When it comes to tuxedos, the right brand can make all the difference. The wrong choice can create a look that casts a poor light on the wearer.
A great tuxedo starts with the right shoes and ends with the perfect bow tie. In between, there’s plenty of room for style.
What is a Tuxedo?
Often seen on television and in movies, the tuxedo is the most formal attire you can wear. It is typically worn to black tie events and is seen at weddings as well.
A tuxedo is traditionally made of a black satin material. The satin can be seen on the lapels, buttons and sometimes (although it is getting rarer these days) down the legs of the trousers. A tuxedo also typically includes a cummerbund and bow tie.
The most important part of a tuxedo is the fit. Having the perfect fit is what makes you look stylish. It is also important to make sure you have the right shoes for the occasion. Tuxedo shoes should be polished black and should match the shirt.
Some people may use the term dinner suit instead of tuxedo, but it is the same thing. The only difference is that a tuxedo is usually used for black tie events and must include a bow tie and cummerbund, while a dinner suit can be worn for a variety of formal occasions.
The History of Tuxedos
When it comes to formal wear, tuxedos are the ultimate choice for men of all levels of society. Historians say that the tuxedo was first introduced as an alternative to the ultra-formal tailcoat in 1887. During this time, black tie (tuxedos) became the standard for evening wear while white tie was reserved for the most grand of special occasions.
This era also saw the introduction of double-breasted tuxedo jackets, peaked lapels and black accessories. The satin covered buttons, black bow tie fabric and side stripe on the trousers are classic tuxedo features.
However, the tuxedo did experience a brief period of decline during WWII due to resource rationing. This was also when suits began to take hold as a more practical alternative to tuxedos.
Styles of Tuxedos
In addition to the traditional black, tuxedos are also available in shades like charcoal and burgundy. Regardless of the color, a properly fitted tuxedo will create a classic and elegant look for formal events.
Tuxedos can feature either a notch or peak lapel. Peak lapels have two sharp corners that point upward and can create a more dramatic look than a standard notch lapel. They are typically reserved for tuxedos worn to more celebratory events such as weddings and red carpet appearances.
A tuxedo is usually paired with a white bib dress shirt with wing collar. Some tuxedos also include a vest, cummerbund or bow tie to elevate the look. Generally, a long black bow tie is preferred but other styles can be used depending on the event and personal preference. Tuxedo shirts may feature satin buttons, stud holes for French cuffs and require a set of tuxedo studs to be worn with the shirt.
How to Wear a Tuxedo
If you’re looking to dress up for a special occasion, there’s no better option than a tuxedo. However, unlike a suit, there are more rules to consider when wearing this pinnacle of men’s formal wear. To help you avoid making mistakes that could throw off the entire outfit, we’ve put together a comprehensive guide to everything you need to know about wearing a tuxedo like a pro.
First things first, you should only wear a tuxedo when the event you’re going to is considered a formal or black tie event. Tuxedos are also not appropriate for daytime events. Instead, you should opt for a dark grey morning suit.