Head Of Tailoring Nathalie May Answers Some Dinner Suit FAQs

How Did The Dinner Suit Originate?

The Dinner Suit has evolved over the years as a more casual form of dressing for dinner. Originally the wearer would dine in Formal Tails – think Downtown Abbey.

The design of the Dinner Jacket is merely a shorter version of the Tails. The shorter jacket is easier to sit in. A dinner suit has only one button on a single breasted jacket.

SILK LAPEL DINNER SUIT | GRESHAM BLAKE
CLASSIC SILK LAPEL DINNER SUIT

What Is A Dinner Suit Made From?

The first Dinner Suits and Dinner Jackets were made from velvet for smoking in. It was perceived that the velvet absorbed the smoke instead of it penetrating the opulent furnishings which were popular of the time. Smoking Jackets were often embellished with frogging and fancy trimming which showed off your level of wealth.

GREY SILK FLORAL JACKET | GRESHAM BLAKEGREY SILK FLORAL SUIIT | GRESHAM BLAKE
GREY SILK JACQUARD DINNER SUIT

These days contemporary Dinner Suits are made from Wool or Mohair (a Wool & Goat hair mix), silk, jacquard and of course, velvet. They will often have a contrast satin lapel and covered buttons and the trousers traditionally will have a stripe down the side of the leg.

BLUE VELVET DINNER JACKET | GRESHAM BLAKE
BLUE VELVET DINNER JACKET

What Is The Difference Between A Dinner Suit And A Tuxedo?

There is no difference between Black Tie, a Dinner Suit and a Tuxedo, they are all the same thing. Americans call them Tuxedos.

What Colour Can Be Worn For A Dinner Suit?

Recently Black Tie, doesn’t have to be black. Midnight blue, burgundy, ivory, plum and even bottle green are all acceptable as long as it’s dark in appearance.  That being said, you do not have to follow tradition and as a bespoke tailors we can create a dinner suit in any colour you wish.

LADIES DINNER SUIT | BESPOKE SUIT
BESPOKE LADIES DINNER SUIT IN IVORY WITH A CONTRASTING LAPEL

Mixing a black lapel and a different colour for the rest of the suit will make you stand out from the crowd.

What Lapel Should A Dinner Suit Have?

A Dinner Suit should have a contrasting fabric to the main cloth of the suit, so opt for a satin or velvet or something really fancy if the base cloth is plain.

Dinner Suit Facts | Gresham Blake
BESPOKE DINNER SUIT WITH SATIN LAPELS.

Why Does James Bond Always Look So Good In A Dinner Suit?

James Bond opts for a mohair Dinner Suit in a classic black to midnight blue with black contrast lapels.

WHY DOES JAMES BOND LOOK GOOD IN A DJ? | GRESHAM BLAKE

James Bond has his suits made and tailored and doesn’t hire them in a last min dash the day before his event.

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