Black first became a fashionable color for men in Europe in the 17th century, in the courts of Italy and Spain. (See history above. ) In the 19th century, it was the fashion for men both in business and for evening wear, in the form of a black coat whose tails came down the knees. In the evening it was the custom of the men to leave the women after dinner to go to a special smoking room to enjoy cigars or cigarettes. This meant that their tailcoats eventually smelled of tobacco. According to the legend, in 1865 Edward VII, then the Prince of Wales, had his tailor make a special short smoking jacket. The smoking jacket then evolved into the dinner jacket. Again according to legend, the first Americans to wear the jacket were members of the Tuxedo Club in New York State. Thereafter the jacket became known as a tuxedo in the U. S. The term "smoking" is still used today in Russia and other countries. The tuxedo was always black until the 1930s, when the Duke of Windsor began to wear a tuxedo that was a very dark midnight blue. He did so because a black tuxedo looked greenish in artificial light, while a dark blue tuxedo looked blacker than black itself.
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