Happy Birthday Tux!

Nothing is more iconic to men’s fashion and more powerful of a style statement as a classic tuxedo. Time has done very little to alter its aesthetic. It’s truly a classic.

As I was researching the tuxedo’s history, I learned that the age of the tuxedo is under dispute. While, the official word is that the venerable item is 150 years old this month, according to some sources it may in fact be only 125 years old.  The story of the tuxedo is romantic, and mysterious, and I got it down to two historical accounts as to who commissioned it first. The tuxedo was either introduced in Orange County, NY  at the “Tuxedo Park’s Autumn Ball” circa October 1886, or it was commissioned by the Prince of Wales years earlier in 1865. Nothing like a good controversy to add to its mystique!

If you want to know more about the history, there is a great article written about the tux by Jamie Johnson of “The Wall Street Journal”.

As for me, I wish that the tux was not relegated to just proms, and weddings! Sadly the social scene has changed from sophisticated classics to skinny jeans and boat shoes. (Not that skinny jeans or the boat shoes are bad, but a little social sophistication is missing in our culture.)

When buying your first tux, you should always go for the classic black tuxedo. Think James Bond. Black with a white pocket square. It’s simple and easy. Go ahead and leave out the cummerbund and vest. Depending on the occasion, incorporate color in the pocket square and socks. While shopping, please don’t fall for the sales staff trying to persuade you to add a top hat, cane, or a patterned vest. Keep it simple and let the classic tux speak for itself.

Want an excuse to wear a tuxedo in Indianapolis? How about a romantic night on the town with your significant other? Many of the Indianapolis’ world class theaters, dance companies, and museums offer special gala events throughout the year. There are also fundraising gala events that are black tie. Probably one of the most popular is the Zoobilation event held at the Indianapolis Zoo every year. For the fashion focused, next week Indianapolis will have Midwest Fashion Week. There are a couple of events planned where a tuxedo would be appropriate to wear.

To celebrate the iconic tuxedo in Indianapolis rent some James Bond, play some jazz, and get social with those who mean the most to you. The tuxedo might have been born at an elite social gala over a century ago, but being social and looking good is for everyone who chooses to embrace style. Men embrace your own personal style and enjoy the payoff!

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