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Tuxedo Pants Question

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by ADR275, Jun 2, 2006.

  1. ADR275

    ADR275 Member

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    I am having a tux made (MTM) for my wedding in September. SB peak lapel, flat front pants. The tailor asked if I wanted cuffs or not. My understanding was that ALL tuxedo pants were non-cuffed (cuffless?), regardless of whether they have pleats or not.

    His contention was that I should go with cuffs to distinguish it from a rental.

    I'm going to defer to the experts here at SF. Should I get cuffs or not?
     
  2. life_interrupts

    life_interrupts Senior member

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    Your tailor is wrong. No cuffs, no belt loops, no pleats on formal pants. If in doubt, see Alan Flusser's Dressing the Man.
     
  3. grimslade

    grimslade Senior member

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    I'm no expert, but IMHO, tuxedo pants should not have cuffs. OTOH, I think they should have pleats.
     
  4. Looking to improve

    Looking to improve Senior member

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    I am having a tux made (MTM) for my wedding in September.

    [The tailors'] contention was that I should go with cuffs to distinguish it from a rental.

    First of all, congratulations.

    Second, not to call myself an expert, but if you're having it made (to measure), the fit will set it apart from the rentals present. And you were right about the fact that all tuxedo-trousers are uncuffed.

    MtB
     
  5. Vintage Gent

    Vintage Gent Senior member

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    No cuffs. Why? The rationale is historical. Cuffs are derived from country usage, where the trouser bottoms were rolled up to protect them from splatters of mud. The trousers to a suit of dinner clothes would traditionally never be found in a setting where the wearer would be trampling upon unpaved ground, hence the inappropriateness of wearing them with cuffs.
     
  6. NoVaguy

    NoVaguy Senior member

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    Your tailor is wrong. No cuffs, no belt loops, no pleats on formal pants. If in doubt, see Alan Flusser's Dressing the Man.

    No cuffs and No belt loops. But, Flusser notwithstanding, I believe pleats are discretionary.
     
  7. stach

    stach Senior member

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    Flusser must have never seen a tuxedo from the 1930's.
     
  8. Vintage Gent

    Vintage Gent Senior member

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    Flusser must have never seen a tuxedo from the 1930's.

    More like the late 40s and 50s. I own and have come across many a suit of dinner clothes, and every tux from that era seems to have pleats. The 30s were more of a tossup, where you were just as likely to find flat-front.
     
  9. Teacher

    Teacher Senior member

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    First of all, congratulations.

    Second, not to call myself an expert, but if you're having it made (to measure), the fit will set it apart from the rentals present.

    MtB


    This is perhaps the best point that can be made. Tuxedo trousers are uncuffed and bear a stripe in order to (1.) distinguish themselves from business wear (though not all business suits are cuffed); and (2.) emphasize a clean, vertical line.
     
  10. montmorency

    montmorency Senior member

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    tuxedo pants should be pleated, uncuffed, with no belt loops and a satin or a grosgrain stripe down the side. I'm no strickler for the rules, but tuxedos are an exception.
     
  11. jml90

    jml90 Senior member

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    This is perhaps the best point that can be made. Tuxedo trousers are uncuffed and bear a stripe in order to (1.) distinguish themselves from business wear (though not all business suits are cuffed); and (2.) emphasize a clean, vertical line.
    In all fairness if you have self faced lapels you don't need a stripe
     
  12. stach

    stach Senior member

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    Then it starts turning into a black suit.
     
  13. The False Prophet

    The False Prophet Senior member

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    I don't think cuffs and pleats can be equated, and braid certainly cannot be equated to either of those. It is decorative in purpose. Cuffs and pleats are both functional.

    The difference is, pleats are functional in terms of fit, whereas cuffs are funcitonal only for certain uses - none of which a dinner suit will ever see.

    If you are ample around the waist/thighs, you'll look better in a neatly pleated pair of pants than squeezed into flat fronts. If you're not, there's no real need for pleats.

    It is a historical misnomer to say that pleats are "traditional" - indeed, quite the opposite. At a certain point, they became accepted, leading to an influx where none existed before, but it might be going too far to say that they were in vogue. I gather that both went out during WWII along with DBs due to fabric rationing.

    For my money, single forward pleats would not break up the line of trousers too much, but I would encourage you to avoid them if you can. In the same way as flapped pockets, they add an unnecessary distraction to an outfit which thrives on its simplicity.
     
  14. TCN

    TCN Senior member

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    Get a new tailor.
     
  15. Vintage Gent

    Vintage Gent Senior member

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    It is a historical misnomer to say that pleats are "traditional" - indeed, quite the opposite. At a certain point, they became accepted, leading to an influx where none existed before, but it might be going too far to say that they were in vogue. I gather that both went out during WWII along with DBs due to fabric rationing.

    Actually, the double-breasted suit jacket remained in vogue during World War II (and within the War Production Board's regulations) for a simple, pragmatic reason: most men already owned double-breasted suits. To have changed the style dramatically would have caused men to purchase new suits instead of relying on what they already had. It is correct to say however that war-time fabric rationing had an adverse effect on vests, pleats and cuffs.
     

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