History and Care of the Tuxedo

Tuxedos made their first appearance in England in the 1880s. The normal daywear among the British middle and upper class was quite formal, but the increasing popularity of outdoor activities led to the need for a more casual suit, and men also desired a similar alternative to the formal evening tailcoat.

Characterized by satin or grosgrain facings on the jacket’s buttons and lapels, along with a similar stripe along the outseam of the trousers, the tux is named primarily for the jacket. The suit is usually black or perhaps midnight blue, and is often referred to as a smoking jacket or dinner suit.

Today, a myriad of tuxedos are worn, ranging from classic to imaginative. Though the wedding gown usually receives the most attention and thought, the tux is, without doubt, an important part of your wedding, and taking good care of your tux is a critical part of proper long-term care of such fine attire.

Tuxedos are usually made of finer fabrics, and special care should be taken to clean and press it. You should only have your tux dry cleaned, and never try to clean it yourself. Certified Wedding Gown Specialists are your best bet for great tuxedo care since they will be the most familiar with handling formal wear. When having the tux cleaned, treat your jacket and trousers together – they must be treated equally.

As with cleaning, alterations are also best left to the professionals. Do plenty of research to ensure you are taking your tux to a shop with a proven track record, and then leave the work to them.

Between cleanings, air your tux out both before and after wearing. While dry cleaning is the only way to clean a tux, cleanings do take their toll on clothes, so cleanings should be infrequent.

To store: hang the tux on a proper hanger – never on a wire hanger! – and store in a breathable bag. Your closet is a fine place to store it, but do check for moths and other pests every two – three months. Do not leave it in the sun and do not ever iron it. Again, all cleaning, pressing, or alteration care must be done by a professional.

Whenever you wear your tux, do remember to be careful, but also enjoy – you did not pay all that money to walk around scared! Think James Bond, and go have fun!

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