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Suits

What exactly are: Tuxedos?

What exactly are: Tuxedos?

In a nutshell

A black formal suit with satin detailing, a tuxedo is required for black-tie occasions.

Backstory

The first tuxedos were actually something like loungewear: they were designed in the 1860s to fill a need for evening clothes suitable for dinner in the country. The name comes from Tuxedo Park in upstate New York, where some of Manhattan’s wealthiest men rustled feathers when they showed up at an 1886 ball wearing the new-fangled costumes.

How to wear them well

"The biggest mistake you can make with a tuxedo is to try to look different," says Thread stylist Freddie Kemp. "The best and only way to stand out is simply to wear the classics well: black patent shoes; black dinner trousers with satin stripes down the sides; a tuxedo jacket; a silk pocket square; a black, self-tied bowtie; and a white dinner shirt with dress studs or buttons covered by a placket (not the formal shirt you wear to work). You can also add a waistcoat—and if you're determined to look different, try a horseshoe waistcoat, named for its U-shaped neckline. It's very traditional, but slightly unusual today."