A man attending a formal affair today may wear a tuxedo and a black tie or a full-dress coat and a white tie. At one time, however, only the latter style was acceptable; the tailless formal jacket was unknown until the 1800s.
The Algonquian word for wolf is p’tukit (pronounced with a silent p) and means «the animal with a round foot». From that Indian word a lake about forty miles from New York City came to be known as Tuxedo Lake, a rather good phoneticism. Much of the area surrounding the lake was purchased by Pierre Lorillard, the tobacco heir, and subsequently a fashionable and exclusive resort and residential community was developed called Tuxedo Park.
At one lavish affair, perhaps given by the Astors or the Harrimans, a brave aristocrat who disliked the formal «soup and fish» full evening clothes rebelled and wore a tailless jacket. The innovation was startling, but the shortened jacket became an immediate success. The new style was dubbed tuxedo after the name of the place where the garment was first worn. Today many men who appear before a clergyman ready to take his marital vows are dressed in that «wolf’s clothing».