Published on October 27th, 2016 | by Janine Giorgenti


The Origin of the Tuxedo

A New York Thing?

By Janine Giorgenti

Recently I designed and fitted a young groom with a tuxedo for his wedding. During the final fitting, looking dapper, smiling and admiring himself in the mirror, he asked me jokingly. Who invented these penguin suits?

I thought possibly it was an explorer-wanna-be-designer who went to South Pole and was inspired by these formal-looking magnificent creatures, but thought I should do a little more research before jumping to conclusions. Here’s the scoop.

To my surprise it comes from New York. That’s right. Tuxedo Park, in upstate New York.


Young Griswold Lorillard, the son of Tuxedo Park developer and tobacco magnate Pierre Lorillard IV, a wealthy American aristocrat, was to attend the Autumn Ball.

Griswold invented the dinner jacket on a whim, after getting frustrated that his tails were interfering with sitting and dancing. Thus the tailless tuxedo burst onto the scene.


In the thirties, the Tuxedo was the standard mode of dress for all dinner attire. In the 1940’s it was trumped by the suit and was worn primarily for black-tie and formal occasions. Black Tie also became ‘Blue Tie’ as mills churned out more navy fabric during the war.

Tuxedos throughout the years took on many variations. Peak lapel, notched lapels, shawl collar, and double breasted all became acceptable options.


Today, everything goes when it comes to formal attire. Beach weddings with no shoes or sandals in white tuxedos. Tuxedo jackets worn over jeans for hipsters. The resurgence of the midnight blue and indigo tuxedos that prevailed at the Oscar awards.


One thing, however, remains constant. Tuxedos are worn for special or memorable events. So, maybe the penguins got it right as they slip and slide and have happy feet. Tuxedos are worn for fun occasions.


Looking to be the star at your next wedding or black-tie affair? Giorgenti does Long Island’s sharpest Tuxedo ensembles!


Book your fitting with Janine Giorgenti at Giorgenti New York’s new Garden City location!

Call (516) 200-4088 (office) or (646) 957-6916 (cell).

The Garden City showroom is located at:

1325 Franklin Avenue
Suite 255
Garden City, NY 11530

About the Author

Janine Giorgenti

For over 25 years, Janine Giorgenti, renowned fashion designer and image consultant – has provided a long line of satisfied clients with unparalleled service and first class made-to-measure custom suits. Featured in the Wall Street Journal, Vogue Magazine, The New York Times, CNN, Fox News, CBS, and other top media outlets – Janine has established a clientele of some of New York’s most successful and discerning professionals – including such New York dignitaries as former New York Islanders legend Bobby Nystrom and chief economist Dr. Irwin Kellner.

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The Origin of the Tuxedo

by Janine Giorgenti