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A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO EVENING WEAR ( SECOND EDITION)



 

Setting the Precedent

Regency Origins (1800s)

Regency Evolution (1800-'30s)

Early/Mid Victorian (1840s-'80s)

Late Victorian (1880s, '90s)
    Dinner Jacket Debut
    Full and Informal Dress

Edwardian Era (1900s, '10s)

Jazz Age (1920s)

Depression Era (1930s)

Postwar (1940s, early '50s)

Jet Age (late 1950s, early '60s)

Counterculture (late 1960s, '70s)

Yuppie Years
    Rebirth (mid/late 1970s)
    Redux (1980s, early '90s)

Millennial Era (late 1990s, 2000s)

Epilogue: Formality's Future

 

History: Setting the Precedent

 






Fashion fades, style is forever.

Yves St. Laurent 










It is impossible for evening wear to be fully appreciated or properly executed without being familiar with its history.  Until a man understands evening wearís original intention and aesthetic logic, he is likely doomed to a formal wardrobe that fails to meet its most fundamental objectives.  Young men in particular tend to presume that simply having worn a suit intrinsically qualifies them to assemble a proper formal ensemble but this is as naive as believing that writing a high-school essay qualifies a person to author a novel.

 

A familiarity with the dinner jacketís background is particularly important for men who wish to improvise on black tie's century-old traditions because only an educated dresser can discern between fleeting fads and timeless style.  The following pages provide just such an education, conveniently condensed to the most relevant details and generously embellished with period illustrations. 

 

You may be surprised to find that unlike its somber apparel, evening wearís history is a colorful one encompassing depression and prosperity, aristocrats and hippies and ballrooms and discotheques.  So slip on your vintage smoking jacket and sit back in your favorite armchair as we begin our story with a tale of rakish dandies and maverick princes . . .

 

 

 

  
 

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