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The Complete History Of Tuxedos

There is noth­ing quite like a well-made tuxe­do. This ulti­mate show of class ensures that the wear­er is the best-dressed guy in the room, join­ing the ranks of Jay Gats­by, James Bond and red-car­pet stars.

Tuxe­dos weren’t always the pin­na­cle of for­mal­wear, though. In fact, tail­coats and full morn­ing dress were the most com­mon ways for a gen­tle­man to dress up before the late 19th cen­tu­ry when more casu­al, mod­ern tuxe­dos were intro­duced. Not sur­pris­ing­ly, the tuxe­do as we know it today orig­i­nat­ed with the British Roy­al Fam­i­ly.

History of the Tux

In 1865, Edward VII (then the Prince of Wales) removed the tails from his tail­coat and intro­duced the “din­ner jacket”—something that could be worn at the din­ner table and was less for­mal than tails.

In 1886, The Prince of Wales sent James Brown Pot­ter (an Amer­i­can mil­lion­aire) to be fit­ted for his new jack­et style. Pot­ter debuted the look at the Autumn Ball in Tuxe­do Park, New York. This is where the look got its name.

Once the tux was intro­duced to Amer­i­ca, it took off in the ear­ly twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry. Black acces­sories and a peak lapel also gained pop­u­lar­i­ty. Dur­ing WWI, how­ev­er, the pop­u­lar­i­ty of tuxe­dos dropped—not sur­pris­ing­ly, since the coun­try was at war. Once the war end­ed, black-tie appar­el made a come­back in the 1930s. Mid­night blue tuxe­dos were all the rage back then, as were dou­ble-breast­ed jack­ets.

groom and groomsmen in black tuxedos

Dur­ing WWII, suits became more pop­u­lar than tuxe­dos as the nation faced war once again, but by the 1950s, it was time to let loose again. Tuxe­dos made anoth­er comeback—this time with unique pat­terns and col­ors. Black tie sur­passed white tie in pop­u­lar­i­ty and notch lapels rose in pop­u­lar­i­ty.

In the 1970s, tux style took a dis­co turn. Large bow ties and lapels, loud col­ors and pat­terns and bell-bot­tom style pants hit the scene.

Tuxe­do styles returned to more clas­sic look dur­ing the 1980s, and by the 2000s busi­ness-casu­al became more pop­u­lar than tux­es. Shiny black suits, col­ored shirts and coor­di­nat­ing acces­sories were com­mon.

Now, the tuxe­do is back and bet­ter than (almost) ever! Mid­night blue gains pop­u­lar­i­ty again and looks return to the more tra­di­tion­al threads worn in the 30s. Shawl and peak lapels make a come­back.

How do you like your tux style? Late 2000s mono­chrome or clas­sic 1930s mid­night blue? Either way, you can’t go wrong with a well-tai­lored and acces­sorized tuxe­do for a big night out. It’s an ele­gant look that will stand the test of time.

Don’t for­get to check out our col­lec­tion of tuxe­dos next time you’re in need! With 21 styles of suits and tuxe­dos to choose from and thou­sands of acces­so­ry options, you are sure to find the per­fect look for you—in black, gray or blue. Plus, you’ll receive your out­fit 14 days in advance to ensure you get the best look you can.Pick Your Look Now

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