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How do you say it?

  • Tuxedo

    Votes: 27 36.5%
  • Dinner Jacket

    Votes: 47 63.5%
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Connoisseur
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Being an American I tend to favor American terminology for things; therefore I generally say tuxedo rather than the British term dinner jacket. I also tend to prefer the American vest over the British waistcoat.

This is certainly not meant as a slight to the British because I would fully expect them to be as supportive of their language as I am my own. I realize that many Americans posting here prefer not only British terminology but even use British spelling, such as colour rather than color; but it's not a big deal one way or the other. :icon_smile_big:

Cruiser
 

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Cruiser, your PC disclaimer was longer than your post. Quite an accomplishment ;)

I vote tuxedo for the reasons Cruiser mentioned: few people 'round these parts would know what I was talking about if I said "dinner jacket".
 

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I call the black coat with matching trousers worn to semi-formal events a "tuxedo." A coat that is worn in place of the black coat (but is not a smoking jacket), such as one in white, cream, or tartan, I call a "dinner jacket."
 

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I tend to call it Black Tie (or Black Tie outfit, etc.). This avoids ambiguity and hopefully will, in some small way, combat the misuse of the word "tuxedo" if perhaps one other person follows suit in my lifetime). I also like to use semi-formal to at least put the proper usage regarding dress codes back into circulation.

pbc
 

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Even for Americans (I am one), tuxedo is an incorrect word. It came about because the residents of Tuxedo Park were the first ones in the United States to wear black tie.
Not exactly. That is where the tailless jacket that we know associate with black tie was popularized (although it was first worn by the Prince of Wales for informal dining) and it was there that this new style of black tie wear became known as the tuxedo. It wasn't until later that it became popular in England where it was called a dinner jacket.

Most historians say that the term tuxedo was used to describe this attire at least two years before the term dinner jacket came into being in England; therefore, if we are to be technical and say that one is wrong and one is right we would have to say that dinner jacket is incorrect.

Cruiser
 

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I am afraid there remains a great deal of misinformation -- or at least misunderstanding -- about the origination of the dinner jacket/tuxedo. There have been many claimants: Griswold Lorillard at the Tuxedo Club (though this was not a dinner jacket at all, simply a tail coat with the tails cut off; James Brown Potter, also a Tuxedo Club member who short dinner jacketLorillard saw; Evander Berry Wall who was ejected from an event at Saratoga for wearing such a jacket three months earlier than Lorillard's first donning his tail-less tailcoat, Lord Dupplin who reportedly brought the style from Germany to Britain, and numerous frequenters of the casino at Monte Carlo and wore what the French term le smoking whilst gambling years before the garment appeared in New York. There is little question, however, that the style originated with Edward VII when Prince of Wales who first ordered such a coat from Poole's in 1865. The American connection would have to wait two decades. Indeed, it was a full twenty years later that Potter and his wife Cora were invited by HRH to Sandringham and being informed that proper dinner attire was a short jacket, Potter turned to Poole's to make him one inasmuch as he only had a full tail coat for evening wear. It was that dinner jacket Potter later brought to Tuxedo Park, and which impressed Lorillard to copy the style. By the way, Lorillard, Wall & Dupplin were Henry Poole customers as well.

As for the term "tuxedo," it is not the case that it is universally thought to be the correct American term though it is certainly used extensively here. In fact, the term was not "proper" when first used, rather, it was merely a slang way of referring to the style. That it has subseqently entered the popular vocabulary is obvious...but none of the American gentlemen who first donned this style used the term and its repeated use does not in itself make it preferable. As Alan Flusser writes " ...the term "tuxedo," often abbreviated to "tuck," or even worse, "tux" is thankfully confined to the United States...it is correctly termed the dinner jacket both here and abroad and rarely called a tuxedo even in Tuxedo Park, New York."
 

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As Alan Flusser writes " ...the term "tuxedo," often abbreviated to "tuck," or even worse, "tux" is thankfully confined to the United States...it is correctly termed the dinner jacket both here and abroad and rarely called a tuxedo even in Tuxedo Park, New York."
While I agree that there are certainly many different accounts of how this item of clothing developed (and I have no way of verifying whether what I said is entirely accurate), I don't know that I would give any more credence to what Flusser said that I would any of the other historians who have written on this, and not all agree with Flusser.

The fact is that there is no shortage of Americans who think that just because the British do something a certain way, it must be the most correct way. Like I said in my prior post, just look through this forum and see how many Americans spell "colour" and "favourite", using the British spelling, or "waist coat" instead of "vest". That they should also favor the term "dinner jacket" over "tuxedo" is certainly no surprise to me. I just don't happen to subscribe to that school of thought and am not ashamed of the way we do things in America. This is a great country. :icon_smile:

And as for Flusser, I have several sport coats from his inexpensive line and I love them. Very good value for the money.

Cruiser
 
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