White Tie & Tails: Men’s Formal Wear for 1936

Posted on September 30, 2014

Another 1930s guide to getting white tie right (similar to this one from Esquire). I also really like the blogger’s story of how essential a tuxedo was for her father back in the day.


Correct Formal Dress for Men, from 1936 Delineator Magazine Correct Formal Dress for Men, from 1936 Delineator Magazine

If you’re wondering why a site devoted to everyday fashion is featuring “white tie, top hat and tails,” it’s not just because I love old Fred Astaire movies.

The 20th century was often a more formal place than the 21st century. Many middle class men owned — and needed – formalwear.

In the 1960s, my father and I were cleaning out the attic when we found his old tuxedo. My father was ‘blue collar;’  he did manual labor. He wore carpenter’s overalls to work. But, when he took my mother dancing in the 1920s and 1930s, he wore his own tuxedo. I doubt that he owned a business suit, but the tux was essential wear for nightclubs and dances. Once, when his brother secretly borrowed my father’s dress shirt, my parents couldn’t go to the dance, because he…

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Posted in: History, White Tie