8 fun facts about suits to break out at your next dinner party
We’ve compiled some great silence-breakers to help you out of awkward moments at festive season dinner parties. You’ll thank us later, promise.
- The suit as we now know it was invented in the early nineteenth century by Beau Brummel. Beau was an Eton-educated sartorial pioneer who wasn’t a fan of the stockings and decorative court ‘frocks’ that were made popular in France. He invented a simpler, more practical outfit that was a hybrid of a military uniform and the clothing worn by English country gentlemen. He was a huge fan of tailoring, insisting that every part of his body was measured.1, 5
- Vents were designed to make riding a horse in a suit easier. Victorian men loved their suits but faced a problem when they hopped on their horses: the jackets hung over their poor steed’s tails. Adding vents to the jacket allowed it to drape nicely either side and was, therefore, more comfortable for horse and rider.2
- 64% of men in the world don’t own a single suit according to a survey on AskMen. Given that a Vogue survey found that 40% of men look best in suits, gentlemen need to get themselves to a tailor ASAP!2
- A person who loves to collect (read: hoard) ties is called a ‘grabologist’. Do you know one of these?
- Pocket squares used to serve a proper purpose. First used in the fourteenth century, white squares of material (aka handkerchiefs) were carried in breast pockets to blow noses, dry hands or surrender to the enemy (or give to a lady in distress!). Once modern disposable tissues were invented they began to be made out of finer, often patterned, fabrics and became a wardrobe staple for dapper gents.2
- Shirt cuffs were originally kept longer to prevent suit cuffs from fraying. We all know the rule of leaving a specific amount of shirt cuff showing beneath your suit. Well, it’s because in the early 1900’s suits were too expensive to replace or have more than one or two of. However, it was relatively inexpensive to replace a shirt so it didn’t matter if the cuffs frayed.3
- Working cuffs were originally designed for surgeons. The buttons on the sleeves of the jacket could be undone and the sleeves rolled up to allow surgeons to get to work on the battlefield without taking their jacket off (heaven forbid!). 3
- Price Edward VII of Wales was the first man to wear a dinner suit. His tailless, blue silk smoking jacket set the trend for eveningwear and was made by Savile Row tailors Henry Poole and Co.4
Fancy a new shirt or jacket for your next dinner party? Take a look at our online shop.