It’s 2019, and although some of the rules of formal dressing have remained the same, much has also changed, thanks to some who are shaking things up and modernising this traditional state of dress.  Though the terms “black tie” and “white tie” are certainly still regularly used to dictate dress codes, some stylish men have been putting their own twist on these style rules, and giving them a modern update.  From decisions about plackets (traditionally concealed), collars (traditionally winged), bibs (traditionally pleated), cuffs (traditionally French) and more, here, MILK Shirts rounds up 4 new approaches to formal tuxedo dressing in 2019.

The minimalist

Traditional tuxedo shirts had pleated bib-fronts, stiff wing collars, a concealed placket and double cuffs; these four elements combined are almost guaranteed to result in the wearer feeling a bit uncomfortable.  These days, tuxedo shirts have been stripped back to a much more minimalist style.  Our ‘Prague’ Shirt features a neat plain bib-front, concealed placket, a narrow spread collar and convertible cuffs.  It’s an excellent choice if you want to experiment with a cleaner, more modern tuxedo look, while remaining perfectly respectful of either a black or white tie dress code.  Wear it with a classic black shawl collar tuxedo.

The pattern play

If minimalism isn’t for you, then we suggest looking for a modern formal shirt with a bit of pattern play.  These shirts typically feature other modern stylings, such as a slimmer spread collar, perfect for adding a more modern slim bowtie instead of the traditional ostentatious butterfly style.  Our ‘Saigon’ Shirt is done in a mini-dot poplin fabric to give it a modern textural twist.  With its concealed placket and convertible cuffs, it’s also just classic enough to get away with for a formal black or white tie event.  Style it with a slim cut tuxedo in an interesting color such as navy or maroon for a thoroughly modern look.

The new classic

If you’re more of a classic man, but want to experiment ever so subtly with a few modern reinventions, why not take a cue from Hollywood leading man Leonardo DiCaprio and simply opt for a shirt with exposed buttons instead of the traditional concealed placket?  It’s just modern enough to say that you’re willing to push the boundaries, but still classic enough that you won’t feel out of place.  Our ‘Paris’ Shirt features a French front placket, a stiff wide two-button semi-spread collar (ample real estate for a nice butterfly bowtie) and French cuffs to show off a classic pair of cufflinks.  Wear it with a classic black suit for an excellent clean, polished look.

The modern dandy

Of course, with the rise in popularity of maximalist styling from top-tier brands such as Gucci, there has recently been an influx of modern dandy styles seen on the red carpets, notably from talents such as Ansel Elgort and Jared Leto.  These stylings lean towards pleated or ruffled bib-front shirts, statement-making bowties and bold French cuffs.  Our ‘Cambridge’ Shirt features a textured herringbone fabric, giving you just enough extra-oomph to make your case as a style leader, without going overboard.  The fused front placket adds more to the modern feeling of the shirt, while the stiff semi-spread collar and French cuffs keep it grounded in tradition.  If you dare, wear it with a flashy velvet or brocade tuxedo for a true modern dandy look.