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Tuxedos are the suits of all suits. They're distinguished, chic and eternally sophisticated... although many throughout time might argue against that in this past.
Since its introduction in 1865, worn by none other than the trend-setting Prince Edward VII, the tuxedo has undergone some detailed but dramatic evolution. As unbeknown to most people, the classically formal tuxedo style that we know of today is a far cry from the original commissioned informal dinner jacket.
The original tuxedo designed by Savile Row tailor Henry Poole & Co. incorporated elements from both a formal and a lounge suit. The design featured trimmings from an evening tailcoat usually in all black and took on a shorter, more relaxed silhouette than the traditional evening wear at the time.
It was only later in 1885 when the tailless coat was adopted by members of the Tuxedo Club in New York where it subsequently became a popular alternative to formal dressing for men across the globe. And even then, the popularity of tuxedos has wavered throughout the centuries and decades.
In today's world, tuxedos are the most formal type of clothing for men and are usually only worn to black-tie events – from the red carpet to high society events and even presidential dinners. The contemporary tuxedos have alleviated from its informal intentions to become the epitome of glam and timelessness. Here's the breakdown of a modern tuxedo style:
The dinner jacket | Tuxedo jackets come in three different types of lapels, namely: the notch lapel, the peak lapel and the shawl lapel, all typically made in satin. To personalise the jacket to the wearer's taste and style, accessories like a set of cufflinks, waistcoat studs or even pocket squares are also typically styled to add a twist without diminishing its formality.
The tuxedo trousers | Tuxedo trousers often have satin stripes on either side and are usually designed to be fitted but comfortable and in dark colours or in one that matches the jacket. They should never be worn with belts but should instead be worn with suspenders or braces. A cummerbund may also be paired according to the wearer's style.
The tuxedo shirt | The only dress shirt fit for a tuxedo is one that's traditionally pleated, with a winged collared, holes on sleeves for cufflinks, double or French cuffed and paired with a bowtie. The buttons on the dress shirt are entirely dependent on whether it would be paired with a waistcoat but the general rule of thumb is black buttons for none and white for when there is a waistcoat.