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Smoking Jacket, Dinner Jacket question - Page 2

post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by tbrock View Post

It is correct. Dinner jackets are not suits. Even in times not too long ago, if you were to refer to them as such on the Row or in upper class/aristocratic circles you would be considered a rube. Prince Michael of Kent frequently wears odd dinner/smoking jackets. He knows what he's doing.

There was a period where the vast majority would wear matching fabrics and I agree that it is still best to wear a standard barathea rig matching. But a dinner jacket is not a suit. Perhaps a tuxedo is, if a transatlantic distinction is to be made.

Maybe we're getting stuck on semantics but maybe not. A tuxedo, at origin, was formal evening wear sans tails. It was first worn that way in Tuxedo, NY hence the name. Of course, the tuxedo did not stay that way and many adjustments were made to conform to its more casual style, e.g., buttoning jacket, black tie rather than white tie, etc. One concession that I have never seen nor read about is having mismatched fabrics between the pants and jacket. The tuxedo is a suit.

A smoking jacket, on the other hand, is not a tuxedo. It is just that; a smoking jacket. And, yes, smoking jackets and pants should (maybe must) clash. But a tuxedo and a smoking jacket are not interchangeable either in style nor in occasion. A tuxedo or smoking jacket would look great at a party at home or at the club but a smoking jacket would be a bad option at a city concert.

I will assume that you inferred that I was writing about all evening, semi-formal dress rather than tuxedos. In which case, we agree when we use precise terms.
post #17 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy57 View Post


Then we can just agree to disagree. The short dinner jacket was made as in informal alternative to be worn with the trousers and accessories one already possessed. They were not originally made as suits. In fact, the clue lies in the name.

While we can certainly disagree about opinions we cannot do so about facts. And maybe this fact isn't worth the effort but there is no support that I know of for your statement that "They were not originally made as suits. In fact the clue lies in the name." In fact, they were originally made by New Yorkers who got tired of wearing tails to evening events. That is the historical fact about the origin of the tuxedo. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704132204576285250103874450
post #18 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by brax View Post

While we can certainly disagree about opinions we cannot do so about facts. And maybe this fact isn't worth the effort but there is no support that I know of for your statement that "They were not originally made as suits. In fact the clue lies in the name." In fact, they were originally made by New Yorkers who got tired of wearing tails to evening events. That is the historical fact about the origin of the tuxedo. http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704132204576285250103874450

Maybe I wrote a little too broadly. As the accompanying article points out, the exact origin is either Tuxedo New York or Edward VII, but regardless, both were simply formal evening wear without the tails. See accompanying graphics showing matching pants and jackets at Tuxedo, New York.
post #19 of 30
deleted
post #20 of 30
post #21 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by brax View Post


Maybe I wrote a little too broadly. As the accompanying article points out, the exact origin is either Tuxedo New York or Edward VII, but regardless, both were simply formal evening wear without the tails. See accompanying graphics showing matching pants and jackets at Tuxedo, New York.


Mmm, yes. No.

 

The WSJ article, what I could see of it, is not correct. The short dinner jacket was developed in the UK as an alternative to the tail coat. As such it would be worn with the same trousers as would otherwise be worn with a tail coat. A short dinner jacket was purchased (or rather commissioned) as a separate item, not as part of an ensemble, at least in it's very earliest incarnation. The first recorded such dinner jacket was apparently made by Poole in the early 1880s, at least a couple of years before it made an appearance at the Tuxedo Club in New York.

 

But I really don't have a dog in this hunt. If you want to commission, purchase, or rent a dinner jacket and matching trousers go right ahead. My prom-going days are well behind me.

post #22 of 30
The article refers to the Poole commission. It is the Edward VII commission of which I wrote. Those original Poole commission papers still exist and they show evening formal dress without tails. So that provides no evidence for your claim either. If fact, it supports my position that what we call tuxedos were and still are suits (formal evening wear sans tails).
Edited by brax - 2/17/16 at 12:45pm
post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by brax View Post

The article refers to the Poole commission. It is the Edward VII commission of which I wrote. Those original Poole commission papers still exist and they show evening formal dress without tails. So that provides no evidence for your claim either. If fact, it supports my position that what we call tuxedos were and still are suits (formal evening wear sans tails).


This is tiresome. You seem heavily invested in being right. You're one of those people. So here you are: you're absolutely right. If you want to obtain a dinner jacket with matching trousers, go right ahead. I care about as much as you might imagine.

post #24 of 30
I already own my tuxedo so this discussion really affects my decisions not a bit. My real interest is to help others avoid making huge mistakes based on someone's faulty "knowledge" of historical events.
post #25 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by brax View Post

Maybe I wrote a little too broadly. As the accompanying article points out, the exact origin is either Tuxedo New York or Edward VII, but regardless, both were simply formal evening wear without the tails. See accompanying graphics showing matching pants and jackets at Tuxedo, New York.

Henry Poole's famous first dinner jacket for Edward VII was in an electric Blue fabric, so it was not just a tailcoat with cut out tails ( that would be a mess jacket btw).

Some recent example of Velvet Dinner Jackets at the BAFTA ceremony in London, this past Sunday:


(I know, shame for the two buttons...)
post #26 of 30
Marco, this article claims that a review of the Poole archives show that the Prince commissioned an "avant-garde dinner tailless dinner jacket." All of the other literature I have seen also claims that the first tuxedo was a tailless dinner jacket. Is that wrong?

But of greater importance to me (as the above was just an explanation) is whether a tuxedo (not a smoking jacket) was a suit. I have not seen any ads or Apparel Arts diagrams showing a tuxedo to be anything but a suit. I acknowledge your deep pool (no pun intended) of knowledge. So I sincerely ask, is there any respected authority for having a tuxedo (not a smoking jacket) with clashing trousers?
post #27 of 30

annoyed ryan reynolds whatever eye roll meh

post #28 of 30
I'm not sure I understand what's at stake in this debate. A dinner jacket is a dinner jacket. A dinner suit is a dinner suit. A tuxedo is generally thought of as the same thing as a dinner suit. But not all suits are made of the same fabric: a suit made all in the same fabric is, strictly speaking "a suit of dittoes," So it is conceptually possible to have a dinner suit, even a tuxedo, that is not all in the same fabric. When we speak of "suits," we mean a suit of clothes, a set of garments that are made with the intention of being worn together indoors. We could mean by "suit" a suit of dittoes, but we don't have to. I think it is too strong to say that all dinner suits must be dinner suits of dittoes. I don't see anything odd in calling a black velvet lounge jacket with peak lapels worn with black barathea trousers with a satin stripe down the leg "a dinner suit," or even "a tuxedo." Is it the paradigm case of a tuxedo? No. Is it close enough to be reasonably called one? I think so.
post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by brax View Post

Marco, this article claims that a review of the Poole archives show that the Prince commissioned an "avant-garde dinner tailless dinner jacket." All of the other literature I have seen also claims that the first tuxedo was a tailless dinner jacket. Is that wrong?

But of greater importance to me (as the above was just an explanation) is whether a tuxedo (not a smoking jacket) was a suit. I have not seen any ads or Apparel Arts diagrams showing a tuxedo to be anything but a suit. I acknowledge your deep pool (no pun intended) of knowledge. So I sincerely ask, is there any respected authority for having a tuxedo (not a smoking jacket) with clashing trousers?

I think I still have the article somewhere of a recent interview with Henry Poole where they went through the order ledger and found the order for that very first Dinner Jacket, with specification of electric blue fabric. The smoking jacket is something completely different but somehow related, as it is meant to be an house and/or after dinner jacket, wrapping around (double breasted, designed to absorb the smoke smell, and with features like padded lapels and cuffs, braided link closures etc.
The relation is demonstrated by the fact that in Italy and other Central European countries, the dinner suit/tuxedo is still known as "smoking".

If I find the H Poole article, I will post it.
Edited by marcodalondra - 2/18/16 at 1:16am
post #30 of 30
Found this on a quick search online:

"The story of Henry Poole cutting the prototype dinner jacket for the Prince of Wales to wear at private dinners at Sandringham in 1865 is well-documented. The short smoking jacket in blue silk – an informal alternative to the white tie tailcoat – was indeed the first mention of such a garment in the company’s records and the first dinner jacket tailored on Savile Row."

Source : Henry Poole official website https://henrypoole.com/hall_of_fame/hm-king-edward-vii/
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