Tonight is what most of us would consider the Oscars of Fashion: The Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Ball (a.k.a. “The MET Ball”) is about to go down. Tonight’s re-opening of the newly-renovated Costume Institute (which will now bear the name of the Anna Wintour Costume Institute) also marks the opening of this year’s exhibit on designer Charles James. James was the innovator of the modern ball gown, so all those exquisite evening gowns we ogle while munching popcorn and armchair quarterbacking the red carpet are owed in consider amount to the talents of the Anglo-American couturier. I personally can’t wait to see it.
But that said, how many of us will really get a chance to don an over-the-top evening gown the next time we have a special occasion? I mean, I love a good ball skirt as much as the next person, but even I can’t pull off a bubble of fabric when meeting the girls for drinks. What I can do —and something I love to do — is throw on a tuxedo jacket when I head out at night.
The tux jacket on a woman is an evolution that started with lovely gender benders like Marlene Dietrich and Katherine Hepburn, with Yves Saint Laurent raising it to an art form with Le Smoking, bringing us the modern versions we see today courtesy of a host of designers that regularly throw it into collections, like Tibi, Ralph Lauren, Emilio Pucci, Band of Outsiders and Isabel Marant.
Throwing a tuxedo jacket over your shoulders if you’re wearing a dress or throwing it on even over basic jeans and a t-shirt suddenly elevates everything. It’s the easiest trick on earth to getting dressed to go out at night, and it’s the easiest way to look un-lazy if you’ve decided it’s just not worth the lipstick to put on a dress.
Take some inspiration from the items above, then check out the items below and maybe pick up one for yourself. While the gals in the gowns take over 5th Avenue tonight, maybe we can all plot our next red carpet moment. It’s time for a girls’ night out in a man’s best wardrobe friend.