Men's Tuxedos Guide
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In American English
this type of garment is called a tuxedo or a "tux" for short. In British English,
it may be referenced as a dinner jacket, DJ, or dinner suit. This item is
a semi-formal evening suit distinguished primarily by satin or grosgrain facings
on the jacket's lapels and buttons and a similar stripe along the outseam of the
The primary difference
between a suit and a tuxedo is the satin. Sometimes it is difficult to tell
the difference because some modern tuxedo options have minimized the use of satin
to a thin satin trim on the lapels and a thin satin bead down the pant leg, but
the primary difference between the two is that tuxedos have satin on them and suits
don’t. Tuxedos are historically only to be worn with bow ties and cummerbunds
or waistcoats (low stance vests.)
At many modern tuxedo functions such as proms and weddings,
the lines between what is appropriate to wear with a tuxedo verse what would be
worn with a suit has become blurred. When in doubt, turn to the black tie
Black tie, sometimes known by its French name cravate noir,
is a semi-formal dress code for evening events and social functions derived from
British and American costume conventions of the 19th century. Traditionally worn
only for events after 7 p.m., black tie is less formal than white tie but more formal
than informal or business dress. In the United States, the gentlemen's form of black
tie attire is often referred to as a tuxedo.
For men, the traditional elements of black tie are as follows:
- A white dress shirt
- A black bow tie
- An evening waistcoat or cummerbund
- A dinner jacket (called a tuxedo in the United States),
of black or midnight blue wool, in which the jacket lapels and trouser braid
are of silk or other contrasting material
- Black Oxford dress shoes or patent leather pumps.
It is important to note that traditional elements do bend
from time to time as some people pull fashion trends and modernization into the
classic realm of black tie events.
When did the concept arrive to Amercia?
The earliest references to a dress coat substitute in America
are from the summer and fall of 1886 and, like the British references from this
time, vary between waist-length mess-jacket style and the conventional suit jacket
style. The most famous reference originates from Tuxedo Park, an upstate New
York countryside enclave for Manhattan's wealthiest citizens. A son of one of the
community’s founders, Griswold Lorillard, and his friends were widely reported in
society columns for showing up at the club’s first Autumn Ball in October 1886 wearing
"a tailless dress coat". Although it is not known whether this garment was
a mess jacket or a conventional dinner jacket, it no doubt cemented the tailcoat
substitute's association with Tuxedo Park in the mind of the public.
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