Monday, March 25, 2013

History's Runway: The Helford Dinner Suit, 1928-1929

Dinner Suit
England, 1928-1929
The Victoria & Albert Museum

A fashionable gent of the late 1920s would have certainly had in his wardrobe two different types of evening outfits. One, a dinner suit, would have been worn to less formal parties, evenings at the theatre and concerts. Meanwhile, his white waistcoat and tails were reserved for formal evening dress—perfect for dances, public dinners, and state assemblies. This distinction was understood and taken seriously. It wasn’t unusual for a stylish West End hotel to refuse admission to a dance should a man appear in a dinner jacket and not his tails. 

Here’s an example of a handsome dinner suit of black wool made between 1928 and 1929. The suit consists of a jacket, trousers and a waistcoat. The maker is unknown.

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