A Statement of Style: The Women’s Tuxedo

Chic, feminine style with a formalwear twist: Wearing a tuxedo might just change everything.

A woman in a tuxedo is often the only woman in the room—or at least it appears that way. What is it that makes her so alluring? With the elegance of a bygone era and a powerfully modern presence, she exudes sophistication, mystery and evolved style that needs no introduction or explanation.

The tuxedo speaks more to a woman’s style than almost any other look, requiring assured ease and self-knowledge to be worn well. For women of intrigue, from France to Hollywood and every glamorous evening in between, the look reflects the je ne sais quoi that makes the wearer a woman who all women want to be––the effortlessly put-together kind who is in charge of herself. And that is more stylish than anything else. Zac Posen, Creative Director of our Women’s Collection, has dreamed up tuxedos to keep every woman well suited with allure.

Arriving at a uniform is something to be celebrated. Slight variations on a suit, a tuxedo, trousers and a sport coat––whether they be through a change of fabric, fit, scarf or square––are the small personal details that make a big difference. It takes time and often many phases of discovery. But once that self-knowledge is in place, a simplified look takes on new meaning––and speaks volumes.

What began in the 1930s with an iconic silver screen star, making history with her impeccably tailored Brooks Brothers tuxedo, a statement that forever shifted the perception of tuxedo dressing around the globe from male-dominated to unisex, is also incredibly feminine. An era of empowered women’s formal dressing followed, and when Ivy Style took hold in the mid-twentieth century, intrepid college girls turned to the Brooks Brothers men’s and boys’ departments for casual pieces, from oxford shirts and polo coats to sweaters, imparting a borrowed-from-the-boys edge to their penny-loafer sensibility. It was, in fact, the reason why we introduced our pink oxford shirt for women in 1949, to pay homage to those already making Brooks Brothers their own. With a good shirt comes a good jacket, and these stylishly studied women filled their closets with blazers and tuxedo jackets from the boys’ department, which provided a shrunken fit that evoked a more worldly perspective. We’re thrilled to see women still trying on jackets, though now with a dedicated department of their own.

A tuxedo connoisseur himself, Zac Posen has a closet full of Brooks Brothers formalwear that he regularly wears. His own tuxedo obsession inspires his vision for the women for whom he designs, and whose sense of style calls for more than dresses––it calls for smart pieces they can slip on with ease and wear with power. The resulting tuxedo separates for fall/winter 2019 are designed to be worn as a full look or stand-alone coordinates.

Few things are as chic than the stunning midnight blue one-button tuxedo jacket in Italian wool crepe, accentuated by a deep black shawl lapel and center back vent. The Black Watch tartan velvet tuxedo is as understated as it is unique and brings a sense of festive yet elegant flair.

For the black-tie occasion: A clean, white French cuff is the height of classic, and a sequined lace camisole pairs well with a glass of champagne. When borrowing from the boys’ department, the largest tuxedo shirt serves as a style statement too. Smoking slippers or velvet heels complete the look that will likely be the most compelling in the room––all because of the woman who wears it.