A great tuxedo is a perfect closet staple to have, ready to be worn to any number of formal events, from weddings to black tie galas. But when the parties come to an end and you hang up its dust cover in the corner of your closet, you may wonder when you’ll get to wear your tuxedo again. Maybe you have an upcoming dinner or birthday party where you want to dress up a little but the official dress code doesn’t call for a tuxedo. Well, fret not – tuxedos aren’t just for formal occasions anymore! With a little bit of styling, you can learn how to wear a tuxedo casually for any occasion. In this blog, we’ll show you how to take your tuxedo from classy to casual with easy-to-follow tips.
Let's start at the top. One of the key elements of any tuxedo look is the shirt. Typically, tuxedos call for a white button-down shirt with variations in the fabric, collar, and button style. Well, the easiest way to curate a casual tuxedo look is to swap out the classic button-down top for something more relaxed.
You can start with the fabric. Do you have any shirts in a linen blend or maybe something a little silky? Depending on the fabric of your jacket, you’ll want a fabric that can counterbalance that. Is your jacket a little shiny? Choose a texture like chambray that will contrast with the jacket, absorbs light, but still looks polished. Is your jacket a muted fabric? Go for a button-down shirt in a silky or shiny fabric.
Next, pay attention to the lapel. Tuxedo jackets with shawl lapels are easier to dress down than those with a notch lapel. If your lapel is very structured and angular, it doesn’t give you much room for a relaxed shirt. You can even wear a casual cotton v-neck shirt with this type of jacket, or even a crew neck. Muted and solid colors work best here, such as black, charcoal gray, and navy blue.
Even though ties are a fun way to add a colorful print to your tuxedo, it’s better to go without one if you’re going for a subdued look. This not only lets you unbutton your shirt a bit at the top (which will make you look like Daniel Craig), it also lets you experiment with different shirt styles. Since a necktie won’t be the focal center of your look anymore, you can choose a shirt that has concealed buttons or even no buttons at all. Take a cue from the likes of Iron-Man and go for a casual t-shirt (graphic designs can work great hare, too).
Does your casual tuxedo look need a little pop of color? A pair of funky printed socks is the perfect detail. To choose the right socks, first make sure they’re long enough so they cover your shins even when you’re sitting down. Next, opt for the right thickness. If you’re going to wear a dress shoe, then you’ll want socks that are a bit thinner. Many stores carry dress socks with colorful floral designs or geometric patterns.
But what if you want a bolder sock look? That’s perfectly fine, too! You can pair your socks with a leather shoe, or even sneakers. The major rule to keep in mind is to keep the color palette consistent. With socks, you have a little more wiggle room, but you’ll still want to make your choices seem intentional. So when in doubt, make sure the socks have your tuxedo color in the design.
Tuxedos and suits without socks are a trending look for a reason! They look polished with a bit of casual edge at the feet. So if you want a more subtle way to make your look casual, just skip the socks! Well, kind of. You may still want to wear no-show socks under your shoes, which will rest below your ankles and provide comfort.
To pull off the no-sock look, you have to choose the right shoes. In this case, oxfords and loafers will work best. Choose a material like leather and opt for a darker color like brown or black. By choosing an oxford-style shoe without socks, you’re keeping your look cohesive but casual. If you want a bolder shoe statement, you can try to use a boat shoe. Typically, you don’t wear socks with boat shoes (or wear no-show socks). Just make sure the shoes are in good condition and the material matches the palette of your tuxedo, including the laces.
Now that you know how to wear a tuxedo casually, have fun with the process. Experiment with different shirts, jeans, and socks to create the perfect look for your event. As always, feel free to browse our catalog of men’s tuxedos to get inspiration, or if you’re looking to pick something up for yourself.