[Ads-l] Antedating "Tuxedo" - October 1888 (men's formal wear), April 1887 (women's sportswear)
pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Fri May 28 00:00:25 EDT 2021
"Tuxedo" as an item of men's formal wear, Clothier and Furnisher, Volume
18, Number 3, October 1888, page 29.
[Begin excerpt] THE TUXEDO COAT.
The short coat has got to come!
It has been scoffed at and derided. So eminent an authority as the
major domo of the Grand Union Hotel ballroom at Saratoga, Summer before
last, refused to permit that incontrovertible authority on all that is
correct in attire, Mr. Evander Berry Wall, upon the dancing floor when
he sprang the innovation upon his less tutored gaze.
This rebuff traveled the length and breadth of the land, and afforded
solace to a large majority of the swells who had openly declared against
it from the first.
Despite ridicule and hostility the curtailed dress coat has fought its
way into a vacant niche in the gentleman’s wardrobe and may tritely but
truly be described as filling a long felt want.
In England the new garment has been known for some time past as the
“Cowes Coat,” and in this country it has taken the aristocratic title,
the “Tuxedo.”[End Excerpt.]
In 2002, Barry Popik posted here an item from May 1887, about "Tuxedo
Summer Suits" sold by James McCreery & Co.
That item did not clearly describe the outfit.
I recently ran across a slightly earlier example, and more detailed
descriptions and images of the outfit.
The Richmond Item (Richmond, Indiana), April 21, 1887, page 3.
[Begin Excerpt]Picturesque Suit for Out Door Sports.
Numbered with new costumes entirely original in design and very
attractive in appearance is the Tuxedo suit, introduced this spring and
especially adapted for out door exercises. The Tuxedo is a regularly
knitted costume, in which are employed the finest of worsted materials,
showing contrasting colors.[End Excerpt.]
It turns out it was a knit outfit made for women's and girls' sports,
tennis, boating, and such, with a coordinated stocking cap.
The "Tuxedo" jacket is said to have been introduced at Tuxedo Park, New
York, in October 1886, at the first ball held in their first season of
operation, a couple years before the earliest known examples of the name
of the jacket in print. This usage fell between those dates.
I put together a short bit about them on my blog.
The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org
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