Black tie season is upon us next week, with the San Francisco symphony's opening night kicking things off. The weather of course is still warm in most parts of the northern hemisphere, which means the usual heavy barathea dinner jacket is likely to be uncomfortable even though evenings are generally cooler. And that is when a ten ounce mohair version, like a wider lapelled relation of the one Frank Sinatra is wearing to the inauguration of John F. Kennedy, comes into its own.
Those few men who who attend black tie events monthly or even more often are likely to want more than one set of evening clothes. Four of them probably suffice for anyone other than a professional entertainer, and the first two are more for fun than necessity:
- a smoking jacket, in velvet or tartan, to wear for evenings at home
- a shawl collared ivory silk or gabardine, for cruises and outdoor summer dances
- a heavier midnight blue barathea
- and a black mohair mid-weight
The mixture of mohair and wool is particularly nice in a mid-weight cloth because it breathes, so it wears cooler than its weight. And, it has a bit of sheen to complement the silk of the facings after dark, which is why I conclude that Ol' Blue Eyes is wearing the stuff.
Bring on the goat hair!