What Your Date Should Wear When You’re In A Tuxedo

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Hey, nice tux!

But you’re only half the puz­zle (if that).

Your date will more than like­ly have her whole look picked out before you even begin to con­sid­er what you’re wear­ing, but you nev­er know. There is so much more that goes into putting togeth­er a lady’s classy look that yours and if your date isn’t the for­mal­wear type and is new to the whole idea, then this one is for you. Be a dear and try to help her out. But be nice. And don’t talk her down. At all.

bride and groom in midnight blue tuxedo with groomsmen

WHAT SHE PROBABLY SHOULDN’T BE WEARING

Before we real­ly get start­ed, please be remind­ed that if she looks good, she looks good. But if she’s new at this, you may stum­ble upon some red flags.

Sun­dress­es are prob­a­bly too casu­al. If it’s hot—tough luck, babe. Everyone’s going to be a lit­tle uncom­fort­able. With a tuxe­do, her best bet is going to be a long evening gown, but a nice cock­tail dress can be okay, too. Just as long as it is, in fact, a nice cock­tail dress. Mod­est with the right fab­rics. None of that off-the-cor­ner stuff.

Col­or mat­ters when it comes to dress­ing for an event, espe­cial­ly a wed­ding. If pos­si­ble, try to be in the col­or palette of the event. This is absolute­ly not nec­es­sary, but it’s kind of fun to match the occasion.If you’re head­ed to a wed­ding, don’t let her wear white. This will cre­ate a death-match between her and the bride that you do not want to wit­ness. Trust me on this one. Maybe avoid any­thing remote­ly relat­ed to white. So ivory and cream are off-lim­its, too.If you’re wear­ing a black tuxe­do, it’ll look best if she’s not in black, too. This is okay for some kinds of events, but as a gen­er­al rule of thumb, you don’t want to be too matchy-matchy.

She should avoid red, but there are excep­tions. Style­cast­er sug­gests women “choose red gowns that are made from rich silky fab­rics like chif­fon or organ­za, as opposed to shiny satin or any­thing too stretchy, and always keep embell­ish­ments to a min­i­mum.”

elopement styled shoot

HER GEMS

This is where you can tru­ly have an impact. Be the man behind the swag. When peo­ple inevitably ask about her gor­geous neck­lace, you don’t want her danc­ing around the fact her ex-dude gift­ed her 24 karat love. Pow­er play it.

If you’re in a tux, she needs to match your ele­gance. Pearls, any­thing rose gold, any­thing big and bold will be wel­comed. Don’t let her talk you into some­thing subtle—especially if you’re play­ing it straight in a black tux. Remind her that you’re the basic-bitch foil to her bril­liance.

Be loud and proud, but not too loud and proud, of course. This isn’t a cos­tume par­ty. Stand out, but don’t attract gawk­ers. Find a hap­py medi­um that fits her per­son­al­i­ty as well as the tone of the event.

HER GET-UP

As we briefly men­tioned before, go long. In fact, longer the bet­ter. Trust us, she won’t look out of place at this black-tie affair in an evening gown. In fact, she’ll be a belle of the ball.

Lau­ren Frank­fort from Brides.com says “the rule of thumb should be a floor-length dress or a very for­mal cock­tail dress.” There’s more to it, Stylecaster.com points out a very impor­tant caveat: “if you do go this route, just make sure to keep the col­ors rich (black, jew­el tones, chic metallics, brown) so as not to look too casu­al.”

There’s a time and a place for casu­al — this is not it.

father in black tuxedo walking bride down the aisle

HER ‘DO

Put it up! The shoul­der and neck region should be reserved for the afore­men­tioned gems. That’s jew­el­ry’s real estate and you don’t want to crowd the neigh­bor­hood. Promise her neck action. Of course, cer­tain dress neck­lines go great with long hair or half-up styles, but more often than not, a sleek chif­fon or french twist can go a long way in the style depart­ment.

There you have it, our best tips for the per­fect for­mal look. But please, please, please pro­ceed with cau­tion: your novice-lev­el under­stand­ing of ball­room fash­ion will sure­ly back­fire if you don’t finesse your sug­ges­tions. Go the Jeop­ardy route and phrase every­thing in ques­tion form for survival’s sake.

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