The Prince of Wales and the Dinner Jacket….
My recent velvet Dinner Jacket has received a number of compliments and provoked discussions as to the origins of Dinner Suits; so I thought I would share a brief history of it, and there is obviously a clue in the title. In 1860 Savile Row created a short smoking jacket for the then Prince of Wales for him to wear at informal dinner parties as an alternative to white tie which was the standard formal dress.It later became embedded in tailoring history when an American named James Potter visited the Prince, and on the Princes recommendation, ordered a short smoking jacket from the Princes tailor. Due to the Prince championing the style it had become accepted in Britain, but when Potter returned to America he wore it at Tuxedo Park Club where it became all the rage. Hence in the USA it is know as A Tuxedo or Tux. It was a couple of years later that it became known as a DJ or Dinner Jacket in Britain.
There have been 3 further Prince of Wales since the inception of the Dinner Jacket and I am proud that I am one of a small number of tailors that have had the privilege of making a Dinner Suit for a Prince of Wales, and before you ask, it was for Prince Charles as shown below.