JR asks - We've got our company holiday party coming up, which is described as cocktail attire. Given that I wear a suit or jacket and trousers almost everyday, I'd like to wear my tuxedo. If I do, I'm pretty sure I'll be the only person in a tuxedo. I'm already somewhat known as 'the guy who dresses well' and overly fashion conscious, but I just don't want to leave anyone with the wrong impression. A viable second option would be a velvet jacket (which I don't currently own) with some trousers (could I wear tuxedo pants with a velvet jacket?), and a black bow tie. If it doesn't make it out for that dinner, it'll definitely be on for NYE, wherever that will be.
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Your assessment of the holiday party get up is accurate. You don't want to stand out, but you don't want to blend in either. This is where dinner and/or smoking jackets come into their prime.
Yes, velvet is a good way to go and you should own a velvet piece just for these types of occasions. Black is the first option. Followed closely by burgundy, eggplant/plum, and bottle green. Black Watch is another option. Although not velvet nor a smoking jacket a black watch sport coat is a well-known holiday piece. I own both myself and they get the majority of their work this time of year.
Yes, you can and should wear tuxedo trousers with any of the above. Dinner, smoking, velvet, or black watch. A bow tie and tuxedo shirt can be worn with all. A fly front shirt will do if you don't have studs. Get your footwear right with velvet or patent leather and all you need is a scotch and a cigar and you'll be the man of the night.