The tuxedo is undoubtedly the pinnacle of male formal attire.
Sometimes disparagingly called the penguin suit, those with anything approaching contempt for this wonderful creation should think again. As a result of the tuxedo, a gentleman attending a formal gathering never has to put an ounce of thought into what he will wear. The tuxedo is one of many reasons why it is great to be a man.
In the last quarter of the nineteenth century there lived in New York the Lorillard family. They were an extremely wealthy family having earned their fortune selling tobacco.
The family residence at Tuxedo Park was just outside the city of New York. One cold October night in 1886 a formal party at the Lorillard homestead was to set the world of fashion alight and determine a style of formal dress for men that has survived to this day.
The inventor was Pierre Lorillard IV, a rich young buck with time on his hands and obviously some design flair. Attired in a tailless black jacket he wowed the guests and soon suave, fashionable urbanites were falling over themselves to get the latest look. This simple, elegant and crucial element of any mans wardrobe took its name from the Lorillard family residence.
The tuxedo as we have established is the ultimate in formal wear for men – it is timeless.
Like everything else, there are times when it is probably inappropriate to wear a tuxedo, a camping holiday immediately springs to mind. There are of course situations when the tuxedo is essential. If for example your invitation states formal, black tie, black tie invited or any other similar combination of words you can be sure that any appearance in those old slacks you use when you are washing the car will not be well regarded.
Similarly if you are well heeled, well connected and cultured enough to be attending the opening of the opera, ballet or symphony the tuxedo is a must. Formal dinner parties, dances and formal restaurants also require the donning of the svelte black garment. If you happen to be attending the Oscars or any other awards ceremony and hope to spend a few pleasant hours with the nominee for best supporting actress the old tux is again a must.
It is a matter of personal choice but it is definitely best to buy a tuxedo rather than renting one. Better still is to have one Tailored, a well fitting tuxedo will make you look like the proverbial million dollars.
Unless you want to look an idiot keep it simple and traditional don’t for example get it into your head that matching yellow socks and cummerbund are going to be in any way nice, always wear black.
The cummerbund by the way is the bit that goes around your waist and should always be made of the same fabric as the jacket with the pleats faced upwards. The bow tie is essential a clip on bow tie on a grown man is dreadful buy one and if you are don’t have someone to dress you get the sales person to pass on the skill.
A single button tuxedo is the most flattering and elegant look. Double-breasted styles look well on trimmer men while the more robust gentlemen out there would do well to ensure their tuxedo jacket has a shawl collar. Other style depending on your taste and build include notched collar and three-button tuxedos.