The History of the Tuxedo

October 22, 2020

Tuxedo at Waxman House Montreal

Officially, the tuxedo made its first appearance in 1865 at an informal dinner in England, worn by the Prince of Wales. Henry Poole created the first tailless coat for his Majesty, a blue silk smoking jacket with matching trousers.

Years later, the prince himself introduced this outfit to James Brown Potter, who wore it to the annual autumn ball at the Tuxedo Park in 1886. This is why Americans call it "The Tuxedo". Some argue that it was in fact Pierre Lorillard IV who first brought the tuxedo to New York when he asked his tailor to copy the jacket worn by the Prince of Wales for that very same autumn ball in 1886. 


Tuxedos lost their popularity during the first World War and then regained it during the 1930s decade, when black wool tuxedos became common for evening dinners. Ten years later, tuxedos took a major hit when jackets and suits came to replace it as the casual garment in trend. 

During the 70s, tuxedos made a comeback with a revolutionized version of the jacket and shirts. Colors such as baby blue, ruffles, bell bottoms and patterns were the trend at the time, and so the tuxedo made its way back into the world of fashion. 

Thankfully, in the early 90's, the black tuxedo went back in trend when James Bond made of this garment his classic "save-the-day" look.