If you have been invited to a prom, wedding, or other formal and black-tie events, choosing between a tuxedo and suit can be a tough feat. Especially for us, the modern millennial men that prefer jeans on any day of the year. It may not be easy to differentiate between the two. So let’s dive in –
In one word: Satin. Traditional tuxedos come with satin facing on the lapels, pockets, buttons, and satin stripes down the sides of pants (trousers, not undergarments). On the other hand, suits don’t have satin of any kind.
Other than that – tuxedos are worn with bowties and cummerbunds, unlike the suits that go with neckties. However, there are more exceptions to that rule. We’ll discuss on these under the next topic, which is –
Again in modern times, most of the accessories that go with suits and tuxes can be used interchangeably. We still have some traditional ones left that go with tuxedos and tuxedos only. Here is the list –
- Pocket square: Turns out folding skills have been associated with men since forever! Jokes aside – pocket squares give you the old-school-sophistication that tux-people brag about. The only advice– either go with a white one or something matching with your shirt.
- Vest: Only low-cut vests, aka waistcoats, are worn with tuxedos. These usually allow a large part of your shirt open for the eyes to see. Setting you up for a more casual look as compared to the suits. Remember, we are not talking business suits here.
- Neckwear: Speaking traditionally – bowtie with the tux, neck-tie with the suits. Although, modern tuxedos allow you to pair with neckties just as much. We suggest you stick with the tradition here. For most of the young folks: if it’s a bow, it’s a tux.
- Shirt: Although, most shirts are worn interchangeably, some are for tuxedos only. For example – those with tuxedo front placket. The top four buttons in these shirts are removable for tuxedo studs. You can wear a tuxedo shirt in black-tie events only. Don’t even think of office sport.
- Belt or Suspenders: Never pair a belt with your tux. Recommended suspenders are the traditional buttoned ones. But you can always use those with clips. No one is going to find out. Seriously.
- Cummerbunds: Never wear a cummerbund with a suit. The main purpose of a cummerbund is to hide the waistband of your pants as well as the collection of shirt-fabric. These are made of the same material as that of the lapels.
- Cufflinks and button studs: Cufflinks add to your personality in unique ways. Remember, the man’s handshake? The same goes for studs as well. They make you look and feel like royalty. Just make sure you pick the right and same metal for both.
As a rule of thumb – “Tuxedos are for special occasions.” For the moments when you want to look your best and the best. Even if you and I haven’t worn a suit for life, people wear suits every single day. And they make no difference. Tuxedos, on the other hand, exude confidence and turn you into “the royalty!”
So pick up that invitation card or email again and choose wisely. We have got a little list to help you decide –
- For guests – it depends. Does the invitation mention “black-tie?” Is the wedding venue a church or some grandiose motel? The more formal the event, the more a tuxedo is expected.
- For groom – Talk to the bride. Try matching the satin of your tuxedo with her dress in both material and color. You can always add in other accessories like studs and cufflinks to give you a more royal look. Your wedding portrait is going to last a lifetime. Make sure you look iconic.
- For groomsmen – Depends on the event. More often than not, you must look exactly like the groom, sometimes in a contrast color. But yeah, it’s a tux.
A prom is again an event that doesn’t come as often. Although, you can always opt for a standard suit; prom tuxedos is what makes you look the best. Do you have a date? Try matching the lapels with her dress. And if you’re still looking for a partner, make sure your tux complements your personality. You never know when it’s going to attract the right pair of eyes.
As you have guessed already – tuxedos cost a little (okay, a lot) more than the suits. But they are always worth it. Unlike the modern trend, getting your tux tailored is still the best and recommended practice.
Economic: Some peoples think that by renting a tuxedo or suit will save them money, actually renting a tuxedo today falls between $175 – $300 per night. You can buy a tuxedo that is new for the same price or less while having more option to choose from.