Forensic Fashion
(c) 2006-present R. Macaraeg


>Costume Studies
>>Black Tie formal
Subject: gentleman in black tie
Culture: international formal
Setting: evening formal/semi-formal

Context (Event Photos, Primary Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)

​* Newman/Shariff 2009 p27
"black tie ... A semi-formal dress code for eveningwear revolving (for men) around a dinner jacket and black bow tie, and often including black pants with a line of silk ribbon down the outer leg seams, a white shirt, a vest or cummerbund, and black leather shoes."

* Bridges/Curtis 2003 p95
"black tie: A suit consisting of a black wool jacket with black satin lapels and matching trousers with a black satin stripe down the outside of the pants leg.  Traditionally worn with a black satin bow tie and waistcoat or cummerbund to match.  formally known as 'dinner clothes.'"

​* Newman/Shariff 2009 p203
"tuxedo (1) A chiefly US and Canadian term for dinner jacket, more fully called a 'tuxedo coat' or 'tuxedo jacket.'  Der.  Named after the Tuxedo Club, an affluent country club in Tuxedo Park just north of New York City, whose members began wearing such jackets shortly after the club opened in 1886. (2) A semi-formal suit consisting of a dinner jacket and matching pants, traditionally worn in combination with a black bow tie and a vest or cummerbund as part of 'black tie' dresscode. Often abbreviated to 'tux.'" 


* Yarwood 1978 p154
"The dinner jacket was introduced in the 1880s for informal wear, though there is some dispute as to whether this was in Monte Carlo, London or New York.  It was first called a 'dress lounge' in England and until the after First World War, was never worn at any function where ladies were present.  The early dinner jacket had a continuous roll collar, faced with black silk or satin, and it was worn open over a black waistcoat and with a black tie.  Later it was fastened with one button and, in the 1920s, the double-breasted dinner jacket was introduced, which made a waistcoat superfluous.  In America it is known as a tuxedo, because it was first introduced in the millionaire region of Tuxedo Park, New York, for small dinner parties.  It could be made in black or midnight blue material.  The dinner jacket has always been more popular in the USA than in Europe, due to its greater informality and comfort.  The complete outfit is often referred to in America as 'black tie', in distinction from the formal 'white tie'."

* Newman/Shariff 2009 p62
"dinner jacket  A man's formal evening jacket, typically black and featuring a shawl collar faced in satin. Worn with a bow tie as part of black tie dress code. Also called 'tuxedo' (US) and often abbreviated to DJ (Br.)."

* Amies 2007 p38-39
"Dinner Jacket/Suit  By far the most popular form of evening wear.  Basically the cut of a dinner jacket is similar to that of a day suit and will therefore follow the same trends of fashion as regards to length and general style.  However, variations of collar are permitted; for instance, a shawl collar does not look attractive on a day suit, but it is permitted, and indeed often desirable, in a dinner jacket, as it is an admirable shape for covering with the dull satin that gives light to the somberness of the cloth.
    "The first dinner jackets appeared some fifty years ago [before 1964, the time of writing] and were meant to be worn at home or at dinners that were less formal than those that required full evening dress.  Such suits were usually made in black.  It was discovered, however, that navy blue of a shade known as midnight blue had a depth of color by artificial light that appeared more black than true black, which often took on a green cast, particularly if the cloth was not absolutely new.  It is found also that such a dark blue is more 'becoming' to most men, even those of Latin swarthiness.  There are also many occasions today when an evening party starts off in daylight.  Here the blue triumphs completely.  It must be mentioned, however, that the facings of the jacket, be they in satin or a dull ribbed silk, should preferably be black.  It is almost impossible to get a navy blue satin to match the wool, and, even if it can be found, the effect is not as masculine as is the black.  Dinner jackets in colors other than navy blue are seen but not always admired." ...

* Calasibetta/Tortora 2003 p460
"tuxedo ... Man's semi-formal fingertip-length jacket and pants made with satin or faille lapels and side stripes on pants.  Made in black or midnight blue in wniter, white jacket with dark pants in summer.  Sometimes made in other colors or plaids since 1960s.  Worn with cummerbund and black bow tie.  Abbreviated as tux. Also called black tieDer. Worn by Griswold P. Lorillard at Tuxedo Park, NY, in 1886."

* Bridges/Curtis 2003 p95-96
"dinner jacket: A short coat, worn on formal occasions, usually tailored of solid-black worsted wool with either a shawl collar, notched lapels, or peaked lapels in dull black satin.  Dinner jackets tailored in cream or off-white worsted are sometimes seen in the southern United States or resort areas, during the summer months.  No matter what the jacket's color, it is traditionally worn with black worsted woll trousers ornamented by a black satin stripe running up the outside of the pants legs.  Together, the dinner jacket and its trousers are known as 'dinner clothes' or, more colloquially, as a 'tuxedo.'"

​* Wilcox 1969 p353
"tuxedo  American name for the dinner jacket, the design improvised by American millionaires living in Tuxedo Park, N.Y., who wished a less formal and more comfortable dress for small dinners.  A short coat of black or midnight blue worsted with rolling silk collar, worn with a black silk waistcoat and trousers with braid side seam.  In the late 1920's, a double-breasted dinner jacket made the waistcoat unnecessary."