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Tuxedo

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Tuxedo

A double-breasted dinner suit

A tuxedo (American English, also colloquially known as “tux”) or dinner suit, dinner jacket or DJ is a 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 trousers.

The suit is typically black or midnight blue and commonly worn with a formal shirt, shoes and other accessories, most traditionally in the form prescribed by the black tie dress code.[1] In Britain a tuxedo is a white dinner jacket.

1888 American tuxedo / dinner jacket, sometimes called a dress sack.
Illustration of English peaked lapel and shawl collar dinner jackets, 1898. As substitutes for tailcoats, dinner jackets were originally worn with full dress accessories

Etymology

Dinner jacket in the context of menswear first appeared in England around 1887[2] and in the US around 1889.[3] In the 1960s it became associated in North America with white or coloured jackets specifically.[4]

Tuxedo in the context of menswear originated in the US around 1888.[5] It was named after Tuxedo Park, a Hudson Valley enclave for New York’s social elite where it was often seen in its early years. The term was capitalized until the 1930s and at first referred only to the jacket.[6] When the jacket was later paired with its own unique trousers and accessories in the 1900s the term began to be associated with the entire suit.[7]

In French, Italian, Portuguese, German, Polish, Russian and other European languages the jacket is called a smoking and in Spanish it is an esmoquin. This name is in reference to the jacket’s early similarity to Victorian smoking jackets.

The suit with accompanying accessories is sometimes nicknamed a penguin suit given its resemblance to the bird's black body and white chest. Other slang terms include monkey suit and, since 1918, soup and fish.[8][9][10]

History

English origins

In the 1860s, the increasing popularity of outdoor activities among the British middle and upper classes led to a corresponding increase in the popularity of the casual lounge suit (standard suit in American English) as a country alternative to the more formal day wear that was traditionally worn in town. Men also sought a similar alternative to the formal evening tailcoat (then known as a "dress coat") worn every evening.[6]

The earliest record of a tailless coat being worn with evening wear is a blue silk smoking jacket and matching trousers ordered by the Prince of Wales (later Edward VII of the United Kingdom) from Savile Row tailors Henry Poole & Co. It was tailored for use at Sandringham, the Prince’s informal country estate and was described as a smoking jacket.[6]

Other accounts of the Prince’s experimentation appear around 1885 variously referring to "a garment of many colours, such as was worn by our ancestors" and "short garments coming down to the waist and made on the model of the military men’s jackets." The garment as we know it (suit jacket with tailcoat finishes) was first described around the same time and often associated with Cowes, an English seaside resort and centre of British yachting that was closely associated with the Prince. It was originally intended for warm weather use but soon spread to informal or stag winter occasions. As it was simply an evening tailcoat substitute, it was worn with all the same accoutrements as the tailcoat including the trousers.[11]

Introduction to North America

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.[12] 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".[13] 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.

An essay in the Tuxedo Park archives[14] attributes the jacket's importation to America to resident James Brown Potter specifically but this claim cannot be verified through independent sources.[15] Period newspaper accounts indicate that at first the jacket was worn by young mavericks to gatherings considered strictly formal. This led the American establishment to reject it out of hand. It was only by 1888 that polite society accepted its role solely as a summer and informal evening substitute at which point it became very popular.[16]

Evolution

The earliest tuxedo jackets were of the same black material as the dress coat with one, two or no buttons and a shawl collar faced in satin or ribbed silk. By the turn of the twentieth century the peaked lapel was equally popular and the one-button model had become standard. When trousers were sold with the jacket they were of the same material. Edwardian dandies often opted for Oxford grey or a very dark blue for their evening wear.[17]

By World War I, the grey option had fallen out of favour but the "midnight blue" alternative became increasingly popular and rivalled black by the mid 1930s. Notch lapels, imported from the ordinary business suit, were a brief vogue in the 1920s.[18] A single stripe of braid covering the outseam on each leg was an occasional variation at first, but became standard by the 1930s. At this time double-breasted jackets and white jackets became popular for wear in hot weather.[19]

Colour, texture and pattern became increasingly popular in warm-weather jackets in the 1950s.[20] In the 1960s, these variations became increasingly common regardless of season or climate. Notch lapels were once again a fad.[18] By the 1970s, mass-market retailers began offering white and coloured versions of the entire suit to its rental customers.[21][22] The 1980s vogue for nostalgic and retro styles returned evening wear to its black tone.[23] Notch lapels returned for good in the 1980s, and in the 1990s tuxedo jackets increasingly took on other traits of the business suit, such as two- and three-button styling, flap pockets, and centre vents. These trends have continued into the early 21st century and midnight blue is now once again a popular alternative.[24]

Accessories

The tuxedo’s accompaniments have also evolved over time. The most traditional interpretation of these elements – formal shirt, formal waistcoat or cummerbund, bow tie, formal shoes – is incorporated in the black tie dress code. By the 1970s unorthodox variations were becoming popular alongside equally unorthodox tuxedos, particularly among younger men renting their formal attire rather than purchasing it.[25] Since that time, people unconcerned with convention have opted for shirts that range from coloured to mandarin collared, and for neckwear ranging from coloured bow ties to continental ties to long ties.[26]

Etiquette

The tuxedo is a form of evening wear and as such is intended to be worn only in the evening. However, since the 1960s it has been very common for American groomsmen to wear tuxedos at daytime weddings.[21][25]

Contemporary use

United States

The most popular uses of the tuxedo in North America at present are for formal weddings, formal proms and formal nights on cruises. They are also often worn by male musicians at formal concerts. In these circumstances the tuxedo's styling and accessories are most commonly chosen according to the wearer's tastes. Less popular are black tie events, such as gala fundraisers, where men typically wear more traditional tuxedos and accessories as dictated by the dress code.

References


-- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno

local p = {}


-- Helper functions


local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end

function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end

function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '
%s
', table.concat(classes, ' '), s )

end

return p-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno

local p = {}


-- Helper functions


local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end

function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end

function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '
%s
', table.concat(classes, ' '), s )

end

return p
  1. ^ Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Second Edition, Stuart Berg Flexner and Lenore Crary Hauck, editors, Random House, New York (1993).
  2. ^ ”Dinner-jackets have for some years been worn in country houses when the family are en famille” Huddersfield Chronicle, September 20, 1887 quoting Vanity Fair
  3. ^ ”Fastidious Englishmen don’t seem to be able to get along without a dinner-jacket” The Inter Ocean, October 8, 1889
  4. ^ The Black Tie Guide original research.
  5. ^ "The Tuxedo coat has become popular with a great many men who regard its demi train as a happy medium between a swallow-tail and a cutaway.” Chicago Daily Tribune, August 19, 1888
  6. ^ a b c
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^ reprinted in
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ a b
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^ a b
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^ a b
  26. ^
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