7 Mistakes to Avoid When Choosing a Tuxedo

Are you looking to buy a tuxedo? Tuxedos are regarded as one of the most formal types of men’s outfits. Consisting of trousers and a matching dinner jacket — both of which feature satin facing — they offer a brilliant style that’s perfect for nearly all formal occasions. You can wear them to weddings, graduations, business meetings and other formal occasions.

However, it’s important to choose the right tuxedo. While all tuxedos are formal, they are available in many different types. If you unknowingly choose the right type, you won’t be able to take advantage of all its benefits. Below are seven common mistakes you’ll want to avoid when choosing a tuxedo.

#1) Wrong Material

When shopping for a tuxedo, you’ll need to consider the material from which it’s made. Not all tuxedos are made of the same material. Some are made of linen, whereas others are made of cotton, wool and tweed. Linen and cotton tuxedos are popular choices for the summer months. They are lightweight and breathable, so they’ll keep you keep cool when worn.

Wool and tweed tuxedos, on the other hand, are popular choices for the winter months. They are heavier and more insulative, resulting in a higher level of protection against the cold weather.

#2) Overlooking the Jacket Style

The dinner jackets used in tuxedos are available in several styles, most of which can be classified as either single or double breasted. Unfortunately, many men overlook the jacket style when shopping for a tuxedo. They assume all dinner jackets are the same, so they buy the first one they come across.

Single-breasted and double-breasted dinner jackets are different from each other. The former is defined by the use of a single column of buttons, whereas the latter is defined by the use of two columns of buttons. Double-breasted dinner jackets offer a more traditional appearance, but single-breasted dinner jackets have become a popular alternative because of their more-modern appearance.

#3) Neglecting to Consider Lapel Color

Another common mistake men make when choosing a tuxedo is neglecting to consider the lapel color. Lapels, of course, are small pieces of folded material near the neckline of a dinner jacket. All suit jackets have lapels, but tuxedo dinner jackets are distinguished from their counterparts by featuring satin-facing lapels. In other words, tuxedo dinner jackets have satin covering their lapels, whereas other suit jackets lack this satin layer.

Since they have satin-facing lapels, tuxedo dinner jackets typically have multiple colors in them. A black tuxedo dinner jacket may consist mostly of black, but the satin on its lapels may feature a charcoal or heather gray color. Therefore, you must consider the color of the lapels. If they don’t match the rest of the tuxedo dinner jacket, you should choose a different tuxedo.

#4) Buying ‘Separates’

Most tuxedos are sold as outfits. A typical tuxedo consists of a dinner jacket and matching trousers, which may or may not include a waistcoat. You can find suits, however, available as separate and independent garments. Buying the dinner jacket and trousers separately is a practice known as buying “suit separates.”

The problem with suit separates is that you may end up with two mismatching garments. If you buy the dinner jacket from one vendor and the trousers from a different vendor, they may clash when worn together. The only surefire way to avoid this fashion faux pas is to buy a complete tuxedo with both the dinner jacket and trousers together.

#5) Assuming Flat-Front Trousers Are Best

Think flat-flat trousers are always the best choice? Think again. Tuxedo trousers are available in two primary styles. Some of them are designed in a flat-front style, whereas others are designed in a pleated-front style.

While flat-front tuxedo trousers have a smooth and clean appearance, they may cause discomfort when sitting for long periods at a time. When you sit, the front of your tuxedo trousers will stretch with your legs. With their flat front, unfortunately, they offer little room for stretching. Pleated-front tuxedo trousers solve this problem by featuring a folded section of material on each pant leg. Known as pleats, they are designed to stretch when you sit. You can choose a tuxedo with either flat-front or pleated-front trousers. If you’re planning to sit for long periods at a time, you may want to choose the latter style of trousers.

#6) Too Small

Don’t make the mistake of choosing a tuxedo that’s too small for your body. If either the dinner jacket or the trousers are too small, they won’t look right when worn. Their small size will harm your aesthetics, resulting in awkward-looking outfit that doesn’t do you justice.

How do you know what tuxedo size is right for you? Rather than blindly ordering a tuxedo in a generic size, consider ordering a custom-sized tuxedo. Custom-sized tuxedos are designed using your body measurements. Therefore, there’s little or no chance of getting the wrong size. With a custom-sized tuxedo, you can rest assured knowing that it will be the perfect size for your body.

#7) Forgetting the Tie

No tuxedo is complete without a tie. An essential suit accessory, a tie helps to define your neckline by adding new colors and/or textures. Most tuxedos aren’t sold with ties, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t wear one. On the contrary, you should always wear a tie with a tuxedo, especially if you’re getting dressed for a formal occasion.

You can accessorize your tuxedo with either a necktie or a bow tie. Neckties consist of a vertical piece of material that’s tied around the neckline of your dress shirt between your dinner jacket. In comparison, bow ties consist of a smaller, horizontal piece of material that’s either tied or clipped in place. Of those two options, bowties are more formal, making them preferable for use in tuxedo outfits. Either way, though, don’t forget a tie when wearing a tuxedo.