Formal Evening Wear. Question about the trousers.

Discussion in 'General Attire & Accoutrements' started by GHT, Oct 14, 2018.

  1. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    New Forest
    Do the trousers of a formal dinner suit (tuxedo) of the era, have turned up cuffs at the bottom hem? If so, would the thin black satin ribbon down the length of the trouser leg end inside the said turned up cuff, or would it extend to the cuff itself?
    My two dinner suits are both of the modern era, so no cuffs, but they were bought and used for dancing, the Latin and Ballroom type. Turned up cuffs went out of fashion in the 1950's and are rarely seen anywhere these days.
    I'm planning on a new, made to measure formal black evening suit, with wide lapels and double breasted jacket. I would love to defy convention and have turned up cuffs, but the ribbon sash, where does it end? No amount of Google searching has produced an answer, all the photos and artist's sketches concentrate on the upper part of the body, so I'm hoping that someone here might just have a photo of a relative, or maybe a newspaper cutting, of a late 1930's formal suit.
    And as a late thought, my tailor would know, he's kitted out a few celebs in his time.
     
  2. OldStrummer

    OldStrummer Practically Family

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    Ashburn, Virginia USA
    No, there are no cuffs on the trousers of a tuxedo. I have owned tuxedos most of my life and have never seen/had one with cuffs. I also worked in a haberdashery years ago. Trust me on this one.

    In fact, most tuxedo trousers don't break at the ankle. Held in place by braces, the trousers should just touch the top of the shoe, which should be a patent leather loafer (tie-ups will suffice, if they are patent leather).
     
  3. GHT

    GHT I'll Lock Up

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    You describe my modern tuxedos perfectly, and as you have said, vintage suits never had the cuff. Thanks for letting me know.
    Is the satin leg ribbon a modern idiom or was it a fashion icon of the era?
     
  4. Hap Hapablap

    Hap Hapablap One of the Regulars

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    The satin or grosgrain ribbon is part of the tradition of certain formalwear having a military origin. The tailcoat has a similar history.
     
  5. Edward

    Edward Bartender

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    London, UK
    Yes - trousers for semi-formal and formal evening wear and daywear a like should be absent cuffs. Cuffs are a fashion thing that have come and gone across different eras, but only for 'casual' wear in lounge suits and trousers.

    The stripe down the side of evening trousers does indeed reflect military origins. Originally, at least here in the UK, trousers for white tie would have two stripes while trousers for black tie have one, but in practice one sees this distinction even more rarely than white tie more generally. I agree that they should be tailored with no break, just touching the shoe at most. (Personally, I prefer all my trousers with little or no break, but that's another matter).
     
  6. Mathematicus

    Mathematicus A-List Customer

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    Coventry, UK
    Trousers which do not touch the top of the shoe are too short and will look silly once one moves around (unless they are clenched tight to the ankles, in which case they look ever sillier).

    The traditional hem of trousers should touch the back of the shoe just above the heel and touch the front top in a way that no sock is visible when walking. This may results in a break, whose depth varies depending on several factors (how trousers are held up, angle from back hem to front hem, width of leg opening...).
     
  7. fabiovenhorst

    fabiovenhorst One Too Many

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    Location:
    Gaspar - SC - Brazil
    Indeed, formal and semi formal trousers never had cuffs. The braid on the legs is traditional, as said it's from military origin.
     

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