We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Story is that the tuxedo was indeed invented (and named after) the exclusive and still exclusive private neighborhood of Tuxedo Park, NY.
It was especially taken up by the youth at the turn of the century, who hated the fuddy-duddy formal wear, and dinner wear, of the time copied from aristocratic Brits. In 1889, the tux was accepted as appropriate wear in the Dress Circle at the Met Opera. Officially, a tux is considered "semi-formal;" but the meanings of formal, semi-formal, etc have devolved rapidly in the informal direction for two generations.
Nowadays, "black tie" evening weddings, for example, means tux, not tails. Nobody owns tails outside the royals and, for the past two generations in the US, events with tails are considered pretentious and in poor taste. Rented costumes. No royals in the USA.
Most women will say that all men look best in a tux, and absurd in tails. As time goes on, my need for my nice Brooks tux (had it for at least 30 years and wore some holes in the pockets) decreases each year. Last year, I only needed it twice. Suits seem fine for weddings and fancy holiday parties these days.
I can't say that I have but my parents have. If memory serves, they generally wore costumes although I do remember my father kidding me several times that he had to wear his "monkey suit" and that could have been in conjunction with an occasional Mardi Gras. Straining my brain, I also think I remember there are several "types" of people at a Mardi Gras ball - the court (king, queen, etc.), the guests (or participants) and the spectators for lack of a better term.
If someone here has more experience or a better memory, I'd be happy to be corrected. It has been well over forty years since my parents were involved with them and I never was but looking back I sometimes wish I had taken the route my parents would have preferred for me in which case I would have more experience with those balls but on the other hand, I never would have met Mrs. Mudbug.
Every gentleman should own a tux...and wear it for the appropriate occasion. Daughter’s wedding comes to mind. Something about wearing a tux makes every man stand a little taller. And your wife will give you an approving look rather than the usual “look”.
I don't think I've ever seen a tux in the flesh. Of course in the later years of my Air Force career they did come out with a mess dress uniform that I had to buy and (self consciously) wear several times before I retired. It was black & white, so maybe it was our version of the tux - so long ago I can't really remember.
A man with a smashing figure looks smashing in tails, just as he would look smashing in a priest's cassock.
The inexorable trend in men's fashion is that formal years from some decades back takes on the air of servants' livery for today. A few decades ago, bellboys, waiters, and car attendants affected something close to the formal wear of their grandfathers. Today the lawyers wear suits while the tech execs have moved through Miami Vice casual down to beachwear. Will the servants/lawyers/accounts wear jogging suits in a few decades? Whatever will the elite have on? Mylar jumpsuits with holographic images?