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No black tie event without an elegant tuxedo

No black tie event without an elegant tuxedo

For James Bond he is indispensable, but a royal influencer was the stirrup keeper for the ascent of the elegant evening suit. The elegant black evening suit with silk lapels is one of the most important items of clothing for Her Majesty’s secret agent 007 James Bond. And every gentleman today should own at least one perfectly tailormade fitting tuxedo. But it took a while before the elegant “black” could begin his triumphant march.

For a long time, the tailcoat was the dominant suit for a gentleman. In the 19th century the tuxedo established itself in the USA and Europe and became a socially acceptable replacement for the tailcoat. The current form of the tuxedo developed from the “smoking jacket” of the British. This was a velvet jacket that the gentlemen exchanged for the original, usually tailcoat, after the official part of the evening when they retired to a separate room to smoke or play cards.

Albert Eduard Prince of Whales, who later became King Edward VII, is considered a kind of historical influencer. At an evening event in USA, the prince is said to have worn a tuxedo instead of the tailcoat that was customary at the time. The guests were amazed and yet impressed by the elegant appearance of the prince and soon afterwards, tailors reported an increasing demand for tailor-made tuxedos. Nevertheless, the tuxedo was reserved for private, informal events until the 1920s. But then he also replaced the tailcoat at highly official events.

But what are the characteristics of an excellent tuxedo? And which accessories do you need to include? The tuxedo is a particularly elegant evening suit. A classic tuxedo is black – at best dark blue or perhaps black-gray – and is worn after 6 p.m. to evening events (black tie-events). The so-called dinner jacket, on the other hand, is white or light beige and is worn outdoors as an outdoor variant of tuxedo during the day.

The tuxedo – as we know it today – differs only in details from the normal suit and, strictly speaking, is one too. But however, a few easily recognizable distinguishing features.

Only men with perfect proportions should think about the question of single-breasted or double-breasted tuxedo jackets. Everyone else should choose the single-breasted variant. The most striking detail of a tuxedo jacket is certainly the lapel, which is made with so-called mirrors. This mirror is not made from the outer fabric of the jacket, but from mostly shiny silk. In addition, the lapel of a tuxedo jacket is made either with a rising lapel or crafted like a shawl collar. Usually, a white pocket square is worn as an accessory to the tuxedo.

The classic tuxedo pants are characterized by some special features. The pants always have a cuff at the hem. Another typical feature of tuxedo trousers is the so-called galon. The galon is a thin decorative strip of silk that runs down the side of the trousers down to the trouser leg and thus picks up the fabric on the lapel again. Today, however, the galon is no longer found on all tuxedo pants. The third special feature: tuxedo pants have no belt loops. Most tuxedo pants have buttons on the inside of the waistband. If necessary, braces can be attached here. Standard only black suspenders are worn with a tuxedo.

The gentleman wears a white shirt with a tuxedo with a concealed button placket. The cuffs are folded over and closed with cufflinks. A tie with a tuxedo is an absolute no-go, the bow tie is a must! And this should be made of the same material as the cumberbund and be color-coordinated with it. Cumberbund or waistcoat – your own taste decides. For the tuxedo vest you should choose a model without lapels. The front of a classic tuxedo vest can consist of black silk or the outer fabric of the tuxedo.

If you don’t want to wear a vest with the tuxedo, the cumberbund is a must. As for the origin of the cumberbund, it is said that British soldiers brought sash fashions from India to Europe during the time of British colonial rule. The Persian “kamarband” (= hip belt) became cumberbund via the English term.

By the way, with a double-breasted tuxedo neither a cummerbund nor a vest is worn, since a double-breasted tuxedo jacket is only worn closed. A cumberbund is nothing more than a sash that is adjustable in the back – usually folded in four rows – and worn around the waistband. The cumberbund should be the same classically black color and fabric like the fly.

In addition to black patent leather shoes, black calf-high stockings are a must with a tuxedo! Other colors of stockings or too short socks are an absolute no-go. And one more small but important note to conclude: hardly any accessories are worn with a tuxedo – not even a watch. Only elegant cufflinks provide the shine. And the emphasis is on elegant.



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