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

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


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


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.


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 says “the rule of thumb should be a floor-length dress or a very for­mal cock­tail dress.” There’s more to it, 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


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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