More Than Just a Suit:

  1. Guest
  2. October 31, 2012 12:30 pm

The tuxedo has been around since the late 1800’s: it’s famous for its elegance and is many men’s go-to suit for a variety of events, such as weddings, awards shows and formal parties. Every style of clothing has a history behind it and there are a number of facts we think are particularly interesting about the famous suit. Here are a few:

The Tuxedo Park Club
We all know what a tuxedo looks like, but why is it called that? As the story goes, Edward VII, the Prince of Wales, requested a less formal alternative to dress in for more casual dinner parties. His tailor created a new style, and when the Prince was visiting New York in the late 1880’s, he sent a friend to a tailor to recreate his new style. When the men wore the suit to a newly established elite members club, The Tuxedo Park Club, the style took off and became the style of choice for those in New York’s chicest circles.

Women Wearing Tuxes
Tuxedos aren’t just for men! Lots of notable women have worn tuxedos in now famous photographs and events. Famous Tuxedo wearers include Marlene Dietrich and Josephine Baker. In the 1950’s, Dietrich wore hers at a Paris nightclub. She influenced a generation of women to adopt more practical and androgynous styles at a time when most women’s clothing was very feminine. Baker was a famous American-born French singer, actress and activist. One iconic image of her sees her posing in not only a tuxedo, but a top hat as well.

Tuxedo T-Shirt
The 1970s saw a number of t-shirt trends, like the yellow happy face, and the famous ‘I heart NY’ which paved the way for more diverse designs. The 1980s saw perhaps one of the most iconic t-shirt trends: the tuxedo t-shirt. Worn by numerous movie stars in teen movies, the Tuxedo t-shirt could be worn with jeans to make them seem more formal, or with dress trousers and without a jacket to make the look at bit more casual. Whatever the event, a tuxedo t-shirt certainly brings a sense of humour to any occasion!

Tuxedo Wearing Mascots
Tuxedos don’t just make real life people look dashing at formal events! There are a number of mascots who wear a tuxedo all the time! Technically, Lux from the computer operating system Linux doesn’t wear a tuxedo, but since he’s a penguin, and a tuxedo is colloquially known as a ‘penguin suit’, Lux is associated with the formal suit. Hugh Hefner’s Playboy Bunnies work a modified tuxedo in the original playboy clubs, which featured a bunny tail and ears as well as a tuxedo and collar. The logo still bears the bowtie.

Le Smoking
In the UK and other parts of the English speaking world like the US and Canada, the tuxedo can be called interchangeably by its other name a dinner suit (or dinner jacket). However, in many countries in Europe, it’s notably called a Smoking. This is very likely due to the fact that the tuxedo was first created as the response to a demand for an informal alternative to a smoking jacket.

Bill Weston writes on a number of topics, including men’s fashion trends including formal wear like tuxedos. For more on tuxedos visit

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