society. Personally, I think that as a society, we are often underdressed, but that is another thread.

    What are your thoughts on these types of events? Do you often attend these or do you sit at the bar across the street and laugh at the guys in tuxedoes? Was your prom the last time you got dressed up for an event like that, or are you a regular who owns his own tux or have a closet full of dresses?
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Vancity's avatar
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    I have a closet full of dresses that I've never worn

  3. #3
    Cyburbian imaplanner's avatar
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    Heh heh you said balls.
    Children in the back seat can cause accidents - and vice versa.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Zoning Goddess's avatar
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    I will never do formal. My mom tried to make my sister and me be debutantes (in the '70's) and we quashed that. No way, ever.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian
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    I've never had the opportunity, but given that, and the means, I suppose that I would go.

  6. #6
    Cyburbian Raf's avatar
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    I go to our local chamber dinner black tie event for the last few years. It is "networking" at its best, but also a cesspool of hooking up. Food is meh, but the drinks are well.. enough to make you get some food at the local yak in the crack after all is said and done
    follow me on the twitter @rcplans

  7. #7
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    As an attendee of more than a few Marine Corps Birthday Balls, I can say with certainty that they all sucked. It's not the getting dressed up in the formal uniform that brought the suck, but about 1,000 other things.

    In terms of formal stuff these days... if I had a tuxedo I would probably have an opportunity to wear it about once every six weeks or so, which sounds like quite a when I think about it. Most of the things arise through work but a couple involve events or groups that close friends are involved with. There are only a few that I would have any desire to actually attend (the Detroit Auto Show preview and the Thanksgiving Day Parade charity preview) and next year I might actually get a tux so I can go to at least those ones.

    One good friend of mine who was forced to get a tuxedo for one particular event said that after he got it he started going out of his way for opportunities to wear it - he wanted to make sure he got his money's worth!
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plus JNA's avatar
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    spend money on something like that ?
    don't travel in those socio-economic circles, another case of "those people"
    Oddball
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  9. #9
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
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    I did the debutante thing back in the day. Had white and black jacket tuxes. Looking back, I wish I had the gumption of Zoning Godess to have said 'hell no'. But it was fun when a classmate showed up in a nightgown instead of an evening gown. FAICP inductions are full dress; I will not apply for FAICP.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian Brocktoon's avatar
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    I go to one or two a year but I just where a black suit. Its Arizona so the formal dress ranges from blue jeans and bolo ties to full tuxes.
    "If you don't like change, you're going to like irrelevance even less" General Eric Shinseki

  11. #11
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Apart from attending a Marine Corps Ball years ago, I have never participated in a Black Tie Affair. Do I feel like I'm missing something because of this? Not really.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  12. #12
    Have never been and have absolutely no desire to go.
    When did I go from Luke Skywalker to Obi-Wan Kenobi?

  13. #13
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    Heh heh you said balls.
    You beat me to it...

    I've only dressed up for formal things in the Navy (mostly funerals), a couple weddings, and an annual Christmas dinner out at a country club with in-laws (not on Christmas day). I'm not big on dressing up, but I'm not opposed to looking good once a year or seeing my wife go from good looking to holy crap do we really have to go out or can we just stay here.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian btrage's avatar
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    From what my Marine BIL and his Marine wife have to say about the Corps Balls, they don't seem like much fun.

    I do not own a tux.

    I have been known to attend black-tie affairs from time to time, but not with regularity.
    "I'm very important. I have many leather-bound books and my apartment smells of rich mahogany"

  15. #15
    Beware of all endeavors that require new clothes.
    Je suis Charlie

  16. #16
    Super Moderator luckless pedestrian's avatar
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    Iove to dress up for parties and the like -

    attention - get off my lawn rant:

    I went to Catholic School so I was raised under the dogma that dressing up is a sign of respect (and not necessarily elitism, though it can be that too if someone's like that anyway) so I dress for work, I dress for a dinner party, etc. - I miss the days when you dressed up to travel and now you wear your pajamas to the airport

  17. #17
    Cyburbian dw914er's avatar
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    I had a tux in high school which was needed for concerts with the school's performance ensemble band (I played percussion). I have not had a reason to attend a complete black-tie event, so I have not had a reason to purchase and tailor a new tux. I do like some of the glamour and posh associated with those events (and I would totally own the appropriate velvet tuxedo slippers, too), but I think the occurrence those events will probably continue to diminish. Those events really do relate back to a class-based society, which I think further limits those events. My GF does want a black tie wedding though, so if I am lucky, I might have a reason to get a tux

    I do agree on the idea that society is moving a bit more casual these days. Sure, tuxedos are at the far end of the formal spectrum, but what passes as business casual these days is pretty awful.
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  18. #18
    Super Moderator kjel's avatar
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    RT went to the Marine Corps Ball last year. She had a lot of fun, I think it is for the younger folks but not so much for the older ones. She attends several formal affairs every year, generally as a friend "date" for one of her guy friends that is single. She's gotten a lot of mileage out of her senior prom dress which I made sure would be suitable for future events.

    Me personally, the fanciest I get is our work holiday party which is semi-formal. I don't like dresses or high heels.
    "He defended the cause of the poor and needy, and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know me?" Jeremiah 22:16

  19. #19
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    Iove to dress up for parties and the like -

    attention - get off my lawn rant:

    I went to Catholic School so I was raised under the dogma that dressing up is a sign of respect (and not necessarily elitism, though it can be that too if someone's like that anyway) so I dress for work, I dress for a dinner party, etc. - I miss the days when you dressed up to travel and now you wear your pajamas to the airport
    I enjoy dressing up and I still try to dress up a bit for flying. My usual flying wardrobe choice is wool trousers, dress shirt and tie, and sportcoat. Not only do I feel better when I dress up (for whatever the occasion) but when I fly, I'd rather be wearing my nice pants and sportcoat than pack them where they will get all bunched up.

    I've decided that next year, I'm going to try to go as long as I can at work wearing a suit (or at least a sportcoat or blazer) and tie everyday... even on casual days. I'm going to bring some class to this joint!
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  20. #20
    Cyburbian terraplnr's avatar
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    I would love to get dressed up in a fancy dress and dance the night away. Unfortunately I am not in that class of local residents who can afford to go to fundraiser galas.

  21. #21
    Cyburbian WSU MUP Student's avatar
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    The next Laefest needs to be black tie only.

    Who's hosting?
    "Where free unions and collective bargaining are forbidden, freedom is lost." - 1980 Republican presidential candidate Ronald Reagan

  22. #22
    Cyburbian michaelskis's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by WSU MUP Student View post
    I enjoy dressing up and I still try to dress up a bit for flying. My usual flying wardrobe choice is wool trousers, dress shirt and tie, and sportcoat. Not only do I feel better when I dress up (for whatever the occasion) but when I fly, I'd rather be wearing my nice pants and sportcoat than pack them where they will get all bunched up.

    I've decided that next year, I'm going to try to go as long as I can at work wearing a suit (or at least a sportcoat or blazer) and tie everyday... even on casual days. I'm going to bring some class to this joint!
    I am progressing into that point and will be every excited when/if hats come back into fashion too. There were societal rules for these types of things... but somewhere society lost its way.


    I know Maister works at place that has a tie every day rule... even on the occasional casual Friday where you will a guy in jeans, a dress shirt, and a tie. I thought that would have changed with the changing of the guard.


    Quote Originally posted by imaplanner View post
    Heh heh you said balls.
    Wow... talk about college flashback. "FIRE! FIRE!"
    Last edited by michaelskis; 13 Nov 2013 at 3:37 PM.
    "A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. Time makes more converts than reason." - Thomas Paine Common Sense.

  23. #23
    Cyburbian DetroitPlanner's avatar
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    I own a tux. No it is not powder blue or light orange!

    I've worn it twice. Once to a friend's wedding I was in (the reason I bought it), and once to a High School reunion I chaired 8 years ago.

    For the reunion I wore a white dress shirt that required black studs and cufflinks, a grey vest, and black tie. That way I did not look like the waiter!
    We hope for better things; it will arise from the ashes - Fr Gabriel Richard 1805

  24. #24
    Cyburbian Veloise's avatar
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    Amen, sister!

    Quote Originally posted by luckless pedestrian View post
    Iove to dress up for parties and the like - ... dressing up is a sign of respect (and not necessarily elitism, though it can be that too if someone's like that anyway) so I dress for work, I dress for a dinner party, etc. - I miss the days when you dressed up to travel and now you wear your pajamas to the airport
    Here I sit ready to head out to an awards presentation. I am wearing a really nice bicycle-print jacket (would wear it to work, or to an interview pertaining to bicycle programs). Oh, I am the honoree.

    In the closet:
    Civil War ballgowns (any season, indoors or out)
    Regency/Federal ballgown (I did a big gig last summer, planning to do more)
    Evening attire suitable for NYEve or stagewear
    Adult promwear (I did a couple such gigs last spring)

    I used to attend maybe one dressy event a month. It's really fun to dance in a room of party clothes, with a long line of dark tuxes, uniforms, kilts...helps to be the featured attraction for such events, as I can "set the bar" for others.

    Not one pair of heels in my house. FB friends know why!

  25. #25
    Cyburbian Otis's avatar
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    The first Mrs. Otis was law alumni officer in the alumni association of a major private university back east. We would do the general reunion, the law school reunion, and various other black tie events every year. I have to say that I enjoyed them all, for the company and the food, especially (those privately-funded people know how to throw a party). The law school reunion was always a special treat because the hotels would comp Mrs Otis a suite since she was putting the party on. We stayed in the Presidential Suite in one hotel and the suite was bigger than our house. In another hotel the guest immediately before us in our suite was Elizabeth Taylor. I owned my own tux and more than got my money out of it. If we had stayed married I probably would have broken down and bough a pair of black patent leather dancing pumps (google it). It was all fun.

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