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The Americans and the British argue about who was the first to come up with the tuxedo. The United States claim it was tobacco heir Griswold "Grizzy" Lorrilard who stepped into the Tuxedo Club in New York in 1886 wearing a "tailless dress coat". The British instead insist that the origin of the tuxedo was a pimped up version of the smoking jacket that Prince of Wales had donned as early as 1865. Sweden has leaned toward favoring the British claim by simply calling the jacket a 'Smoking'.
The Tuxedo is a distinctive party garment. Does it say tuxedo, evening attire, black tie, tux or dinner jacket on the invitation? Yes! Then nothing but a tuxedo will suffice. Common tuxedo events are New Years and other festivities where suits are a little too casual and a tailcoat too formal. This has made the tuxedo many people's favourite garment and has no doubt contributed to it becoming a regular feature at weddings, even in Sweden.
Suit jacket and pants - Should be either black or midnight blue. The jacket's lapel is either peaked or shawl shaped. The pants have thin silk stripes and lack cuffs. If you are interested in purchasing a tuxedo you should remember that you will probably only require it a couple of times per year. Consider, therefore, the most classic design ie, black with peaked lapels, and single breasted. If you buy midnight blue there is a risk that it will appear outdated in a couple of years, while the off-white you can forget about completely unless you want to be mistaken for an 80's Latin American drug baron!
Shirt - Is always white with French (double) cuffs. Shirt buttons should be hidden or have holes for removeable studs that match the cufflinks. The breast of the shirt should have some kind of pleating or piké to give it a more formal look in comparison to a normal suit shirt. The collar is either folded classically or with a wing collar. We highly recommend the first option as it is easier to hold in place and overall suits the tuxedo's style much more. Shirtonomy's MARCELLA TUX SHIRT is specially made and we believe it to be the ultimate tuxedo shirt. Read more about our tuxedo shirt here
Bow Tie - Should be black like the tuxedo as a white bowtie is used with a tailcoat and other colors and patterns are more suitable for costume parties. You should also avoid, as much as possible, pre-tied models as they appear too flat and overly symmetrical. A self tied bowtie gives the outfit a whole new character. If you are able to tie your own shoes then you will able to learn to tie a bowtie.
Handkerchief - You can never go wrong with a white cotton handkerchief in the breast pocket and it is most often the most attractive option. Should your date for the night attempt to persuade you to match your handkerchief with a particular item from her outfit, proceed with extreme caution unless you can find an extremely tasteful and well matched alternative.
Cuff and breast buttons - As the tuxedo is always made with French cuffs, cufflinks are an absolute must. These should be of a subdued color and shape so as to suit the outfits overall impression. If you choose to also use removeable studs they should be of matching color. The most common are black or mother of pearl with either gold or silver surround.
Girdle or vest - Two classic tuxedo accessories that have dropped shrarply in popularity, primarily because the tuxedo jacket should remain on for the entire evening and it can be too warm wearing a vest. One alternative is to wear only the girdle. This should be black with the folds turned upwards. Our tip is to skip both the vest and girdle. This is the most modern way and as the jacket remains buttoned up as you dance no one will notice the difference.
Braces As the pants have no belt loops around the waist belts are both not modern and strictly forbidden. Braces are therefore the only alternative if you require help keeping your pants in place. They should be black and connected to the buttons that your seamstress has sewn in to the waistband. Remember that braces with clips are never cool on an adult and should be reserved for pre-school children running around the playground
Shoes - The classic tuxedo shoes are lacquered and black in the Oxford style. Other, considerably more difficult options to pull off, are black lacquered loafers with a bow, or velvet slippers ala Hugh Hefner. Some people believe they can avoid making the investment in real lacquered shoes by meticulously polishing their black, calf leather oxford shoes. If you ask us, however, this option should only be used in an emergency.
Socks - Classically, black silk socks are the correct choice as these breath better in the closed lacquered shoes. A good alternative is high quality, thin, black wool socks. To avoid revealing naked skin between the socks and the bottom of the pants, three quarter length socks are recommended
Watch Some would argue that "time does not matter", and that the wrist watch does not belong with a tuxedo. We believe this to be a grossly outdated view but recommend that you do leave your digital piece at home alongside Grandad's old suit. Let the watch's metal influence your choice of cufflinks and removable studs.