Throwback Thursday: The Denim Tuxedo is Officially Making a Comeback

Levi Strauss & Co.
May 15, 2014

The 1950s Levi’s denim tuxedo is the stuff that throwbacks are made of—or is it? Turns out, this iconic piece of LS & Co. history is making a global comeback.

Speaking at a Leadership Gathering hosted by Sir Richard Branson last week, Levi’s President JC Curleigh recounted an endearing story about American favorite, and confessed #denimhead Bing Crosby. In 1951, Crosby and a friend were denied entrance into a Canadian hotel because they were dressed entirely in denim. When Levi’s designers caught wind of the incident, they created a custom jean tuxedo for Crosby, ensuring that he would always be able to wear his beloved Levi’s in any fine establishment.

The tuxedo jacket included a corsage of red tabs and rivets and an interior leather patch with a “Notice to All Hotel Men” declaring the garment appropriate formal attire. Crosby loved the ensemble so much that it became his signature look while he toured to promote his film “Here Comes The Groom.”

It turns out, Branson could relate to Crosby’s experience. After hearing Curleigh speak, the ever-fascinating magnate wrote on his blog: “I had a similar experience at a club called The Roof Gardens when I was a young man. They refused me entry because I was dressed too scruffily. Later, I went back and bought the place!” (We’re assuming that means he swiftly instituted some changes to the dress code.)

The memories inspired Branson to reach out to Curleigh following the gathering and get his hands on a full-on denim tux of his own, which he donned this week at The Scottish Business Awards, looking as stylish as ever.

Want to follow suit? Lucky for you, Levi’s Vintage Clothing reproduced a limited run of 200 denim tuxedo jackets for Spring/Summer 2014. Let’s hope this means we’ll see more denim tuxedos at black-tie events worldwide!

Check out Branson’s full story here: Black tie? Denim tuxedo!