Homecoming Fashion Tips

The homecoming dance is like the Golden Globe Awards of high school and although there may not be a red carpet, people will be looking at what you are wearing. The pictures taken of you throughout the night will likely be online for public display within 24 hours of the dance’s completion. You’ve got to worry about finding a date, asking her, booking a limo, picking out a corsage, and picking the perfect spot to eat before so don’t go through all that only to look like everyone else at the party. Follow the advice below to see how you can impress your date, peers, and everyone in between simply by sticking with choices that have stood the test of time.

When dressing for homecoming the two best things to remember are to stay classic and complimentary. You want to look great on your own, but after all the trouble getting this girl to be your date you should look like you belong with her.

Start with the Troy Black Tuxedo from Stephen Geoffrey.This jacket is a pretty traditional piece spiced up with a modern silhouette and satin lapel sure to charm the socks of your date.

stephen-geoffrey-troy-black-tuxedo

 

Next, grab the Microfiber Formal Shirt in white. This is an ultra soft shirt that is comfortable and you won’t have to worry about it wrinkling.

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Pair with Flat Front Formal Trousers in black Super 100’s Wool. These are going to breathe and the adjustable waist will help you get your dance on comfortably.

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Now that the basics are covered, let’s move onto the accessories.  This is where you get to show a little flare, but also remember to keep your date’s outfit in mind. Match your vest, tie, and pocket square to the color of your date’s dress.  If it has a lot of colors in it, pick the one you like best or if she wants to keep her wardrobe a surprise stick with black or white.

The Fusion Fullback Vest is a classy choice and you may add some flare without distracting from your date with a patterned tie – either the Striped Windsor or the Vine Windsor – or you can get really spunky with a Bow Tie.  If you want to show a little more of your personality, top off your look with a Black Fedora hat.

fullback-vest-fusion-red  fedora-hat-black

 

All of the choices above are going to make you stand out to your peers and give you an heir of confidence that is sure to make the night a hit. And the best part: you can find the closest retail store to you carrying this ensemble by visiting our Store Locator. So don’t wait until the last minute. Make the arrangements for the perfect homecoming dance now, and count the heads turning later.

History of the Tuxedo – Part 2

Images courtesy of The Tuxedo Club.

Images courtesy of The Tuxedo Club.

In Part 1 of our 2 part series, we discussed the unusual origins of the word “tuxedo” which has become a familiar term relating to men’s formalwear. In Part 2 of the series, we will discuss the men at the heart of this origin story and how the tuxedo became part of formal fashion.

The Emergence of the Tuxedo Club

When we left off with the history of the tuxedo, we learned about Tuxedo Park and a country club established in New York for wealthy aristocrats by one of their own, Pierre Lorillard IV. From Tuxedo Park emerged a number of homes surrounding the country club, cementing the club as an important landmark for this community. Eventually, the society of Tuxedo Park developed an elite group of wealthy men that formed what was eventually known as the Tuxedo Club.

This club revolved around a social calendar that included formal events, like balls, and sporting events that allowed the men to enjoy leisure time in the community. The club even established a golf course, tennis courts and allowed for members to enjoy boating on the grounds.

Image courtesy of The Tuxedo Club.

Image courtesy of The Tuxedo Club.

The Rise of Fashion Rebellion

Before the tuxedo became a larger player in aristocratic circles in Gilded Age America, men who attended the country club would typically wear a formal white coat and tie. However, the way in which the tuxedo emerged is hard to discern because there are multiple tales about who exactly wore the first one to a formal event at the Tuxedo Club.

Some of the lore surrounding the tuxedo attributes Lorillard’s son Griswold to bringing the fashionable, new outfit to the first Autumn Ball of 1886, which later became an annual event. According to this story, Pierre Lorillard, his father, commissioned a modified “tail-less” black jacket to wear to the ball inspired by a dinner jacket designed by Savile Row tailor Henry Poole & Co., who was England’s Prince of Wales’ tailor at the time. In this version of the story, Pierre decided last minute not to wear this radical new fashion, but Griswold and his friends modeled their outfits on his and made a splash at the ball.

Another version of the tuxedo story, which comes straight from the Tuxedo Club itself, attributes the tuxedo to Tuxedo Club member James Brown Potter. The summer prior to the first Autumn Ball, Potter and his wife Cora, while visiting England, received an invite from the Prince of Wales to join him at Sandringham, his country estate, for the weekend. Mr. Potter was unsure of what to wear for the dinner, and after asking the Prince, was instructed to visit his tailor in London to get fitted for a short jacket, rather than a tailcoat, for dinner, as the Prince had personally adopted this style and had grown to like it. After Potter returned to the United States and showed other Tuxedo Club members this new fashion trend, they embraced it and had their own tailors copy his style.

Visit Jim’s Formal Wear’s blog next time for Part 3 of the history of the tuxedo, where we discuss how the formalwear spread beyond the Tuxedo Club.

History of the Tuxedo – Part 1

The tuxedo is the most recognized formalwear for men in modern fashion, but its origins are not as commonly known to people as the style of the outfit. In this three part series, we will discuss where the tuxedo came from, its evolution over time and the tuxedo we are familiar with today.

Left to Right: a 1931 Tuxedo advertisement, a classic tuxedo

Left to Right: a 1931 Tuxedo advertisement, a classic tuxedo

Origins of the Word

The word “tuxedo” has deeply American roots and originally did not have to do with formalwear. The word P’tauk-seet-tough, which shares its phonetics with the word we use today, was an Algonquin word given to land in New York by the Algonquin Indian tribe.

The word that evolved into “tuxedo” has been attributed both to an Indian chief with the name P’tauk-seet-tough and to the meaning “home of the bear.” In some circles, the word  tucsedo came from the Lenape language of the Delaware Indians. The word we know today as “tuxedo” in its current spelling may have been translated by the Dutch when they were granted the land we know today as southern New York State in the 1700′s. Regardless of its true origins – Lenape, Algonquin or Dutch – it is a certainty that the word “tuxedo” truly evolved from multiple cultures as history brought people from Europe into America.

The Rise of Tuxedo Park and the Tuxedo Club

Fast forward to the 1800′s, and Tuxedo, New York, a town in the same land the Indians had claimed before, grew in population. The Gilded Age was approaching, and American tobacco manufacturer Pierre Lorillard IV developed the idea behind the Tuxedo Club in 1886.

Tuxedo Park Founder Pierre Lorillard IV

Tuxedo Park Founder Pierre Lorillard IV

This planned community was a country club that southwest of Tuxedo Park, a village associated with the larger town of Tuxedo. Lorillard had inherited 13,000 acres around Tuxedo Lake, and with help from other wealthy New Yorkers, he developed the prestigious club that became the birthplace of the formal outfit we know as the tuxedo.

Top: the Tuxedo Club in 1920, Bottom: the Autumn Ball at the Tuxedo Club, 1959

Top: the Tuxedo Club in 1920, Bottom: the Autumn Ball at the Tuxedo Club, 1959

Coming soon… Part 2 and Part 3 on the origins of the tuxedo from Jim’s Formal Wear!

Fashion Tips for the Recent College Graduate

The college years can be some of the most memorable times in a person’s life. It’s a time for learning new things, meeting people different from yourself, and going through lots of exciting experiences. There are a lot of experiences that you might have in college that you won’t have in the real world… Going to bed at 3:00 am and sleeping until noon on a regular basis might be an example of one. Wearing a t-shirt imprinted with a tuxedo graphic to a formal party might be another!

Once you are out of college, it’s time to start dressing like a respectable adult. Very few people are born with a good sense of style, however, there are some general ground rules that will help get you on the road to looking good.

Be Conservative - This is especially true for social events like weddings or holiday parties. Unlike college, where the center of attention is usually fought for by means of flashy shirts and unruly behavior, weddings and other social activities for folks in their mid to late 20’s are centered around other people. And, those people may not appreciate being upstaged. So avoid the flashy stuff and grab something conservative to wear. In the end (despite what your old college sense of style may be telling you) you will look nicer, you will have shown respect to the people who are rightfully at the center of attention, and you will look like a grown up.

What should you wear to a swanky wedding should an invite arrive in the mail? Well, at the very least a pair of dress pants, a dress shirt, and a tie is a given. A sport coat shows you care about your appearance, so consider it, too. But, if the invitation requests you go formal -or- you would like to and know it’s OK, a Classic White Dinner Jacket with black pants and a black satin bow tie will insure you look good and are in style.

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You can’t go wrong with this timeless look – a Classic White Shawl Dinner Jacket with black trousers and a black satin bow tie. Plus, it’s a very affordable tuxedo rental and you can make it happen by visiting your nearest Jim’s Formal Wear Retailer’s Store

Attend Your Accessories – Your clothes are important, but some might say your accessories are just as important. For starters, keep your shoes clean. I know it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but you’d be surprised to know how many women look at your shoes as a sign of overall fashion sense. If you wear your dress shoes regularly, make general rules for yourself to shine your shoes once every other week or never put your shoes away unless they have trees inside.

The same can be said about your clothes. Don’t go out in wrinkly shirts and pants that have been worn multiple times between washes. Iron your clothes and hang them up properly. They belong in a closet and not draped over your exercise bike!

There are some accessories that allow men to show a little individuality, such as a watch. Try to avoid anything with too much ‘bling,’ but you don’t want to be wearing your childhood Batman watch either.

Also, don’t dismiss little things like a belt or cuff links. Little details go a long way in making an impression on someone.Whether you like it or not, you’re at an age where your looks make an impression on the people you meet, from potential employers to potential dates. Dress to impress! Make yourself look like a good product to buy. Hopefully this is not the first time you have heard it, but you will never get a second chance at a first impression.

Best wishes, and good luck in the real world!