Late teens into early 1920s tuxedo jacket from the Tonis tailoring shop of Brockton, Massachusetts features superb fabrics and fine, hand-tailored details.
Its silhouette—single-breasted, with a high, single link-button closure--is typical for the period. The semi-peaked lapels are faced with a diamond-pattern jacquard silk, which is also used inside the edges of the jacket. The stitched cuffs have faux “buttonholes” and fancy satin buttons. The extremely soft wool of the jacket has a subtle, diagonal flat rib in the weave.
Both double welt hip pockets are angled, lined in sturdy brown cotton, and contain smaller watch pockets. The chest stand pocket is also angled and lined in brown cotton, and there is an interior chest pocket (lined in white cotton) as well.
The body of the tuxedo is lined in subtly ribbed black silk (not quite a faille), and the arms in blue and brown-striped cream silk. The lining is hand-set, and the buttonholes have been done by hand as well.
Label reads “Tonis, Made in Brockton”. Frank (Francesco) Tonis immigrated in the late 1880s and was the first Italian tailor in Brockton, Massachusetts, as well as an active member of the community who occasionally served as a translator for the local courts. He had opened his own shop by 1917 (when he was 44); it remained family-owned into the 1960s, by which time it had morphed into a menswear store.
Measurements are as follows: Chest 37”, waist 34”, shoulders 15 ¼”, sleeves 23”, shoulder seam to front hem 27”, collar to hem center back 30”.
Good condition, clean, sturdy, and with the silk facing and lining intact. Issues are: Three moth holes, one inside the right pocket and two on the left sleeve (one 1.5” above top of cuff and one 7” down from shoulder seam; photo #7). In addition, there is a touch of stress to the bottom of the armscyes (photo #8). I haven’t dry cleaned this, but have freeze fumigated it to protect against further moth damage.
Proud Member of the VFG Vintage Fashion Guild