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The Gentlemen’s Tux Club: tux redux

Take the plunge, put on a penguin suit

This preserved art looks better than the real thing
This preserved art looks better than the real thing

“All my tuxes are in Texas,” says this gent. He laughs a Texas-size laugh.

I’m looking to rent a tux for myself.

Place

Gentlemens Tux Club

999 F Street, San Diego

It’s not something I’ve done a lot. But there’s a lot to it. The bow tie, the studded shirt, the cummerbund, all blasts from a distant past, and yet so popular this last season that they say there’s a shortage of suits.

But I had to take the plunge, put on a penguin suit. It was because my society-flitting buddy Diana has nailed tickets to a soiree of Strauss-type music and smoky French ballads. She’s taking me and my fiancée Diane for a bit of culture. I already established a sort of reputation when I accompanied Diana to a classy concert on the racetrack in Del Mar. My major contribution there? Starting to applaud after the first movement of a Mozart piece.

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Tonight is lighter, music-wise, but heavier, dress-code-wise. Has to be a tux, with studded shirt and cummerbund, silk-striped trousers, cuff links and shiny black shoes that would make a CIA spook feel right at home.

You walk in off the street to this clubby corner store, The Gentleman’s Tux Club at F and 9th. Your eyes take a moment to adjust. “Welcome,” says Vanessa, the lady behind the counter. “What is the occasion?” I say something about the La Jolla Music Society. “We have been slammed ever since September,” says Vanessa. She puts this down to pent-up post-covid demand for weddings, anniversaries and reunions.

Vanessa’s laying out my jacket. I notice the side pockets are sewn closed.  “COST: $250. There is a $30 charge if you open the pockets of the tuxedo,” says a page with rules for renting. “Late returns will be charged $25 each day.” So prices up, for sure, but what strikes me is how the fashion and style haven’t changed a jot. This outfit looks exactly the same as I remember it. It strikes me how little everything has changed in this world of formal party rags, right down to the descriptors.

*Tuxedo: “crooked water” in the Native American Lenape language

*Tuxedo Park, NY, elite social club where tux was first worn in 1888

*Suspenders: still de rigueur

*Cummerbund: must-have waist wrap. From the Persian. Brits discovered it in Hindustan

*Bow tie: If you want to be uber-cool, tie your own bow tie, or uber-uber-cool, have your glamorous companion do it, standing behind, reaching around your neck, whispering sweet nothings in your ear.

*Midnight Blue jackets have always been the rage, mainly because the Prince of Wales, Edward VII wore one, starting 1865.

So it looks like we’re wearing 1865 styles tonight, 167 years later! And we’re still — wow! — looking cool. Here’s to Crooked River style!

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This preserved art looks better than the real thing
This preserved art looks better than the real thing

“All my tuxes are in Texas,” says this gent. He laughs a Texas-size laugh.

I’m looking to rent a tux for myself.

Place

Gentlemens Tux Club

999 F Street, San Diego

It’s not something I’ve done a lot. But there’s a lot to it. The bow tie, the studded shirt, the cummerbund, all blasts from a distant past, and yet so popular this last season that they say there’s a shortage of suits.

But I had to take the plunge, put on a penguin suit. It was because my society-flitting buddy Diana has nailed tickets to a soiree of Strauss-type music and smoky French ballads. She’s taking me and my fiancée Diane for a bit of culture. I already established a sort of reputation when I accompanied Diana to a classy concert on the racetrack in Del Mar. My major contribution there? Starting to applaud after the first movement of a Mozart piece.

Sponsored
Sponsored

Tonight is lighter, music-wise, but heavier, dress-code-wise. Has to be a tux, with studded shirt and cummerbund, silk-striped trousers, cuff links and shiny black shoes that would make a CIA spook feel right at home.

You walk in off the street to this clubby corner store, The Gentleman’s Tux Club at F and 9th. Your eyes take a moment to adjust. “Welcome,” says Vanessa, the lady behind the counter. “What is the occasion?” I say something about the La Jolla Music Society. “We have been slammed ever since September,” says Vanessa. She puts this down to pent-up post-covid demand for weddings, anniversaries and reunions.

Vanessa’s laying out my jacket. I notice the side pockets are sewn closed.  “COST: $250. There is a $30 charge if you open the pockets of the tuxedo,” says a page with rules for renting. “Late returns will be charged $25 each day.” So prices up, for sure, but what strikes me is how the fashion and style haven’t changed a jot. This outfit looks exactly the same as I remember it. It strikes me how little everything has changed in this world of formal party rags, right down to the descriptors.

*Tuxedo: “crooked water” in the Native American Lenape language

*Tuxedo Park, NY, elite social club where tux was first worn in 1888

*Suspenders: still de rigueur

*Cummerbund: must-have waist wrap. From the Persian. Brits discovered it in Hindustan

*Bow tie: If you want to be uber-cool, tie your own bow tie, or uber-uber-cool, have your glamorous companion do it, standing behind, reaching around your neck, whispering sweet nothings in your ear.

*Midnight Blue jackets have always been the rage, mainly because the Prince of Wales, Edward VII wore one, starting 1865.

So it looks like we’re wearing 1865 styles tonight, 167 years later! And we’re still — wow! — looking cool. Here’s to Crooked River style!

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Jerry Schad hiker extols Ryan Brothers

O.B.'s homeless not Newbreak Coffee's fault
Next Article

Who built this award-winning Del Mar seaside mansion?

We've got a clear view of the Pacific running to the edge of the earth
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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