The Complete Guide to Tuxedo Trousers

The Complete Guide to Tuxedo Trousers

You can't wear jeans or ordinary trousers with a formal outfit. Formal outfits require the use of formal trousers, such as tuxedo trousers. Tuxedo trousers are typically worn in conjunction with a matching jacket. There are other types of formal trousers available, but tuxedo trousers are often regarded as the most formal. What are tuxedo trousers exactly, and how do they differ from traditional suit trousers?

An Introduction to Tuxedo Trousers

Tuxedo trousers are formal trousers that are designed for use in a tuxedo outfit. They've been around for over a century. Tuxedos, as well as tuxedo trousers, originally appeared in the mid-1800s, during which they were worn by the middle and upper-class men in the United Kingdom.

In the latter part of the 19th century, tuxedos made their way to the United States. They were particularly popular among members of a New York enclave known as Tuxedo Park. Since then, more and more men have begun wearing tuxedos. Tuxedos are formal outfits that feature a pair of tuxedo trousers and a matching jacket known as a tuxedo jacket.

Tuxedo Trousers vs Traditional Suit Trousers

While they both feature a formal style, tuxedo trousers aren't the same as traditional suit trousers. Tuxedo trousers are distinguished from all other suit trousers by their use of satin. You won't find satin on traditional trousers. Rather, satin is limited to tuxedo trousers.

In addition to satin, tuxedo trousers often feature higher-quality buttons than traditional trousers. Most trousers have buttons on the fly. The quality of these buttons, though, may vary. Some traditional suit trousers have lower quality buttons than tuxedo trousers.

With that said, this doesn't apply to all suit trousers; there are still plenty of traditional suit trousers with high-quality buttons. But depending on where you shop, you may discover that tuxedo trousers have higher quality buttons than traditional suit trousers.

All About the Satin

All tuxedo trousers feature satin. As previously mentioned, the use of satin is what distinguishes tuxedo trousers from traditional suit trousers. You can identify tuxedo trousers by looking for satin. Only tuxedo trousers feature satin.

Satin is defined as a type of weave that's smooth and glossy. It looks and feels like silk. Tuxedo trousers aren't made entirely of satin. Rather, they typically feature a single satin stripe on each pant leg. These satin stripes run vertically from the waist to the bottom of the pant legs. And you can usually find them on the outside of the pant legs. Regardless, tuxedo trousers feature satin consisting of smooth and glossy stripes. Traditional suit trousers are devoid of satin.  

Cotton vs Linen vs Wool Tuxedo Trousers

While all tuxedo trousers feature satin, they are available in different materials. Some of the most common materials used in the construction of tuxedo trousers include cotton, linen and wool.

Cotton tuxedo trousers are probably the most common. They are soft, gentle on the skin, low maintenance and inexpensive. When in doubt, you may want to choose a pair of cotton tuxedo trousers.

Linen tuxedo trousers have similar characteristics as cotton tuxedo trousers but with a few caveats. In terms of strength, linen comes out on top. Linen is roughly 30% stronger than cotton. Therefore, linen tuxedo trousers are better protected from damage than cotton tuxedo trousers.

Linen is also more breathable. With its breathable properties, linen is a cooler material. You can wear linen tuxedo trousers all summer long without fear of them trapping your body heat or otherwise leaving you feeling hot and sticky. Linen tuxedo trousers -- along with other formal linen garments -- are a great choice for the spring and summer seasons because of their breathable properties.

While linen tuxedo trousers are ideal for the warmer months of the year, you may want to choose wool tuxedo trousers for the fall and winter. Wool is a thicker material that offers protection against the cold weather. It consists of sheep fur. You can find tuxedo trousers in a variety of materials, some of which include cotton, linen and wool. But wool is typically the warmest, making it a popular choice of material for winter-weather tuxedo trousers.

Check the Maintenance Requirements

When shopping for tuxedo trousers, you should check the maintenance requirements. Different types of tuxedo trousers require different steps to maintain.

Because they feature satin, many tuxedo trousers require dry cleaning. You can't clean them in the washing machine -- at least not without placing them at risk for damage. A safer and more effective way to clean tuxedo trousers is to get them dry cleaning. Dry cleaning will expose them to cleaning chemicals without any water or moisture.

Look for Lining

You may discover that many tuxedo trousers feature lining. Lining is a layer of thin material that's added to the interior of the trousers. Viscose is commonly used as lining for tuxedo trousers.

Whether you choose cotton, linen or wool tuxedo trousers, you may discover that they feature a layer of viscose. It makes them more comfortable to wear.

Flat Front vs Pleats

Something else to consider when shopping for tuxedo trousers is the front. Tuxedo trousers are available in flat-front styles and pleated-front styles.

Flat front means the tuxedo trousers have a smooth, flat front. A pleated front, on the other hand, means the tuxedo trousers have permanent creases. These creases are known as pleats. Some men prefer flat-front tuxedo trousers, whereas others prefer pleated-front tuxedo trousers. You'll have the freedom to choose your preferred style when shopping for tuxedo trousers.

In Conclusion

If you're going to wear a tuxedo, you'll need to choose tuxedo trousers. Not all formal trousers are the same. There are traditional suit trousers, and there are tuxedo trousers. Only tuxedo trousers feature the same satin that's found on tuxedo jackets. Therefore, you should wear tuxedo trousers with a tuxedo jacket. The combination of these two garments will result in an attractive and equally comfortable tuxedo outfit.