SMOKING BY CLEOFE FINATI
The dinner jacket or dinner jacket entered the male wardrobe between the second half of the 19th and the early 20th century, during the Belle époque years.
In this period, men’s fashion looked to London, especially to Edward Prince of Wales; it was in fact the latter figure who introduced the use of the dinner jacket as evening wear. Until the Second World War, dinner jackets and tailcoats were the garments to be worn on evening occasions. With the end of the conflict, however, ‘the obligation’ remained exclusively linked to the dinner jacket.
This is a male suit used for ceremonies or balls, consisting of a dark-coloured jacket with satin lapels, single- or double-breasted; trousers always dark. The shirt on the other hand must be strictly white, plain or pleated, with double cuffs for mother-of-pearl buttons and cufflinks. To complete the look, the accessories are missing: a black bow tie to be tied in a “classic knot” and black pump shoes, patent leather Oxford model.
Unlike other men’s suits, the dinner jacket has retained the status of “evening dress par excellence” so much so that it is not recommended for daytime ceremonies (not to be worn before 6pm).
Nowadays, this garment is recommended for late-afternoon/evening weddings, gala events, theatre and opera. The most popular colours are black and dark blue.
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