June 7, 2010
THE DIARY OF THE DENIM TUXEDO
This summer marks the 15 year anniversary of my family's infamous "Denim Tuxedo" family picture. A holy framed momument that still hangs safely on the wall of my parents' home as we speak.
For a really long time I thought my wife and I were the only ones who thought the picture was hilarious. Then, out of blue last year, I heard my sister-in-law Stacy laughing about it. In that very moment the idea to recreate the horrific work of art was born.
So for the last year, Stacy, my wife, and I have all been carefully planning and organizing this most sacred of events.
Plenty has changed since then. All the children in the original picture have married and have children of their own, and so the family has almost tripled in size. So not only did we take an updated photo of the original "Magnificent Seven," we now have a supporting cast of 13 with three more on the way.
This weekend my entire family returned to the exact location of the scene of the crime 15 years previous, with the same poses, wearing all the denim we could possibly fit on our mortal bodies. This included, but was not limited to, the following: denim jeans, denim shirts, denim overalls, denim ties, denim skirts, denim dresses, denim socks, denim belts, denim hats, denim hair accessories, denim jackets, denim earrings, denim underwear, even the dreaded denim diaper... You get the idea. In just a few moments you will most likely feel like you were just ran over by a towering wall of denim. In honor and tribute of the 15 year anniversary, my older brother Josh wore the same denim shirt my father wore in the original family photo.
Despite popular belief, the denim tuxedo did not originate from my family's fateful picture during the summer of 1995. As a matter of fact, during the 80's & 90's the denim tuxedo hit its pinnacle of popularity and was considered a common preference for family picutres.
The Denim Tuxedo aka Jean Tuxedo is actually the american adaptation and distant cousin of the Canadian Tuxedo. The Urban Dictionary describes the Canadian Tuxedo as, "an outfit consisting of a denim jacket and denim jeans... a button down denim shirt may also be worn". It is also regrettably related to its forsaken ancestor the "Texas Tuxedo" along with its equally abhorrent, more well known, relative to the east, the "Guido Tuxedo". According to guidotuxedo.com The Guido Tuxedo can best be described as, "A tracksuit or warm-up suit. While intended for athletes to wear while on the sidelines at sports events, the guido has adopted the tracksuit as a integral part of his wardrobe. The top portion of the tuxedo should never be zipped up beyond the bottom reaches of the pectoral area of the torso, and is best complimented by an oversized gold crucifix".
You may even be surprised to learn that over the years many noteworthy celebrities have unexpectedly tried and ultimately failed to incorporate the denim tuxedos as formal wear.
I don't know how or why the denim tuxedo was so common and accepted, but it was; and because of that, you have to allow it a certain level of respect.. Okay you don't have to do that, but you do have to mock it at any chance you get, so this weekend was a perfect example of just that. As we were taking pictures I wonder if people passing by thought they had accidently gotten into a Delorean instead of their own family sedan that afternoon and had been taken back in time to the mid 90's. Anyway, my dad and step mom were just as much into doing the 15 year anniversary picture as anyone else in our family so hopefully one of these ends up as a companion piece on there wall. For anyone that holds the past shame of denim tuxedo family pictures, I recommend giving it the honor it deserves by reliving it.. But please do so at your own risk.
Neil Diamond/ Will Ferrell, Forever in Blue Jeans