We've never liked tuxedos. We didn't like wearing those crappy rented monkey suits as teenagers, and we don't like them any more now when seeing them on gaggles of penguinesque DC types at formal events on TV. Stylistically we think of these things as satin-trimmed relics, but more importantly, they're terribly impractical—formal events warrant your best-fitting suit, but why would you make a serious investment in something you'll almost never wear? Instead, go for a really nice black suit that hits most of the same design cues but can be worn in a lot more situations. Single-breasted, fitted, one-button (or maybe two, but one indicates more of an occasion). Peak lapels are essential. With a white shirt and cufflinks, you can wear it anyplace you'd sport a tuxedo. With a burgundy or other richly coloured shirt and a pocket square, it'll also work for cocktails and holiday receptions where a tuxedo would be overkill. Pair with muted tones for somber events such as funerals or your ex-girlfriend's wedding. Shown left to right: Options from Emporio Armani and Raf Simons—but better yet, get one custom made for you now and have it in time for the first party of the season.

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