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The Velvet Tuxedo

Kamau Hosten

Black tie is among those opportunities a man has to feel a little James Bond-esque; dashing, elegantly dangerous, and striking in a very restrained ensemble. The power has been, and will continue to be, in the details. There are time-honored avenues to travel to set yourself away from the pack, if just so. Velvet is one of those options; it adds both visual interest and is a baby step out of the box when done with the coordinating trousers. It’s a little more rakish than just a velvet dinner jacket. A full suit leaves others inspired, maybe scared, even perplexed. All reasons to go for. That’s why I wanted this to be the first piece I made for Kamsten.

Double breasted velvet jacket and trousers by Kamsten, Chelsea boots by Saint Laurent, Frames by Tom Ford

Double breasted velvet jacket and trousers by Kamsten, Chelsea boots by Saint Laurent, Frames by Tom Ford

Wearing something formal typically means an evening shirt, bow tie and some sort of formal pump, slipper or plain oxford. That is always a stunningly simple combination. However, I like the idea of having some fun with your formal pieces. This velvet feels a bit more partyish than a tuxedo in wool. There’s a fantastic, touchable component to it. I’ve paired it here with a simple cashmere crewneck and black chelsea boots for a looks that’s more downtown lounge, than banquet. It’s more rewarding to get mileage out of special pieces. There’s no reason anything should only be designated for one or two events a year. Break up the pieces; wear the trousers with a leather jacket or the jacket with ripped jeans.


The classic details of black tie; the satin cuffs, waistband, piping, and lapels, are here, yet the ease of the crewneck balances it out. The all black makes everything just a bit more mysterious, yet stylishly so.


The large lapels perhaps aren’t for everyone, but they do make a statement. It’s all in-keeping withe DGAF spirit of velvet. It stands out, but for all the right reasons. Why not?