The 'Canadian Tuxedo' Can Apparently Be Traced Back to Bing Crosby

Wikipedia//CC0 1.0
Wikipedia//CC0 1.0 / Wikipedia//CC0 1.0

Before denim-on-denim was a certified fashion trend, pairing a jean jacket or shirt with your favorite pair of blue jeans was considered a sartorial faux pas. Nicknamed the “Canadian Tuxedo,” the look quickly became the butt of many pop culture jokes after it was made infamous by the movie Super Troopers. (In the film, a trooper asks his sergeant, "How's it going Denim Dan? You look like the president, chairman, and CEO of Levi Strauss. Hey, where'd you get the Canadian tuxedo?") 

However, Boing Boing reports that the phrase might have been coined far before the 2001 comedy hit theaters. According to Levi’s Vintage Clothing, legendary singer Bing Crosby was denied entrance into a Canadian hotel in 1951 because he and his companion were clad in head-to-toe denim. Management soon realized that Crosby was a celebrity and let him in. However, tales of the incident spread, and designers at Levi Strauss and Co. eventually caught wind and designed Crosby a custom jean tuxedo jacket. That way, his denim would be dressed up enough for the swankiest of establishments.

Fashioned from the same denim LS&Co used for their original 501 Jeans, the jacket was dressed up with a corsage made of the branded Red Tabs, affixed to the lapel with copper rivets. Inside, a leather patch was emblazoned with a “Notice to All Hotel Men,” informing hospitality managers that denim is “a perfectly appropriate fabric and anyone wearing it should be allowed entrance into the finest hotels.”

LS&Co gave the jacket to Crosby at the 1951 Silver State Stampede in Elko, Nev., where he was honorary mayor, and Crosby even wore it in press appearances for his new film, Here Comes the Groom. Now, more than 50 years later, fashionable retailers sell similar ensembles—proving that any look, even the "Canadian Tuxedo," can become trendy if you just give it time.

[h/t Boing Boing]