The Canadian Tuxedo
The denim pairing is a timeless look that holds a permanent placeholder in the fashion world. Denim lasts for many reasons. Be it because the 100% cotton fabric feels good on our bodies, the structure of the garment gets better with age and wear, and it has endless style variants. When in doubt, pair denim with more denim. We all know about the denim-on-denim duo that is the Canadian tuxedo, but when we looked into its origin story, we found more than its appearance on JT and Brittney circa 2001.
A Denim Story
You can’t talk about denim in Canada without speaking about The Canadian Tuxedo. Where did it originate? What’s the story behind the denim pairing that holds a permanent placeholder in the fashion world? Funny enough, if you look back at the history of the Canadian tuxedo, it's actually not Canadian at all.
In 1951, American crooner Bing Crosby showed up to a Canadian hotel wearing blue jeans. At a time when denim had a bad rep with blue collar (ha!) origins, the hotel staff denied him access; a far cry from Canada hailing Justin Trudeau’s all denim getup at the final Tragically Hip concert in 2016. When Levi Strauss and Co. picked up on this, they created a custom denim suit with a loud, exaggerated lapel, which Crosby eventually wore to many press appearances.
Inside the jacket was a leather patch that read, Notice: To Hotel Men Everywhere. This label entitles the wearer to be duly received and registered with cordial hospitality. Thus, the Canadian tuxedo was born. What began as a tongue-in-cheek response from Levi’s was eventually adopted and reimagined by Canadians as a half-joking, half-not joking trend.
This story became the sole inspiration for our mission to create a made in Canada denim shirt.
"The only thing more Canada than a Canadian tuxedo is one that's actually made in Canada" — Bri Zelinsky
Four Years in the Making (in Canada)
Our Denim Story began in 2018. The team (all three of us back then) became obsessed with trying to create a non-stiff, lived-in made in Canada denim shirt. What we discovered on our journey is how ironically difficult it is to develop a denim piece in a country that has a tuxedo baring it’s name. Piecing together and sourcing all the details we wanted to include — the actual fabric, the wash of the denim, the thread colours, the buttons, etc., made for an overwhelming to-do list. While sourcing the materials and details we also spent an equal amount of time on the fit itself. We ended up asking ourselves multiple times, 'Is it even possible to create a relaxed, pre-washed denim product in Canada?’. Fast forward four years, and we've finally answered that question and now we have a made in Canada denim shirt.
Introducing our First Denim Shirt
Made in Canada and available in light and dark wash. Crafted with 6.5oz, 100% cotton denim, once cut and sewn, each shirt is pre-washed for that soft worn-in feel. Inspired by Bing Crosby and our mission to create a Canadian Tuxedo that's actually made in Canada.