by Becky Clifford

As a child, the only tuxedos I saw were on my Ken doll or my dad when he got dressed up and my mom would joke about having to get his “tails” dry cleaned after he wore them to a church or work function.  In my adolescent years, I remember seeing some powerhouse female actresses wear them on the red carpet pre-shows on TV that I loved to watch with Joan & Melissa Rivers and I admired their ability to take something that I knew as one way and open me up to looking outside the box.  I especially loved some of the ones I saw with a dramatic deep V that said yes, this is a tuxedo and yes, I am a fierce and sexy female wearing a tuxedo proudly amongst a sea of strong men with similar ensembles that wore them first.

A strong confident woman in a well-fitted tuxedo suit can definitely turn heads.  It is like the black and white stark contrast blends harsh fierce strength with angelic swan-like grace, the perfect blend of yin and yang.  It is a once fashion didn’t becomes a fashion DO…  like when I saw a Korean with blonde hair for the first time or a man carrying a purse or a white person with dreadlocks, it makes me want to know more about the person underneath.  Fashion has the power to transform from outside inward and what I like about the tux is how unflustered and non-apologetic it can make you look. Let me remind you right here, right now, that image is the secret formula to attracting more of the right people (and clients) into your life.

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There is a lot of history to the female tuxedo or “Le Smoking” that make it a great addition to your power wardrobe.  Let’s define the power wardrobe as those pieces in your closet that make you feel like a million bucks.  You put them on and your strut becomes a little struttier, your smile a little more real, and you are in love with you and the world around you.  Because hey, what is there NOT to love?  They make you forget that you spend a good portion of your time on the floor cleaning up milk spills and talking about potty stops.

In 1966, Yves Saint Laurent introduced the world to Le Smoking, a tuxedo style suit that quickly became a sexy and controversial statement piece. Since then the tuxedo is seen as a symbol of audaciousness and sassy smart elegance.

Helmut Newton’s series of shots for French Vogue in 1975 made the female tuxedo an even more iconic piece, by representing the woman who has mastered all the symbols of masculinity like power, control, dominance and even success by merely wearing a piece of clothing. So it makes total sense that for the iconic woman in you, the tuxedo is a perfect add to your wardrobe right next to your LBD and above your Sunday slippers.

When I read more about the initial opposition to women wearing tuxedos, it solidifies how fashion can help define the woman you are to a passing stranger or someone interviewing you for a job, or riding next to you on a train.  It can indeed test the idea of tradition and allow the female to play and dress in the men’s arena.


In 2010, Constance McMillan wore a custom-made Isaac Mizrahi tuxedo to Carnegie Hall where she was honored at Glamour Magazine’s 20th Women of the Year Awards.  This same amazing woman was once banned from wearing a suit to her prom.  So times, they do change and they are changing.  Fashion can help push the woman forward and therefore sporting a tuxedo can do the same in your life.  It is 2016, what are you waiting for?

A few pointers when looking for a tuxedo would be to make sure you get one that is tailored specifically to you, that hugs your unique feminine curves and makes you feel like you can soar to new heights.  The key to rocking a tuxedo look is really in the perfect fit.  Whether it is a tuxedo or a three-piece suit, it is worth the investment.  You can pair it with a t-shirt and sneakers for a daytime look, heels and jewelry by night.

Fashion can be a way to challenge ourselves, and take things that were once a CAN’T and obtain the mindset of that little red engine we read about to our children at night, that COULD and WILL.  The female tuxedo says “I can”.

Whether it is for a New Years Eve or just a staple for any occasion through the year, design your own bespoke tuxedo. Once in a lifetime or may be twice. Why not?! Take the chance with By Claire. Book your appointment today.