Originally Posted by archibaldleach
Normally more formal garments get cast aside over time, so I think we're more likely to see the tuxedo disappear entirely than to see it come in a different version to be a mainstay of daytime formalwear. I'd expect the "grey tuxedo" to exist almost entirely in rental shops. In a sense, morning dress has been replaced by the lounge suit. We should not necessarily expect to see something new and more complex than a lounge suit come in and replace the lounge suit in certain daytime circumstances.
The problem is that a "grey tuxedo" really doesn't do much that a 3 piece suit does not and really doesn't even do what a 3 piece suit does as well, especially a 3 piece suit with a lower cut vest than is seen on the traditional business version. The tuxedo works because a black jacket with silk facings looks good in the evening and achieves a high level of contrast with the largely visible white shirt topped off with a bow tie. IMO there's a reason silk facings never took off for daytime formalwear. There's not really much point to them in that context. Heck, even a good 2 piece suit will look better than a tuxedo most of the time. I believe mafoofan posted wedding pictures with him in a 2 piece grey suit and he looked better than anyone in a rented grey tuxedo. I empathize with the desire to see more daytime formalwear, but if we don't get a more elegant variation on what people wear already out of the deal, I don't really see the point.
Obviously anyone wearing a properly tailored suit is going to look better than someone in rented attire. If the convention actually manages to establish itself, people will be able to buy, and properly fit, their grey semi-formal day time suit, whatever it ends up being called. Like with Tuxedos, there would be a range of well designed, to atrocious. Those that I think would become popular among the discerning, are those with silk faced edges, rather than fully silk faced lapels - like the Morning Coat/Waistcoat set that Prince Charles often wears. Essentially, they will be three piece suits, with an added decoration.
I'm not arguing in favour of this becoming the day time standard of formal, or semi-formal, attire. I'm saying I think it's what will evolve, based on what I'm seeing people do. People are rejecting the Tuxedo for day time weddings because they are questioning the North American convention of wearing Tuxedos (or some incorrect version of them) for all weddings, because black suits just don't look very good in sunlight. I believe that is the motivation for moving to the grey version, as it is more than a suit, but can still look good during the day. I would much rather see a resurgence in morning dress, but, as you say yourself, the morning coat stands a greater chance of being completely discarded than having a serious renaissance on this side of the Atlantic. A formal convention of any kind gives the gentlemen in attendance the uniformity of formal dress, whatever the dress code entails. If a distinct convention of "grey suits for a wedding" evolved, that would achieve the same result, and I don't see any reason one couldn't punch up a lovely grey suit for special, more formal, occasions, with a tasteful detail like understated silk edging on his lapels. Like most things, if it's done poorly, it will be hideous, but if it's done well it could be lovely.
Again, I'm not arguing on behalf of grey "formal suits," and I'm not suggesting that rented attire is ever superior to properly fitted clothes. Just based on what I observed in the planning process of my own wedding, this is the direction I see things going, and I don't think it would, necessarily, be bad if it happened. These would, then, be suits people would start buying, designers would start designing, and manufacturers would start manufacturing. But, anyway, it's not a proposition, but rather an observation, and a prediction. Essentially, the luncheon suit - TRADEMARK! - may well evolve from the Tuxedo over the period of 2000-2040, the way that its predecessor evolved from White Tie a hundred years previous.