In The Beginning...
It all began in 1886 when the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, began wearing a short black jacket in place of the formal tailcoat. An American guest of the Prince, a Mr. James Brown Potter, brought the look to the states, where he made a dashing presence at the Tuxedo Club in upstate New York. Soon the new look caught on as each man had his personal tailor copy the jacket and the new style became known as, "what they're wearing to dinner in Tuxedo." And so the new jackets had a name: tuxedos!
The Roaring 20's
In the 1920's, tuxedos became the perfect match for the bright little dresses worn by flappers, the waif-
The Depression Era
The 1930's saw a revival of full dress. Tails on coats came back to match the longer length of ladies' dresses. Hollywood did its share to promote the tuxedo since anything black and white photographed well -
World War II's Effects
Men's styles grew more practical during the war years and when the fighting was over, men stuck with a certain conservative look. Men were used to wearing uniforms and designers were used to making do with rationed materials. As a result, the only real new innovation in evening wear was the shawl collar on the single-
The Fabulous 50's
The beginning of color television popularized dinner jackets in new fabrics and colors. The French couturier Jacques Fath ushered in the era of plaid dinner jackets. The new silhouette for men was trim and straight-
The Youth Rebellion
During the late 60's and 70's, new fabrics including brocades, laces and embroideries emerged and lapels and trouser bottoms flared. Bow ties widened and the formal black tie look died a slow death. During the Ford Administration, Woody Allen escorted the First Lady while wearing tennis shoes with his tuxedo. And the Carter Administration began casually with the first black tie -
Black Tie Is Back!
The late 80's and early 90's have seen a revival of the good old days of Black Tie. We've turned back to the once great history of the tuxedo and are reliving its elegance at special occasions. With the tuxedo's resurgence in popularity, we see new accessories such as vests in virtually every color and fabric imaginable as well as matching bow tie and cummerbunds in fun prints ranging from Disney characters to polka dots. Even women are getting on the bandwagon, reviving the look of Marlene Dietrich and Judy Garland who both looked great in tuxedos. The rule today seems to be: Do it your way, but do it right: wear a tuxedo from Mike's Formal Wear!