AskDefine | Define tuxedo

Dictionary Definition

tuxedo n : semiformal evening dress for men [syn: dinner jacket, tux, black tie]

User Contributed Dictionary



From Tuxedo Park, New Jersey, USA, where the fashion originated.


  • a US , /tʌkˈsidoʊ/, /tVk"sidoU/
  • a UK /tʌkˈsiːdəʊ/, /tVk"si:d@U/


  1. A typically black formal jacket worn by men
  2. The entire suit complementing and including this jacket


(formal jacket)
(formal suit)

Derived terms


formal jacket
  • Croatian: smoking
  • Czech: smokink
  • Finnish: smokki
  • French: smoking
  • German: Smoking , Tuxedo
  • Greek: σμόκιν
  • Hungarian: szmoking
  • Turkish: smokin
formal suit
  • Estonian: smoking


Extensive Definition

The tuxedo is a man's dress suit of clothes in the semi-formal, black tie evening dress convention. A traditional tuxedo jacket is woolen and single-breasted. The jacket has peaked, shawl, notch, or trick lapels (which includes Mandarin and other non-conventional styles), traditionally covered with satin, and more modern styles are trimmed in grosgrain or wool. The buttons should be satin-covered. Trousers should be in the same wool as the jacket, with the side seams decorated in an inch-wide satin ribbon matching the lapel. The shirt is white with linked cuffs. The shirt may be pleated with a turn-down collar and French or barrel cuffs, or have a pique bib front with either a turn-down collar and French cuffs or a wing collar and barrel cuffs. Tradition dictates a black bow tie complementing the lapels, cummerbund or low-cut 3-button waistcoat, and patent leather Oxford shoes appropriately accessorize the tuxedo. More contemporary fashions often feature a full 5 or 6 button vest matching the color of one's partner's dress, with a matching bow tie or four-in-hand-knotted tie of the same color.
The tuxedo is what is worn when black tie attire is specified. In recent years, the American tuxedo has distanced itself from the English dinner jacket and black tie conventions. Tuxedos are now commonly seen with notch lapels and 2 or 3 buttons. These have become more common as they are easier for manufacturers to produce since they use the same pattern as a business suit and are more accepted in mainstream America. Full-back vests have become more commonplace as well due to the incomplete look of the traditional bib style, open back, 3 button vests when the coat is not worn. Many recent popular tuxedo styles are merely three piece suits with notched collars, flap pockets, high cut vests, and long ties. Only the fabric of the suit, not the cut or style, differentiates the modern tuxedo from a business suit.
Etymologically, tuxedo, tux, and dinner jacket are the American words for this semi-formal evening dress. The former are the mainstream and colloquial usages, the latter is specific to the Anglophile Northeast U.S. — all three denote and connote the complete suit of clothes. Dinner jacket and black tie are the British English equivalents.


The tuxedo's history dates from 1860, when Henry Poole & Co. (Savile Row's founders), created a short smoking jacket for the Prince of Wales (Edward VII of the United Kingdom) to wear to informal dinner parties. Per sartorial legend, in spring of 1886, because the Prince fancied Cora Potter, he invited her husband, James Potter, a rich New Yorker, to Sandringham house, his Norfolk hunting estate. When Potter asked the Prince's dinner dress recommendation, he sent Potter to Henry Poole & Co., in London. On returning to New York in 1886, Potter's dinner suit proved popular at the Tuxedo Park Club; the club men copied him, soon making it their informal dining uniform.
Linguistically, the word tuxedo predates dinner jacket by two years, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. It has been inaccurately used to denote any form of formal dress or semi-formal dress including white tie, morning dress, and strollers.


tuxedo in German: Smoking
tuxedo in French: Smoking (vêtement)
tuxedo in Italian: Smoking
tuxedo in Dutch: Smoking
tuxedo in Japanese: タキシード
tuxedo in Norwegian: Smoking
tuxedo in Polish: Smoking
tuxedo in Portuguese: Smoking
tuxedo in Simple English: Tuxedo
tuxedo in Finnish: Smokki
tuxedo in Swedish: Smoking
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