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Tuxedo: The Bliss of Satin

As in all standard items of elegance and sophistication, the tuxedo has its origin in iconoclasm. Popular sentiment holds that the tuxedo jacket was invented by Pierre Lorillard a wealth tobacco baron living in Tuxedo Park north of New York City.  Lorillard frequented high society balls where the proper dress was the traditional long tailcoat. For unknown reasons Lorillard commissioned a short coat based more on a hunting jacket to wear to these formal occasions. The shorter jacket was a hit and the tuxedo style was born. Since that time, what was a move of rebellion has become the solidified standard and has replaced the tailcoat as the symbol of formality.

In modern society the tuxedo is the apex of formal wear. The suit is distinguished by either satin or grosgrain lapels and trouser seams and is to be worn with a formal shirt and shoes. There are no casual items allowed in a proper tux. The tuxedo adheres to the black tie dress code where the jacket is only to be worn for events after 6pm. Due to the decided lack of formal events in modern democratic life, it is very rare for people to purchase tuxedos of their own. Prices in tuxedos are relatively affordable compared with the business suit but it is the lack of occasion that keeps many from making the purchase.

A suit cannot be submitted for a tuxedo not simply because a tuxedo is black but because a proper tuxedo prominently uses satin. Satin lapels, pocket trim, trouser stripe and most interestingly satin buttons, this fabric gives the tuxedo a look of prestige and refinement that not even the best business suit can match. Tuxedos are traditionally worn with bowties and cummerbunds.  A specific exception to the satin tuxedo is the tropical black tie, a white dinner jacket worn with black slacks and black accessories but no satin of any kind.

These conventions are losing ground due to the frequency of the tuxedo being used for proms and weddings. What had been rigid standards for formal balls has lessened and now a variety of tuxedo forms demanded by customers seeking originality are available. Regardless of whether or not traditional trends are followed, the spirit of the tuxedo is still maintained. A tuxedo is always a special occasion a moment of commemoration and it is rare that this energy is not felt from wearers seeking to make the occasion special.

Check out our inventory of the finest tuxedos here.

Michael Snell

Loving father and husband