Are you thinking about wearing a tuxedo? Also known simply as a tux, a tuxedo is a type of men’s formalwear that’s characterized by the use of a suit jacket, matching trousers and a bowtie. While many many assume that tuxedos and suits are the same, this isn’t necessarily true. Only tuxedos have satin lining; you typically won’t find satin lapels on traditional suits. As a result, you’ll need to follow a few basic tips when wearing a tuxedo to create a picture-perfect outfit.
Skip the Cuffed Suit Trousers
If you’re going to wear a tuxedo, you should skip the cuffed trousers. It’s not uncommon for suit trousers to feature a cuffed bottom. At the bottom of both pant legs, 2 or 3 inches of the fabric is folded up and sewn into place. Known as cuffing, it’s a common practice used in the construction of a variety of pants, including men’s suit trousers. While cuffed suit trousers may sound harmless, they are a poor choice for tuxedos because of their semi-casual appearance. Tuxedos are intended to be worn as formalwear. Therefore, it’s best to skip the cuffed suit trousers and, instead, wear traditional non-cuffed suit trousers with your tuxedo.
You can easily tell whether suit trousers are cuffed by inspecting the bottom of the pant legs. Cuffed suit trousers have pant legs in which the fabric is folded up and sewn into place, whereas non-cuffed suit trousers have pant legs with clean bottoms where the fabric isn’t folded up or sewn into place.
Choose a Suit Jacket and Trousers With Satin
As previously mentioned, one of the defining characteristics of tuxedos is the presence of satin. They typically have satin on the lapels, pockets and even down the legs of the suit trousers. The satin doesn’t serve any functional purpose. Rather, it’s designed strictly for aesthetic purposes. But don’t let that you fool you into thinking you can or should wear a satin-less suit. All tuxedos must include satin in the suit jacket and trousers. Otherwise, it’s not really a tuxedo.
When shopping for a suit jacket and trousers to wear as part of a tuxedo, inspect the garments to closely to ensure the feature satin. If you don’t see satin on either of these garments, you should look elsewhere for a suit jacket and trousers.
Accessorize With a Bowtie
Some men make the mistake of wearing a necktie with their tuxedo. While neckties are ideal for traditional suits, you’ll achieve a better-looking outfit by accessorizing your tuxedo with a bowtie. Bowties have a naturally more modern appearance than their necktie counterparts. Furthermore, most men will agree that bowties are easier to put on and take off than neckties.
Keep in mind that you aren’t necessarily required to wear a bowtie with a tuxedo. Unless otherwise stated in the dress code, you can accessorize your tuxedo with a necktie instead. With that said, bowties offer a cleaner and more modern appearance that many men prefer.
Watch the Sleeve Length
Something else to consider when wearing a tuxedo is the sleeve length. A good rule of thumb is to choose a suit jacket with sleeves that are just a hair shorter than those of your dress shirt. Why is this important? When your suit jacket sleeves are longer than your shirt sleeves, your shirt sleeves will remain concealed. If your suit jacket sleeves are shorter than your shirt sleeves, on the other hand, your shirt sleeves will be visible — something that may enhance your tuxedo outfit by introducing new colors, fabrics and patterns.
Of course, your shirt sleeves shouldn’t be significantly longer than your suit jacket sleeves. On the contrary, they should be no more than 1 inch longer to maintain an attractive and uniform outfit. If the shirt sleeves are over 1 inch longer than your suit jacket sleeves, they’ll look awkward.
Choose the Right Color
The color of your tuxedo will affect its overall appearance. Wearing a tuxedo in the wrong color will project a poor taste of fashion that reflects negatively upon your personal image, whereas wearing a tuxedo in the right color will help you create a picture-perfect outfit that reflects positively upon your personal image. Now for the million-dollar question: What color tuxedo should I choose?
Many men prefer wearing dark-colored tuxedos over light-colored tuxedos. Black tuxedos, for example, have been popular for over a century. Even today, black is one of the most popular colors in which tuxedos are made. If you’re looking to differentiate yourself from the crowd, though, you can rest assured knowing that it’s perfectly fine to wear tuxedos in other colors; just remember to choose a suit jacket in the same color as your trousers. If you’re planning to wear a black suit jacket in your tuxedo, don’t wear a pair of white suit trousers. Instead, wear black suit trousers with your black suit jacket.
Wear a Waistcoat
You should also consider wearing a waistcoat with your tuxedo. Normally, men’s formalwear doesn’t require the use of a waistcoat. If you’re wearing a traditional two-piece suit, you can skip this accessory and, instead, simply wear a suit jacket with matching trousers. If you’re sporting a tuxedo, however, wearing a waistcoat is recommended because of its ability to complement the other garments and accessories in your outfit.
Choose the Right Fabric
Finally, choose a tuxedo in an appropriate fabric. Not all tuxedos are made of cotton. While 100% cotton tuxedos are popular, you can find tuxedos in many other fabrics. Wool tuxedos, for instance, offer a comfortable and fashionable alternative to cotton tuxedos during the winter. When the temperatures begin to drop, a wool tuxedo will insulate your body to keep you warm and comfortable. During the summer, you may want to choose a linen tuxedo. Linen tuxedos are lighter and more breathable than both wool and cotton, making them ideal for use during the warmer months of the year.