What Is a Tuxedo Jacket?

What Is a Tuxedo Jacket?

Tuxedo jackets are recognized as one of the most formal types of suit jackets on the market. Also known as a dinner jacket in the United Kingdom, it's an essential element of a tuxedo. You can't wear a tuxedo without a tuxedo jacket. They've been around for over a century, with reports showing that the Prince of Wales first wore one in the mid-1800s. Since then, tuxedo jackets have become synonymous with men's formal wear. What is a tuxedo jacket exactly, and how does it compare to other suit jackets and coats?

Overview of Tuxedo Jackets

A tuxedo jacket is a type of formal coat that's designed to be worn with a tuxedo. A tuxedo, of course, is a formal outfit consisting of trousers, a vest and a jacket. A tuxedo jacket is simply the outerwear that's used in a tuxedo.

Most tuxedo jackets feature a black or navy color. Black and navy are the two most common colors in which they are made. You can find tuxedo jackets in other colors, but many men prefer either black or navy because of their timeless and formal style. Black and navy tuxedo jackets are considered classic, so they won't go out of style anytime soon. Furthermore, they are regarded as the two most formal colors on the color wheel. And since tuxedos are formal, black and navy are popular colors for tuxedo jackets.

Tuxedo Jackets vs Traditional Suit Jackets

Being that they are both worn in suits, you might be wondering how tuxedo jackets differ from traditional suit jackets. For starters, nearly all tuxedo jackets are single breasted, whereas traditional suit jackets are available in both single-breasted and double-breasted styles.

The terms "single breasted" and "double breasted" refer to the overlapping fabric on the front of a jacket. Single-breasted jackets, such as tuxedo jacket, have a narrow band of overlapping fabric on the front, whereas double-breasted jackets have a wider band on overlapping fabric on the front. Additionally, all single-breasted jackets have a single column of buttons on the front. In comparison, double-breasted jackets have two columns of buttons on the front.

Another difference between tuxedo jackets and traditional suit jackets lies in their lapels. A lapel is a small piece of folded fabric found directly below the front left and front right sides of the collar. Both tuxedo jackets and traditional suit jackets have lapels. With that said, tuxedo jackets typically have satin covering their lapels. Traditional suit jackets, on the other hand, don't have satin covering their lapels.

There's no denying the fact that tuxedo jackets offer a more formal style than traditional suit jackets. After all, tuxedos are synonymous with men's formal wear. If you've been invited to a black-tie dinner or event, you can't go wrong with a tuxedo. Tuxedos are stylish and formal, making them ideal for formal occasions.

It's also worth mentioning that tuxedo jackets are worn in conjunction with tuxedo trousers, whereas traditional suit jackets are worn in conjunction with traditional suit trousers. Tuxedo trousers are similar to suit trousers. However, tuxedo trousers generally follow the same style and appearance as their tuxedo jacket counterparts. In other words, tuxedo trousers feature the same fabric, color and satin facing as the tuxedo jackets with which they are worn.

Benefits of Choosing a Tuxedo Jacket

With a tuxedo jacket, you'll achieve a more formal appearance. Traditional suits are considered formal as well. After all, you can't expect to achieve a casual appearance while wearing a traditional two- or three-piece suit. Nonetheless, tuxedos off the utmost level of formality. If you're getting dressed for a formal event, you'll probably want to choose a tuxedo jacket, as well as tuxedo trousers, rather than a traditional suit jacket.

Tuxedo jackets are also long-lasting. They are designed with an emphasis on quality that, among other things, results in a stronger and more durable construction than other types of formal coats and jackets.

While most men wear them in tuxedos, tuxedo jackets can be worn in other outfits. You'll typically need to wear a complete tuxedo to achieve a formal appearance. Fortunately, though, you can still wear a tuxedo jacket with casual clothes. For a dressier appearance, you can wear a tuxedo jacket with a button-up shirt and a pair of jeans.

How to Find the Perfect Tuxedo Jacket

You can find tuxedo jackets available in a variety of fabrics. Cotton and linen are some of the most popular fabrics used in the construction of tuxedo jackets. As organic fabrics, they are soft and lightweight, making them comfortable to wear for long periods. Cotton and linen are also hypoallergenic, so they won't cause allergic reactions with your skin.

Cotton and linen aren't the only fabrics in which tuxedo jackets are made. Tuxedo jackets are made in many other fabrics. During the winter, you may want to choose a tuxedo jacket made of a thicker fabric, such as wool. Wool tuxedo jackets still have the same satin-facing lapels as all other tuxedo jackets, but they are thicker than cotton and linen styles. With a wool tuxedo jacket, you'll stay warm and comfortable.

Maintaining Your Tuxedo Jacket: What You Should Know

Regardless of which tuxedo jacket you choose, you'll need to maintain it. All garments require maintenance -- and tuxedo jackets are no exception. Neglecting to maintain your tuxedo jacket will inevitably shortly its lifespan.

For information on how to maintain a tuxedo jacket, refer to the care tag. The care tag is a small label found somewhere on a tuxedo jacket that contains step-by-step instructions from the manufacturer on how to wash, clean and maintain it.

You don't have to wash your tuxedo jacket each time you wear it. If it only has a small amount of superficial lint or debris, you can clean it using a lint roller. Running a lint roller across your tuxedo jacket will quickly and easily remove most superficial debris. For deeper cleaning, though, you'll need to follow the instructions listed on the care tag.