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Tuxedos are the epitome of elegance in the menswear department, but I bet you didn’t know all this about our favorite dapper look:
1. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary eventually included the alternate spelling “cumberbund” because the correct term, “cummerbund,” was so frequently misspelled and mispronounced.
2. According to a survey by Tie-a-Tie.net of almost 9,000 men, the percentage that knows how to tie a bowtie is . . . 1. So if you’re skilled in this art, you’re way ahead of the curve.
3. One of the reasons to wear a pocket square? To attract the eye to the chest and away from the stomach. As if you needed another reason to add one to your outfit.
4. Studs and cufflinks rose in popularity in the 1840s because increasingly fashionable starched shirtfronts were tough to button.
5. Perhaps the three most famous wearers of red bowties are Orville Redenbacher, Pee-Wee Herman and Dr. Seuss.
6. Jacob & Co. sells a pair of cufflinks for just under $4.2 million. Their Emerald-Cut Canary Diamond Octagon cufflinks are made from 18-carat white gold; a centerpiece of 20-carat and 21-carat canary yellow diamonds; and set off by 10.76 carats of white diamond baguettes. Enjoy.
7. A guiding principle of the tuxedo is that it’s otherwise visible “working parts” be concealed or decorated. Hence, buttons are satin-faced; shirt buttons make way for studs and cufflinks; and the trouser’s outer seams are faced with a satin stripe—so that it looks, literally, “seamless.”
8. There’s an entire book devoted to the lapel flower: The Boutonniere: Style in One’s Lapel.
9. Tuxedo trousers do not have belt loops.
10. Cummerbunds should be worn with the pleats facing up—yes, where they might possibly catch the occasional crumb.
11. The black tuxedo shoe is generally made from one of three materials: patent leather, smooth calf or cow, or velvet.
12. The most oft-worn tux bowtie is made of satin and of “butterfly” shape.
13. The high gloss of the tux shoe is meant to set off the entire outfit’s silk facings and bring out the overall contrast in textures.
14. Suspenders are recommended when wearing a tuxedo . . . unless you really don’t need them to keep the pants up, in which case you may drop them. The suspenders, that is.
15. The bowtie or bowtie shape is part of the corporate logo of Budweiser, Chevrolet, KFC, Pringles and, of course, Playboy.
The more you know. Now, put that knowledge to good use and wear a tux to your next big event.