Originally Posted by Manton
" is a damned fine Coward number too! However, as a point of information, the devil-in-chief (Adolf himself), laid into me with his pitchfork and I jumped into the warm Pacific Ocean. Then
, after firing a salvo, from the Good Ship FNB, I sailed away. Since it has been graciously mentioned, my second book has four and a half pages on all this: including ties and vest combos for white and black tie; all presented as the short history of the dinner jacket/tuxedo. The sources include: Henry Poole's complete file on the origination of the dinner jacket; correspondence from the current Lord Dupplin (whose predecessor introduced the DJ to 'Bertie' PoW), and a member of the costume department of the V&A Museum; an early 20th century plate by Thornton; documents in the Tuxedo Park Library; references in The New York Times
, Town Topics
and The Tailor & Cutter
. Will, of ASW, thought that it was a good stab at the subject. Various reviewers yet to publish, have also endorsed it. I think that the current norms
would be for a white tie and vest and a stiff shirt with a dress coat and for a black tie (and black vest if the DJ/tux is SB) plus soft shirt with turn-down collar with a DJ/tux. However, although full evening dress was last settled as a matter of UK Court decree (in 1937) as described above, and followed throughout a good part of the world (with a permissible alternative of black vest), 'black tie' has never been subject to any formulation, except by social expectation. In its earliest manifestations, the DJ/tux was nearly always worn with a white tie, stiff shirt and white or black vest. This changed, after WWI, and a black tie and black vest became the norm with a DJ/tux (with a stiff shirt). The advent of the USA DB tux, brought back from the USA to the UK by Jack Buchanan, taken up by the then PoW (later 'the Little Dook') in 1924 and his subsequent adoption of a soft shirt and black tie with the DB DJ/tux became a settled social practice that endures. This does not mean that it is 'wrong' to wear a white tie (with a soft or a hard shirt) with a DJ tux and, on the vest point: there is a portrait of Herbert Buckmaster, founder of Buck's Club, in a DJ, soft shirt, black tie and white vest (circa 1960). Whether Obama knew something that many don't or he just 'struck lucky', his white tie with his tux was not, on any reasonable view, 'incorrect'. He should, though, have covered his waist.