The tuxedo today is a symbol of power, money, and importance. It is worn for fancy parties and weddings, and by super spies and celebrities. Like everything else we see in the world of fashion, the tuxedo has a backstory.
The 1860’s began in increased popularity of activities taken place outside for the English middle and upper class. This led to the lounge suit (known in the US today as a standard suit)as an alternative to formal day wear and the evening tailcoat. Another ancestor of the tuxedo is the silk smoking jacket and matching pants ordered by the Prince of Wales (Edward VII).
The tuxedo concept (alternatives for a dress coat) was initially introduced to North America in the fall and summer of 1886. The style varied between waist length and the more conventional suit jacket cut. Tuxedo Park in upstate New York featured some guests attending the Autumn Ball wearing a dress coat which did not contain a tail as commonly worn. It may have been a mess jacket or a more conventional dinner jacket, but the lack of tailcoats paved the way for the modern tuxedo.
Early tuxedo jackets featured two buttons or no buttons with a shawl collar faced in satin or ribbed silk. Later, in the 20th century, the peaked lapel was introduced and became popular and the style utilizing a single button became the standard. At this time, the Oxford grey or a shade of dark blue was highly common. During WWI and again in the 1930’s, midnight blue became a popular alternative to favor with tuxedos. Notch lapels became popular in the 1920’s. Around the 1930’s, the stripe of braid covering the out seam on the legs of the trousers became standard and both the double breasted jacket and white jackets became popular during warmer weather.
Variants of color began popping out in the 1950’s for warmer seasons and by the 1960’s, colors were worn throughout the year and notch lapels came back into fashion. The 1970’s brought on a wide variety of colors for rental purposes. The 1980’s interestingly brought back the classic black style tuxedos (which is surprising due to the love of neon in the 80’s). During this time, the notch lapels returned and have not left. The 1990’s brought in some more traits resembling business suits, including 2-3 button syles, flap pockets, and centre vents. While much of the structure and colors have remained popular since the 1980’s, Midnight blue has once again become a popular option.
Regardless of what era your love of tuxedos stems from, Rose Tuxedo will do what we can to meet your tuxedo needs, whether you want a more classic black or midnight blue or you want to delve into the 1970’s powder blue or other interesting colors. Contact us to schedule a fitting and check out our selection for all of your suit and tuxedo needs. While the tuxedo and suit fashion has changed, the general idea is still the same: men look great in suits and tuxedos!