There are many theories about the creation of the tuxedo, but popular belief acknowledges a man called Pierre Lorillard IV; a wealthy tobacco magnate of the 19th century. He and his family lived in a residential colony named Tuxedo Park, 40 miles northwest of New York City.
As the party season arrives, men everywhere will be reaching for one of the most stylish and iconic outfits in existence. We are of course talking about the tuxedo. But where did this distinctive piece originate from? How did this special monochrome ensemble become every man’s go-to for special events and occasions? We thought we’d bring you some answers in our latest blog post...
The Lorillard family socialised among the highest and most affluent circles at the time, and Pierre helped determine Tuxedo Park as an elite hunting and fishing destination. Following this, Tuxedo Park’s residents and regular guests established their own extravagant social organisation called the Tuxedo Club.
In October of 1886, the Tuxedo Club’s first annual Autumn Ball was held. Men’s formal attire consisted of a long tailcoat and white tie at this time; however the forward-thinking Pierre Lorillard decided to have his black jacket altered so that it would be tailless. Many say that Lorillard was inspired by a dinner jacket designed by Savile Row tailor Henry Poole & Co., the tailor to England’s Prince of Wales who went on to become King Edward VII.
Although Lorillard did not go through with his rebellious fashion plans for the ball, his son Griswold Lorillard and several of his friends, did. This short jacket made an instant style statement that surprisingly caught on right away. Named after the town it made its first appearance, the “tuxedo” went on to become a timeless classic that no man’s wardrobe is complete without.