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Submitted by on May 4, 2022

Black tie is a semi-formal Western dress code for nighttime gatherings that originated in 19th-century British and American dress codes. The dinner suit or dinner jacket is commonly referred to synecdochically in British English as the dress code’s main part for males. The term tuxedo is commonly used in American English. The dinner suit is a two- or three-piece suit in black, midnight blue, or white with satin or grosgrain jacket lapels and matching stripes along the outseam of the pants. It’s paired with a white dress shirt with a standing or turndown collar and link cuffs, a black bow tie, and black patent leather dress shoes or court pumps. A semi-formal homburg, bowler, or boater hat can be worn as an accessory. Women may wear an evening gown or other attractive evening clothes.

Tuxedo

The first dinner jacket was worn in 1865 by the Prince of Wales, who eventually became King Edward VII (1841″1910). The lounge jacket without tails became popular in the late 1800s as a less formal and more comfortable leisure alternative to the frock coat. Similarly, the shorter dinner jacket originated as a less formal alternative to the dress coat from the banyan’s casual smoking jacket. As a result, a dinner jacket is still known as the false friend “smoking” in many non-English languages. Its American English synonym “tuxedo” comes from the hamlet of Tuxedo Park in New York State, where it was first introduced in 1886 after Europeans. Black tie has gradually supplanted white tie in more formal situations in the United States, as well as in cultures affected by American culture, since the 1960s counterculture.

Black tie is less formal than white tie but more formal than casual or business wear, and is traditionally worn exclusively after 6 p.m. Black tie is worn at dinner parties (public, fraternities, private) and occasionally to balls and weddings as a semi-formal attire, however etiquette experts advise against wearing black tie to weddings. The black lounge suit is the traditional semi-formal day wear counterpart. Mess dress uniform, religious clothes (such as cassock), cultural costumes (such as highland dress), and other semi-formal alternatives to black tie may be approved.

In the 1860s, as the middle and upper classes of the United Kingdom became increasingly interested in outdoor activities, the casual lounge suit became more popular as a country alternative to the more formal day wear frock coat that was typically worn in town. Men were also looking for an alternative to the formal evening tailcoat, commonly known as a “dress coat,” which was worn every evening at the time.

A midnight blue smoking jacket in silk with matching pants ordered by the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII of the United Kingdom, from Savile Row tailors Henry Poole & Co. in 1865 is the oldest mention of a tailless coat being worn with evening dress. The smoking jacket was made for the British Royal Family’s informal rural home, Sandringham. Henry Poole died in 1876, leaving behind a well-respected business to be maintained by his cousin Samuel Cundey, who never saw his design become recognized as a dinner jacket or cross the Atlantic and be dubbed a tuxedo there.

Around 1885, more tales of the Prince’s experiments arise, alluding to “a garment of many colors, such as was worn by our forefathers” and “short clothes falling down to the waist and created on the model of military men’s coats.” The suit jacket with tailcoat finishing, as it is now called, was originally described about the same period and is frequently connected with Cowes, a coastal town in southern England and the heart of British yachting, which was intimately associated with the Prince. It was created for warm-weather use, but it quickly extended to casual or rowdy winter gatherings. It was worn with all of the same accessories as the tailcoat, including the pants, because it was just an evening tailcoat alternative. As a result, black tie, as opposed to traditional white tie, was considered casual attire in the early days.

The garment became known as a dinner jacket in the following decades of the Victorian era, as a stylish, formal alternative to the tailcoat that upper-class men wore every evening. Matching pants, white or black waistcoat, white bow tie, white detachable wing-collar formal shirt, and black formal shoes were the customary accompaniments for the evening tailcoat at the period. Silk or satin lapels were frequently faced or trimmed in varied thicknesses. In comparison to a complete dress like a cutaway tailcoat, etiquette standards deem the dinner jacket improper for mixed company, which includes both men and women.

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