Q-KIPEDIA: Origins Of Tuxedo

Q-KIPEDIA: Origins Of Tuxedo

Tuxedo or also known as dinner jacket is a formal suit that has satin covered on the lapels, buttons, pocket trim and stripe down the trousers. It is meant to be worn on special occasions. It is usually in black or midnight blue -black tie dress code.

Why a Tuxedo over a suit?

Tuxedo is very formal dressing- a step up from the suit for special occasions. Most frequently used in formal social settings and elevates the wearer. Traditionally, you have to wear a bowtie and a tux shirt with studded buttons. With the whole ensemble, it puts you apart from normal business suit and tie. It is a commemorative gesture to show that it is an important event for you and you dress the part from head to toe. 

The earliest tuxedo jacket were made in black material with one button, two or no buttons. It has a shawl lapel faced in satin or ribbed silk. 


It was first found in England around 1887 and was exposed to the US in 1990. It was heavily popularised in the US in the early 20th century.

During the 1860s, there was a need for an alternative from tailcoats as there was an increase in the popularity of outdoor activities among the British middle and upper class. It was originally intended for warm weather use as an evening tailcoat substitute. It was called tailless coat then and not tuxedo.


The tailless coat was brought by The Prince of Wales- Edward VII of the United Kingdom where he experimented with menswear. Then on, it was brought into America fashion through a millionaire James Brown Potter.

He wore it to an Autumn Ball of a private country club in Tuxedo Park, New York for Manhattan's wealthiest citizens. It was unsure during that time whether it was praised or frowned upon as it was a new look. Unconventional as it seems, it managed to settle into the mind of the public associated the "tailless dress coat" with Tuxedo Park.

By early 20th century, the public have fully accepted the dinner jacket Tuxedo and it is recognised in formal situation.








Did you know of Canadian Tuxedo?

In actuality, tuxedo is not all about rules and regulations. In 1951, Bing Crosby, a world famous singer was denied entrance to a Canadian hotel as they were dressed a full denim outfit, top to bottom. Apparently, they found denim to be not "high-class" enough for them to check in a room with them.





He was very fond of Levis Strauss and Co.(LS &Co.) Denim and when heard of the news they decided to gift him a Tuxedo made in denim. Ls & Co. presented the gift to him during 1951 Silver State stampede in Elko Nevada, where he was honorary mayer. 
It was a custom made tuxedo denim, so that he will never have a problem wearing Levis Jeans even in fancy establishment.

In the jacket you can see this quote:  " Notice to All Hotel Men Everywhere, This label entitles the wearer to be duly received and registered with cordial hospitality at any time and under any conditions.  Presented to Bing Crosby."

I found this to be very amusing. 


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