The fiesta de quince años—or a girl’s fifteenth birthday party—has been a staple of Latin American culture for hundreds of years. Even so, misunderstandings about the tradition abound. These misunderstandings can make it difficult to know what to do and what to wear if you’ve been asked to be part of the event as a chambelan.
If you’re asking yourself, “What is a chambelan and what do they wear?” our guide is here to help.
Introduction To the Fiesta de Quince Años
Historically, a girl’s fifteenth birthday has marked their transition to womanhood. To mark this milestone, families have held a celebration called a fiesta de quince años (or the quinceañera, named for the girl being celebrated). The celebration traditionally consists of a mass and a large party comparable to a debutante ball in Western cultures.
While individual traditions vary, the fiesta portion of the quinceañeras often includes events such as:
- A dance between father and daughter
- A waltz and other choreographed dances
- The father of the quinceañera giving his daughter a last doll, marking the end of her childhood
- A celebratory toast
- A ceremony where a male relative changes the quinceañera’s flat shoes with a pair of high heels
The Role of the Chambelan
Another important tradition is for the quinceañera to choose a corte de honor (court of honor.) This group of friends is similar to a bride’s wedding party and includes several female friends called damas and male friends called chambelanes. One chambelan has the special privilege of being the chambelan de honor (escort of honor.)
Along with the typical chambelan duties—such as attending rehearsals and taking part in the night’s special dances—this chambelan will be the quinceañera’s personal escort throughout the evening. And since everyone will be looking at the quinceañera, that means the chambelan must look his best, too.
What To Wear as a Chambelan
The fiesta de quince años is a formal event almost like a wedding. So, chameblanes typically wear coordinating tuxedos or other formal wear. Often, they’ll add a detail to their outfit that references the quinceañera’s dress color—like a colorful tie or flower in their lapel.
The chambelan de honor may have an outfit that stands out from the other chambelanes, but it should still be coordinated. A few ways you might do this include
- Having him wear a vest while the rest of the chambelanes wear dress shirts
- Adding a special ornament in his lapel
- Giving him a different colored shirt or tie
- Having him wear a different shade of the same color as the other chambelanes
- Switching to a different type of tie
However you decide to dress your corte de honor, at Emanuele Tuxedo, we have a variety of quinceañera tuxedos for chambelanes to help celebrate your fiesta de quince años in style.
The world of fashion has lots of jargon, and we can typically go our whole lives without needing to know most of it. Then we decide to get married, and we suddenly face confusing talk of lapels and waistcoats.
One of the biggest fashion vocab mix-ups you’ll face as a groom is the question of tuxedos vs. wedding suits. What’s the difference? We’ll help walk you through this question so that you look sharp on your big day.
The word tuxedo conjures up images of a debonair spy with a vesper martini perched on their fingertips. It’s the gold standard of formalwear. Tuxedos have a few key attributes associated with them. Here are some things that distinguish them:
- They have satin details like lapels and stripes.
- People wear them with a type of vest called a waistcoat.
- People wear them with a pleated sash across the stomach called a cummerbund.
- People wear them with a white shirt with a turndown or wing collar.
- They have buttons covered with satin or silk.
- People typically pair them with a bowtie.
People often associate tuxedos with an evening affair or “black tie” event, though tuxedos aren’t exclusively black.
As far as essential factors, there aren’t too many differences between tuxedos and wedding suits. Both involve a jacket, a shirt, and dress shoes. It’s the details that differentiate suits. A few factors that are typical of suits include the following:
- They have the same fabric throughout.
- People don’t usually pair them with extra accessories like waistcoats or cummerbunds.
- They work with any dress shirt type.
- Their buttons typically have a metallic finish.
- People often wear them with long ties.
While still dressy, suits are less formal than their tuxedo counterparts and often offer a wider variety of looks.
Which Should I Wear to My Wedding?
Although traditionalists may throw up their hands at such an assertion, there isn’t a “right” answer as to whether you should wear a tuxedo or a suit to your wedding. Both are suitably formal. Tuxedos offer a classic, elegant look that nothing else can match, which is why they’ve stood the test of time. But if you want more laidback wedding attire, especially for an outdoor wedding, suits may be the best choice.
If you don’t know the difference between a cuff link and a cummerbund, Emanuele Tuxedo is here to help. Our Chicago wedding tuxedo rental services will help you find the perfect tux or suit.
4 Reasons to Shop Local for Your Wedding Tuxedo
If you’ve ever been involved in planning a wedding, you don’t need us to tell you how stressful it can be. Between coordinating vendors, managing a guest list, and dealing with your own emotions surrounding an earth-shattering life change, the last thing you want is one more thing to think about.
And that’s when you remember you still have to look for a tuxedo. Big-name retailers and online shops can be tempting options simply because we don’t want to think too hard about it. But there are plenty of reasons to shop local for your wedding tuxedo. Here are just a few of them.
Avoid the Pitfalls of Online Shopping
Online shopping offers a slew of benefits. You’re able to peruse at your own pace without leaving your home, and you can have the suit shipped directly to your home. However, online shopping has as many pitfalls as it has benefits. For instance:
- You can’t try the suit on
- Suits looking different from their pictures
- Tedious return policies
- The possibility of the suit getting lost in the mail
- Extra shipping fees
You can avoid all these issues when you shop in a store. You’re able to see your tuxedo of choice with your own two eyes, try it on, and simply take it back to the store if it doesn’t work.
Enjoy the Convenience
But just because you have to go to a brick-and-mortar store doesn’t mean you lose out on any convenience. After all, the word “local,” by definition, refers to a business that’s in your area. That means a short commute.
But if you really can’t make the commute, many local stores offer delivery options or even home fittings. We know our Chicago tuxedo stores do.
Get the Expert’s Touch
The average person doesn’t wear a tuxedo very many times in their life, so most of us aren’t exactly experts on them. Fortunately, your local tuxedo store is full of experts who can explain your options, advise you on the best fit, and alter your tux to fit you to a T.
Having onsite tailors is no small deal, either. Sure, you can take your tuxedo to the local dry cleaner for alterations, but shop tailors specialize in tuxedos. Not only that, but if you find your suit needs a last-minute alteration, they’ll be able to handle the job quickly.
Support Your Community
One of the best reasons to shop local for your wedding tuxedo isn’t about the ceremony at all. Weddings are all about family—the start of a new family and the old family’s continuation. When you support a local business, you are investing in local families. Emanuele Tuxedo has always been a family-owned business, and we would love the chance to become part of yours.
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