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So you’ve narrowed down your wedding suit options to a tuxedo—now what?
First of all, let us congratulate you on this momentous decision. Out of all the options and colors out there you’ve opted for a tuxedo and that is just amazing. James Bond would be proud. And so are we.
Secondly, it’s time to get down to business. Tuxedos, while far superior to any old suit, are also more complex. There’s a lot that goes into pulling off a tuxedo and we’re here to make sure you do it right.
First, for those of you who may not have made your decision yet, is defining the proper occasion to wear a tuxedo. Tuxes are more formal than suits, meaning that the event you wear a tuxedo to is going to be formal and the dress the bride will wear will be formal. Overall, it’s just a big prom. Just kidding.
But sincerely, yes, tuxedo’s are the go-to menswear for a black-tie event. You get the chance to wear an outfit that you may only wear that one time in your life. This is a big deal.
Want to be ultra classy, but black’s not your color (which is pretty much impossible)? Not to worry. A tuxedo doesn’t have to be black. In fact, am absolutely positive you’ve seen a white tuxedo jacket before. It’s up there with black for one of the classiest looks around. Other than that, you can also easily find tuxedos in blues and grays.
Your tuxedo jacket will be slightly different than your average suit jacket. The biggest difference is satin. The buttons of your tuxedo jacket will be covered with satin and you will also have a fancy satin lapel that comes in one of three styles—notch, peak, and shawl. Notch and peak lapels are found on suits as well as tuxedos, but those nice shawl lapels are particular to tuxes.
Notch lapels are a great go-to when you’re not sure which lapel style to go with. It’s perfectly classic and simple. Peak lapels are a little step up, for a slightly more formal look. They are elegant and elongating. Shawl lapels are more rounded and nostalgic, but still a polished choice.
Your tuxedo pant will also be different. A satin stripe will be down the sides of your tuxedo pants. Tux pants do not have belt loops and you, therefore, should not, under any circumstance, wear a belt with a tuxedo. Occasionally, these pants will come with an adjustable waist, but if you need extra support, grab a pair of suspenders. Your tux pants may also include a rubbery strip in the wait to ensure that your shirt does not slip from its crisp tuck.
Your tuxedo shirt will often have pleats down the front, marking it above a standard dress shirt. It may also have a wingtip collar for wearing bowties and places for cufflinks and shirt studs.
As we said, tuxes are more complicated than your average suit, being twice as formal, after all. Here’s a comprehensive list of all the extra things you need to make sure you have when putting together your tuxedo ensemble.
With such a refined look as the tuxedo, it is crucial to get the right fit.
The sleeves of your shirt should land at your wrist where your hand starts to widen, with your jacket sleeves leaving about a half inch of your shirt cuff showing. This leaves room for showing off your cufflinks without swimming or shrinking in your jacket. You shouldn’t see an “X” shape in the chest of your jacket, or a gap at the back of your neck; these indicate your jacket is too small and too big, respectively.
Your tuxedo pants should sit at your natural waist, right below your belly button. Your pant legs should not pool around your ankles. This is called the break and it should only be about half an inch and land at the back of your shoe.
If you hadn’t fully committed to wearing a tuxedo, this should have given you plenty of cause. Tuxedos are the ultimate show of elegance and class, even if they’re a bit more difficult to wear. But don’t let this suade you, if you’ve already gone with a suit. Suits are plenty great, in their own rite. Want more inspiration? View our gallery.
If you’re ready to pick one out, browse our tuxedos to see what we have to offer to make your black-tie wedding extraordinary. Still not convinced? Test drive one for yourself with our Home Try-On program so you can see and feel the difference for yourself.