Today being formal got a little more casual.
Getting dressed used to be a pretty complicated matter, especially if you were a member of the ruling classes throughout most of the 19th century. A black tailcoat called a dress coat was worn to evening occasions, along with matching pants with braids down the sides. Mornings required a different outfit, starting with a morning coat, which relied on a single button and had slightly shorter tails. Even better, the pants didn’t have to match, unless of course you were attending a public event before noon. Bow ties were required with every permutation, as was a bit of a haughty attitude, I’m sure.
In the early 1860s, the UK’s Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) wanted something more casual to wear to parties, so one of his tailors invented a short smoking jacket, which was tail-less. He loved how relaxed the new fashion felt and was happy to show if off. After inviting some Americans to join him for an informal dinner at Sandringham House, he sent them to his tailor so they could get properly attired. They loved the outfits, too, so after returning to the U.S. they wore them on this day in 1866 to an Autumn Ball at an exclusive country club founded by a grandson of the Lorillard tobacco fortune near a town named after the Indian word tucseto. It was Anglicized into tuxedo, and the jackets soon supplanted tailcoats as formalwear, as well as set the model for the evolution of the business suits that used to be worn through most of the 20th century.
Being relaxed never was so uptight again.