The Opera at Glyndebourne has to be one of the most unique English treats. Courageous operatic performances of the highest calibre in an arcadian setting like no other.

A visit to Glyndebourne on a long summer’s evening transports you to timeless scene where elegance, the arts and picnicking combined with the opera, manor house, and Elysian gardens. The blissful scene is enhanced by the effort visitors make with their dress, here is a chance to shamelessly swan around in your finery as if the world map was still mostly pink.

Black tie is the dress code, but being a relaxed evening of opera and picnicking in the country you can certainly have fun within the brief.

Interestingly modern black tie which was first tailored by Savile Row tailors Henry Poole for The Prince of Wales in 1865 (later to become King Edward VII) was devised as relaxed wear for dining at Sandringham. The prince requested a shorter coat than normal tails in an evening celestial blue. A deep blue is again becoming fashionable for ‘black tie’ and indeed other dark tones in various hues are certainly acceptable.

The key to black tie is a smart dress shirt preferably with simple jewelled studs and of course a bow tie, then as long as your suit has silk facings on the lapels, that elegant silk stripe on the outside trouser seam, and is obviously well tailored you can entertain yourself and others in your choice of suit fabrics.

Our Admiral Byrd cloth in Merino wool is a perfect example of a predominately black cloth with some colour interest in the way of electric blue dashes with green and red. From afar a dinner suit tailored in this cloth melds in with the scene, but like a soloist emerging from the opera chorus it basks in glory under the spot light.

Our Exploded Houndstooth in blue and black, jacquard woven in cotton and silk is ideal for cutting a dash whilst sauntering across the lawn between acts and I often wear a dinner suit in one of our early designs with deep purple spots.

As in so many aspects of life and the arts the secret lies in confidence.