I found this on the TIME magazine website. It dates from the 1930s. What I find most interesting is that, if the same situation happened today, you'd be unlikely to find fashion writing so detailed or thorough...
Monday, Aug. 11, 1930
Men of fashion last week eyed the White House darkly. Warren Delano Robbins, official U. S. arbiter elegantarium, had been caught out on the front steps in formal attire (see cut) which outraged professional taste. "Beau Nash" (Alfred Stephen Bryan) who writes "What the Well Dressed Man Should Wear" in New York theatre programs criticized out loud:
"Why, the man has turnups [cuffs] on his trousers and you have turnups only on a lounging suit! The trousers aren't striped. And the vest has six buttons down the front. Gloves and spats are de rigeur with a stick and topper, you know. That turndown collar and four-in-hand tie are all right in a way but with a cutaway we should wear a wing collar and a bow tie. I hate to say it but I fear the vest is not quite smart. It should be cut quite low. If you wish to be informal, wear a sack suit but if you start out to be formal, you must go all the way. This costume simply isn't smart!"
Declared Jeann Friedman, tailor to New York's natty Mayor James John ("Jimmy") Walker: "I made the Mayor 30 suits a year and never did I see a turnout like that! Why, that's tragic!"
In addition to being the President's social aide and knowing by heart the official precedence list of Washington down to the National Screw Thread Commission, Mr. Robbins is also U. S. Minister to El Salvador. A Harvard graduate, a member of New York's Knickerbocker Club and Washington's Metropolitan, he has had long service as a U. S. career diplomat in Berlin, Paris, Mexico City.
Last week the State Department came to his defense by declaring that New York style arbiters are behind the times. The well-dressed U. S. diplomat had, said the State Department, abandoned spats two years ago. Industrious U. S. correspondents abroad joined the controversy by cabling despatches to the effect that in London nowadays spats are being worn only at garden parties and weddings, but that upturned trousers are distinctly bad form with a morning coat; that gloves should be carried, though not worn; that a stick is optional.
Right, must dash, off to get some spats for next week's garden party.