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Nova Voce’s Best-Dressed Man

It takes a certain je ne sais quoi to look good in a tuxedo. Just ask the greats: Fred Astaire, Sean Connery and George Clooney.

Or Duncan Pike.

Duncan was voted Nova Voce’s Best Dressed Man in a recent poll of choir members. Turns out the Cookie King of Kentville not only makes the finest shortbread east of Montreal, but also knows his way around a tuxedo like nobody’s business.

“Great!” Said Duncan when informed of his sartorial victory, as judged by his choral peers. “I appreciate that so many people voted for me.”

Duncan first acquired his tuxedo when he was getting married. He found the suit at a vintage clothing store in downtown Vancouver, paid $140, and the rest is history.

The outfit is a mohair-wool blend, with a turn-down shirt collar, a waistcoat with a silk collar – no finicky cummerbund for a bass singer of such discerning taste – and a one-button jacket with matching trousers.

Duncan says one of the tricks to looking good in a tux is, “never unstitch the pockets on the jacket – which stops you from ever putting your hands or anything else in the pockets,” he says.  “Because you shouldn’t have things in your pockets in your tuxedo. You’re not supposed to be working and carrying stuff around. You’re out having fun, it’s for the evening, it’s for partying. You’re not worried about business.”

Another secret to wearing a tux with authority and honour, of course, is to tie your own bowtie, which Duncan learned how to do on YouTube and via the indispensable website Black Tie Guide, published by the Gentleman’s Gazette.  It only takes a quick perusal of the Guide to learn that the tuxedo and its accoutrements, along with its culture and history, are not to be taken lightly.

Etiquette matters. Any man, with an invitation to attend a black-tie event (editor’s note – or choral performance), who chooses to flout the formal dress code by arriving in a business suit, or wearing any other colour, or who is simply too cheap to buy or rent a tuxedo, “should grow up, or don’t show up,” states the Guide.

And what does Duncan think of those fellow choristers who flout the rules by showing up dressed in something other than a bona-fide tuxedo on performance night?

“Stay that way,” he urges, “because apparently you’re making me look good!”

Duncan Pike.jpg
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