Welcome back, gentlemen. Today’s topic is the Tuxedo. Different forms and styles of Tuxedos have been around for many years, although in more recent years, the Tuxedo has fallen out of favor due to the decrease of formal events. In the early years, wearing a Tuxedo to an event was the gold standard of outfits. Nowadays, you basically only see Tuxedos being worn to weddings, proms, and your occasional formal event. In this blog, we will cover the features of the tuxedo, as well as the accessories that are worn in combination with the tux.
So, let’s dive into it! In general, a tuxedo is described as the complete semiformal outfit, including jacket, dark trousers, often with a satin or silk stripe down the side, a bow tie, and usually a cummerbund. As described above, it is usually worn to weddings, proms, or formal events.
Let’s break the features of the tuxedo down, starting with the jacket. The tuxedo or dinner jacket, as it is sometimes referred to, typically has a satin or silk lapel using either the peaked lapel or shawl lapel. In today’s fashion world, notched lapels are in style and have a more modern look. Some still argue that the notched lapel is not as formal as the other styles, however, I believe in wearing an outfit that represents you.
The back of the jacket should have no vents to give you a slimmer and more fitted look. Jackets do come with side and center vents as well, however, these can make the jacket look less formal.
Another difference in a tuxedo jacket are the buttons. Suit buttons usually are made of either horn or some version of a plastic button depending on the suit quality and budget. A tuxedo jacket comes with fabric covered buttons that usually match the fabric of the jacket or the color of the satin. In any case, make sure all the buttons on the jacket are the same color.
The pockets on the jacket should be slit pockets with no flaps. And you should have a chest pocket for placement of a pocket square.
Some jackets have an option for the placement of a boutonniere, which, is entirely an optional feature that is up to the person wearing the outfit. In simplest terms, a boutonniere is a single flower worn in the buttonhole on the lapel.
Next, we will discuss the trousers. The tuxedo pants are straight forward with limited options available. Typically, they have a plain front with no pleats or cuffs. The trousers usually have a matching satin or silk stripe running down the side of the pant legs that correspond with the jacket. There should be no place with for belt loops as well. Traditionally, tuxedo pants had no pockets, however, pockets are more a commonplace in today’s market.
Now we can cover the dress shirt or evening shirt. The dress shirt comes in many forms and fashions. Typically, the shirt should be white. There are several options to discuss starting with the buttons. The two most common buttons are studs and mother of pearl buttons. Studs are in place of traditional buttons and can make the shirt look more formal, as well as come in different colors including rose gold, gold, and silver. The stud colors also come in a wide variety, black being the most common. The cuffs of the shirt are typically a french cuff with an option for cufflinks. Just remember to match your cufflinks with your studs. The shirt collar comes in many different forms as well. In today’s modern world, the medium or wide spread collars are a standard. However, the older style collars used on the dress shirt are the wing collars. Lastly, we come to the front of the shirt, or the bosom or also known as the bib of the shirt. There are a variety of different options out there which include pleated style, which is where the the pleats on the front of the shirt run vertically. And there is also a plain front shirt which is becoming more the norm.
One of the last options when it comes to the tuxedo are the shoes. Tuxedo shoes differ from other dress shoes in that they are highly polished and can either be with or without laces.
Finally, we come to accessories or additional options that compliment the tuxedo outfit. Starting with the pocket square, which can be folded in any fashion you would like; however, the fabric should be a satin or silk material to compliment and match the tuxedo. The tuxedo vest is also another option to go with but, in these modern times the vest has come out of favor. Another item to discuss which has also come out of favor is the cummerbund. The cummerbund is basically a sash made up of silk or satin that goes around your waist. In the early days they used to be used with hidden pockets since traditionally tuxedo pants had no pockets. The last item to discuss is the tie or bow tie, this is an option that is also up to the wearer. The bow tie has many different styles, however, this is again entirely up to the person.
There are many more options and styles that we could cover with the tuxedo, however, this is a simple overview to give you a guide on tuxedo etiquette. As always, remember that style is your own creations, and have fun with it.