Wedding tuxedo styles present a different set of challenges as we incorporate unusual specific color or style into the black and white outfit. This may often lead to a non-traditional but peculiar and loathsome wedding tux style of vibrant colored tie and vest combo.
This comprehensive and complete guide in choosing the right wedding suit style will prevent you from wasting your time burrowing over Google images for tux ideas. There are better and more efficient ways to approach formal wedding tuxedos for men. Whether you are a stylish groom or just trying out the latest trends in a suit for a wedding, this guide will clarify every question you have about men's epitome of fashion clothing – the tuxedo.
What Makes a Tuxedo… a Tuxedo?
For the not-so-into-formal-wear kind of men, suits and tuxedo may be terms that can be used interchangeably or just about the same but the truth is, they are very distinct from each other. Before we talk about what a tuxedo really is, let us explain briefly what a tuxedo is not.
A tuxedo is not just a set of black suit, white shirt, and a black bow tie. While that description is short of all the finer details of what a tuxedo really is, it also sets the universal notion that all tuxedos are black and white when in reality there could be a handful of options to make a tuxedo. Although a bow tie is the preferred traditional neckwear to match for a tux, they’re not the only option out there.
Tuxedo vs Suit
The main difference between the suit and tuxedo lies on the presence of silk satin incorporated in the tuxedo particularly on the lapels and jacket buttons. However, the suit is made simpler using a consistent fabric both on the jacket and pants. There is no special silk on the lapels and leg stripes and the jacket buttons are plain and normal. This sets the suit different from the tuxedo.
When to wear a Tuxedo?
Should you wear a tuxedo or suit for your event? Well, the answer depends on the kind and level of formality of the occasion. Wearing a tuxedo means that the event must be extremely special. A tuxedo is the symbol of the highest level of formal wear for men. It elevates your appearance from the ordinary daily suit.
Only you can decide whether to wear a tuxedo to the event or just simply stick with the basic custom suits for men. You can take time to meditate what your soul dictates on what you should wear. Or the best ways to figure out is to look at the dress code and see what others will be wearing for the event and follow accordingly.
The fact of the matter is; you have to match your attire to the occasion. If you are the groom and your bride is wearing a ball gown wedding dress design; chances are you will likely need custom wedding tuxedos to match her dress. If the wedding is set on the beach, barn or a semi-formal place and the bride is wearing a flowy wedding dress then the most appropriate attire for the groom to wear is a wedding suit.
Tuxedo Jacket StylesThe tuxedo jacket will define the tone of the entire suit. When choosing the tuxedo jacket, pay attention to the details especially the style of the lapel, buttons, fabric so that when they are assembled together they will look coherent and complementary to each other. You might think it is simple to pick out a tuxedo style, just choose black and that’s it right? Nope. Black is not the only option in tuxedo styles.
Tuxedo Lapel Styles
Notch Lapel is a design on the lapel where the jacket collar meets the lapel so they form a “V” or a “notch” (see picture). In today’s men apparel, you could see just about every casual, sports and the business jacket has a “notch” design on the collar. This has caused the notch lapel tuxedo styles to look more casual than it was supposed to be. But although it seems to appear in ordinary men’s attire, a tuxedo with a notch lapel is very flexible. You’ll find it in nice suits and tuxedos but just avoid wearing them at black tie formal events.
Notch Lapel Tuxedos
Accessorize with: A fold down collar dress shirts with unique cufflinks, Black satin necktie or patterned necktie, and match with Loafers. You can wear this style of the tuxedo in creative black tie or black tie optional dress codes.
Shawls are not just for grandma’s musings. A shawl is also known as "collars" are described as a contemporary round shape that is typically seen on dinner jacket and tuxedos. This style of lapel is mostly found on black tie appropriate garments and would give you some bit of flair and elegance. Some would dispute that it is less formal than a peak lapel. When choosing this style of tuxedo lapel, consider the event set up and your personal taste.
Shawl Collar TuxedoAccessorize with: A fold down collar shirts with French cuffs, Metal cufflinks, Button studs, Patterned or black bowtie, Patent or Cap Toe Shoes. Wear it for strictly black tie events.
Peak lapels are a little broader than notch lapels with edges that “peaks” toward your face (just like in the picture). This collar design can be seen in highly traditional and extremely formal garments like tailcoats. The peak lapel has since made its way into custom wedding tuxedos and suits gradually. It is mostly considered as more formal than the notch lapel and shawl lapel; thus making it a statement. It is seen less common but it should not stop you from considering it. Peak lapels have the effect of making you look slimmer and taller. So, it’s a win-win!
Peak Lapel Tuxedos
Accessories to go with: A Wing Tip collar or Pleated Shirt with French cuffs, Silk Knot cufflinks, Button studs, Black Bowtie, and Patent Leather Shoes. Wear it for strictly black tie events and weddings.
Double Breasted Jackets
When you hear the word ‘tuxedo', you probably think that it is just an ensemble of only black and white formal men's apparel that you wear in a wedding and official events. While you apparently revere the traditional tuxedo, the current tuxedo is not black and white anymore.
Different colors are emerging and proving to appear stylish alternatives for custom tuxedos for men. Midnight blue tuxedos are coming close second when it comes to men’s choice in the tuxedo fabric hues. The dark blue fabric usually appears ‘blacker’ than the true black under the glow of electric lighting.
Tropical environments warrant the use of a white dinner jacket as the warm-weather option of the tux. Midnight blue and white dinner jackets bring a lot of attitude and sass. They have constantly been worn in red carpet events. You can totally wear these colored tuxedos all year round and there's no problem with it.
If you want to further upgrade your look, unique patterns and fabric colors will do the trick. Bright fabrics tartan and Gingham make bold statements at casual affairs like holiday parties. The key to perfecting the tuxedo attire is by knowing the event’s dress code. You’d never wear these show-stopping colors to a strictly black tie event.
When to Wear a Patterned and Colored Tuxedo
White Dinner Jacket TuxedoAccessorize with: Pleated or dress shirt with fold-down collars and French cuffs. Match the style with a Black or patterned bow tie, Loafers or Cap toe shoes.
When to wear: Black Tie optional, Formal events, and creative black tie dress codes.
Midnight Blue TuxedoAccessorize with: A pleated wing tip shirt with French cuffs with silk know cufflinks and button studs, Black bow tie, and Patent Leather shoes.
When to wear: Events with formal, creative black tie or black tie dress codes such as formal weddings.
Rose Shawl Collar TuxedoAccessorize with: A Dress shirt with fold down collar with French cuffs enhanced by unique cufflinks, patterned bow tie or satin black necktie, and Loafer shoes.
When to wear: Events with a festive dress code, creative black tie or less formal events.
Accessorize with: A dress shirt with fold-down collars, French cuffs studded with unique cufflinks, satin black or patterned bow tie, and Loafer shoes.
When to wear: Events with a festive and less formal dress code or Creative black tie events.
Black Watch TartanAccessorize with: A dress shirt with fold-down collars, French cuffs studded with stylish cufflinks, black satin bowtie or patterned bow tie and Loafer shoes.
Tuxedo MaterialsWool is the fabric of choice for most tailors when making the traditional tuxedo. It seems right so because wool is the kind of fabric that allows your skin to "breath". It is durable, insulating breathable and gives you that nice sleek and sharp look that basically defines what a tuxedo should be. You can never go wrong with a woolen tuxedo.
However, when attending formal events in cooler climates, a velvet dinner jacket will set you apart but still give you that sleek and sharp look as you should. Plush velvet keeps you looking warm during autumn and winter. Its rich texture might feel heavier hand feel but it is just as light as the traditional tuxedo. It will add flair to your look and since it’s actually lighter will allow you to dance all night.
Tuxedo Button Styles
The rule of tuxedo formality is the fewer the buttons on the closure, the more formal it looks. In super formal tailcoats; the jacket does not even close! Usually, tailcoats have some buttons but none are functional.
Most dinner jackets and tuxedos are single-button jackets. Apparently, single-button jackets are considered the peak of formal attire in menswear.
Two-button jackets are more flexible and casual. They can be worn dressed up or dressed down. You can wear a two-button jacket to a cocktail party, semi-formal events or black tie optional weddings. You can find up to date tuxedos with two-button closures but they’re not usually used in high formal events.
Three-button jackets are the original design of the tuxedo in the early 1900s but you can rarely see three buttons on a tuxedo these days – they are too casual. However, the double-breasted jacket has 4-buttons (although not all buttons are functional) and is considered more formal than the two-button jacket.
Now you know what these buttons are for, you can forget about it really. The important thing is to choose a jacket that compliments your body type. If you are attending a very formal event, you might as well choose the single-button jacket. Nonetheless, even if you choose the 2 or 3 buttons jacket, no one will publicly shame you for deciding to go with these style choices.
Tuxedo Shirt Styles
Tuxedo Shirt Collars
Wing Tip CollarsA Wing Tip Collar is the most formal collar option. Its name originated from the fold-out collar points. Its edges are characteristical "wings" that add appeal to your overall look. It is designed specially to compliment a bowtie and tuxedo. So if you are going for a casual, semi-formal or don't care look, wing tip collar is definitely not for you. Wingtip collar is your best choice to match a very formal suit, tuxedo, bowtie or the necktie.
Spread CollarsA Spread Collar is the most common type of collar style today. It is the most versatile among all the collar styles since it can be used around suits and tuxedos with both necktie and bowtie alike. It comes in different points and angles – from the forward point collar with a tapered spread to the cutaway collar's widespread. Spread is the distance between two collar points.
Shirt bibs are the rectangular panels that run up the front of the shirt. It is not the bibs you ordinarily see in babies eating; it acts as your chest's fabric allowing more texture and style. It ensures that your shirt is not see through and gives emphasis to the tie you are wearing. Only wear bib front shirts informal events and with a tuxedo.
Pleated Shirt bibs are vertical pleats that run up both sides of the button placket
Pique Shirt bibs are stiff fabric typically woven with a dimpled pattern. This is considered more formal than the pleated style.
Shirt PlacketsNormally if you are not a shirt tailor or shirt construction expert, you wouldn’t have known that the strip of fabric where the shirt’s buttonholes are located is called a “Placket”. And yes, there are many options to sew in a placket in the shirt!
Front PlacketThe Front placket is the most common type of placket style. A lining is placed in between the main fabric. The fabric is folded and sewn together with the interlining to make a classic and symmetrical look. Choosing this style the safest way to go with a suit or tuxedo.
No Placket or French FrontFrench front or no placket gives you a minimalist look and feel. It doesn’t have that folded-over lining strip along the buttons which gives you a cleaner appearance. This type of placket is great for formal and casual shirts.
Covered Placket or Fly FrontThe covered placket also known as the fly front has an extra piece of fabric that covers the buttons and hides it in sight. This style is for men who want sophistication incorporated their attire.
Tuxedo Front or Plain FrontThe Tuxedo front or plain front is intended for the tuxedo alone and not in casual events or in the office. Its four top buttons can be removed and replaced with tuxedo studs.
Barrel CuffsBarrel Cuffs don’t require any cufflinks or rolling because they have buttons that are functional and holds the cuff together. Most shirts have the barrel cuffs that have buttons shut but there are modified barrel cuff dress shirts that have buttonholes that can allow the use of cufflinks upgrading them to the tuxedo level.
French CuffsFrench cuffs are rolled back and held in place by cufflinks. When you are getting married or going to a high formal event, formal French cuffs will upgrade your look. Adding a pair of stunning cufflinks emphasize finesse in your overall appearance.
Cummerbund, Vest or BareVests and cummerbunds are beginning to have a comeback in the formal wear attire addition.
CummerbundsCummerbunds are generally considered as the customary waist coverings for black tie attire in the 20th century. If you are wearing a tuxedo, chances are you will likely expose your shirt from time to time. Your tuxedo will look incomplete if you’re not wearing a vest or a cummerbund. When choosing to wear a cummerbund, there a few tuxedo style rules you need to follow. First, don’t choose one with braces. Secondly, inspect if the pleats are facing up because they should be facing up. Thirdly, you should match the color of your cummerbunds to the color of your tuxedo jacket.
If you want to look more modern and relaxed in your tuxedo, ditch the vest and cummerbund altogether. Going bare is becoming increasingly popular and acceptable whether you are wearing a tux or a suit.
The Story of the Tuxedo Stripe
The defining character of the tuxedo pants is the presence of the satin stripes that run vertically on the outer side of each pant. The stripe is often associated with the military gala uniforms. The waistband covers the pant seams for a continuous appearance which will give you a taller look. This is to ensure that whoever wears a tuxedo is standing tall and confident at all times.
Black vs. Color
The tuxedo pants are the most versatile formal wear in men's wardrobe. You can match just about any tuxedo or dinner jacket – gingham, pin dot, tartan, velvet, black, white, wool – all these and you wouldn't worry if you look informal. A piece of advice: if you are cueing for a modern look, show a little ankle. Your tux pants should be tailored for “no break” which means “just above the shoe” in terms of tuxedo experts.
Tuxedo ShoesThe tuxedo is designed to focus people’s attention to your face but nobody’s going to make eye contact if you are wearing some bold shoe statements. When it comes to the appropriate shoes to match your tuxedo, less is usually more. But even if you keep it simple there are guidelines to follow in choosing the right pair of shoes.
Patent LeatherThe patent leather shoes are the perfect go-to shoes to match a tuxedo style. It has a shine that matches the satin fabric on the tuxedo lapel and side of the pants. Simple is beautiful.
Cap Toe ShoesA pair of cap toe shoes are the perfect pair to imbibe that sleek look. Matte leather combined with a patent leather accent on this pair creates a subtle variety to your style while keeping the focus of your tux towards your face.
The loafer shoes will upgrade your tuxedo look to a whole new level of stylish. People will usually notice a pair of velvet slip-ons or grosgrain loafers. This is great for the groom in custom tuxedos for weddings to rock this pair during his wedding day. In summer month, ditch the socks to let those ankles breathe.
Wearing mens custom suits should be fun. That’s why custom tuxedos for weddings and formal events come with accessories – cufflinks, suspenders, pocket squares were developed. While mens custom suits and tuxedos are the epitomai of style and sophistication, the choice of your tuxedo accessories will tell the world your finesse.
Cufflinks and Studs
Cufflinks let your personality shine through in a formal outfit. If you want to show your serious side, metallic style is the way to go. For a minimalist style, silk knots will go together with the tux.
Button studs allow your tuxedo to feel more formal than ever. They are designed for dress shirts and fashioned to fit into the buttonholes of the shirt placket. It is better to wear metallic cufflinks and button studs with metal design – gold with gold, silver with silver.
A man wearing a pocket square is a man of confidence. Nothing speaks more stylish than the choice of the pocket square you put up with your tuxedo. It shows your personality and how excellent you are at folding things. It will sum up your look into one sleek appearance.
The rule of thumb when choosing a pocket square is to stick to the plain white/black, timeless pattern, simple design or a tiny teeny detail especially when you are wearing a black tuxedo or white dinner jacket. Plain white makes everything looks good. Reserve colored pocket squares on festive dress codes. Fabric should be limited to linen, cotton, silk or wool but never polyester, please.
Belts or Suspenders (or None)The traditional tuxedo has no belt loops on them. If they have some belt loops, they are not tuxedo pants. If you need assistance in keeping your tuxedo pants in place during dancing, your only option is to wear the traditional style button suspenders. Avoid the clip-on suspenders as they tend to degrade the overall look of the sophisticated tuxedo.
Bow Tie vs. Necktie
Normally, wearing a tuxedo demands a bow tie and no exceptions especially on a strictly formal black-tie event. But modern styles are emerging when it comes to tuxedos and matching it with a necktie. Not every event has a strict dress code that gives more room for personal expression.
So are you going to pick a necktie over a bow tie or the other way around? The key to successfully wearing a bow tie is confidence but it takes some serious know-how in pulling off a necktie with a tux. Either way, never attempt to use pre-tied neckwear as it will downgrade your overall look.
Colors and Fabrics
Choosing a bow tie is simple. Choose silk; knit silk, silk twill, silk satin but make sure it is always silk. It can add texture to your appearance in unprecedented ways. It will peg your outfit in the right formality level and season. This perfectly matches a tuxedo every single time elevating your look. If you decide to dress down your tuxedo with a necktie, silk is still the best choice.
In cooler seasons like winter and fall, wool and velvet are the fabric to go. Also, wool flannel or tartan will add flair to your look. It's not to say that wool and velvet can add warmth in these cold seasons but these rich materials arrange for themselves to cooler weather. If you want to incorporate these fabrics to your tuxedo, a bow tie is the most appropriate.
Which is beneficial: Renting or Buying A Tuxedo?
Consider owning a tuxedo as an achievement but renting a good fitting tuxedo can have its benefits too. Custom tuxedos for weddings are tailored to fit for your body precisely as it should. But if your body changes, you may need to push some measurements beyond its sizing. Some adjustments can be minor like pant hem or sleeve modifications but altering the tuxedo pants waist or jacket can be expensive.
When you rent a tuxedo, you can have different styles for different events – perhaps a different lapel shape, one button, one color different every time. Although renting a tuxedo has garnered a bad reputation for substandard materials; if you can find a tailor that offers an array of tuxedo style options, renting can be beneficial for you.
But you know sometimes renting or purchasing a tuxedo can be an inconvenience especially if you are a busy person. That’s why we have online suit store that lets customized your ideal tuxedo style along with the accessories that come with it.
Just tap on some buttons in our online suit store and we’ll deliver your tuxedo to your doorsteps. Ready to shop your first ever or next stylish tux? Get started here.