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Why It’s Called a Canadian Tuxedo: The True Story

William Barton

Boots, Leather, Heritage Fashion, Denim, Workwear

William founded BootSpy in 2020 with a simple mission: test and review popular men’s boots and give a real, honest opinion. Since then, we've welcomed over 5 million readers on our boot reviews and boot care guides. Reach out to him for your own personalized boot recommendation at william@bootspy.com. Or join 50,000+ subscribers on the BootSpy YouTube channel, or send him a message on the BootSpy Instagram. Read full bio.

Last Updated: Mar 15, 2024
2 min read

It’s no secret that a Canadian Tuxedo is badass.

I’m wearing a CanTux right now, in fact.

Earlier this week, I visited Revolution Mills in Greensboro, NC—the former flannel capital of the USA, and heard an amazing story from the Levi’s historian, Tracey Panek.

To me, this story was too good not to share. Plus Snoop Dogg is involved.

The beginning of the Canadian Tux all started in Vancouver, 1951, a city that unknowingly was about to gift the fashion world with a legendary look.

Bing Crosby, a name that conjures images of smooth tunes and even smoother moves, found himself at the center of this sartorial saga.

Bing was a big time hunter and only wore denim-on-denim. At the time, denim was strictly thought of as workwear, and was not considered fashionable at all. So it made sense to go hunting in all denim.

Bing Crosby ranching in elko nevada
Bing was a ranch man in Nevada, too.

So ol’ Bing is hunting in the woods near Vancouver, and when his trip is done, he stopped into the city and went to book a night at the Hotel Vancouver, which in 1951 was about as swanky as it gets.

Hotel Vancouver in 1950s
The Hotel Vancouver

Fresh from a hunting trip, Crosby, in his denim-on-denim attire, sought refuge at the prestigious Hotel Vancouver, only to be turned away for looking, well, too casual.

Denim, at the time, was not the fabric of the elite. Can you imagine the audacity? Denying Bing Crosby entry because he was too… relaxed?

Bing Crosby in Canadian Tuxedo 1

The plot thickens and takes a delightful turn as the hotel’s bellhop recognizes the star, correcting the oversight.

But the story didn’t end there; it caught the attention of the folks over at Levi’s.

Thrilled by the incident, they crafted a custom denim tuxedo for Crosby.

Bing Crosby in Canadian
bam, there it is…the first denim tuxedo jacket.

This wasn’t just any denim, but the finest, equipped with luxurious tuxedo details, a corsage of Levi’s red tabs, and shiny rivets, boasting an interior leather patch proclaiming: “Notice to All Hotel Men.” Thus, the Canadian Tuxedo was born, cheekily bridging the gap between highbrow and lowbrow fashion.

During a visit to Levi’s HQ in San Francisco, Tracey Panek shared the story of the Canadian Tuxedo with Snoop Dogg. The connection? Snoop’s mother was a Bing Crosby fan, naming his little brother Bing in homage.

Upon hearing the story, Snoop was so pumped that he requested his own Canadian Tuxedo, promptly brought to life by Levi’s president. So, yes, somewhere out there is a Snoop Dogg edition of the Canadian Tuxedo.

Crosby’s Canadian Tuxedo became his signature look, symbolizing a sly nod to the incident that inspired it all.

It’s a story that embodies the spirit of fashion at its best: playful, defiant, and undeniably stylish. As we recount tales of denim legends, let’s not forget the Canadian Tuxedo, a look that started as a cheeky response to a fashion faux pas and became an enduring symbol of style that bridges generations, from Bing Crosby to Snoop Dogg, proving that sometimes, the most iconic outfits just completely happen by accident.


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