For men of style, one of the great joys in life is owning the perfect tuxedo.
You know that one that looks great, feels great and looks as though it was made especially for you?
While finding that perfect tuxedo is never a straightforward task, it's always a worthy investment. And, if you have an upcoming special occasion, it's more than likely you'll be on the hunt for a tuxedo.
Nevertheless, the quest to find the perfect tuxedo can be a little daunting. After all, it's not just about the right finding color and pattern. It's also essential to focus on the right sizing and tailoring to compliment your figure.
This guide will tell you everything you need to know about how to buy a tuxedo that that is a worthy investment.
Tuxedo Versus Suit
Okay, let's get one thing straight here.
There is a major difference between a tuxedo and a suit. While they may appear similar, it's crucial to understand the differences.
First and foremost, a tuxedo is significantly more formal than a suit. This is why you often see tuxedos, as opposed to suits, worn by grooms. Let's highlight a few key differences:
- A tuxedo often contains satin -on the lapels, buttons, pocket trim, and a satin side stripe down the leg of the trousers
- A tuxedo is considered evening wear and most commonly worn after 5 pm
- A tuxedo is often worn with a bow tie and specific tuxedo shoes
- A tuxedo is often more expensive
When it comes time to deciding tuxedo versus suit, you can normally chalk it up to what type of event it is. For example, an event marked "black tie" is going to call for a tuxedo. This usually ranges from weddings to evening formals.
A suit, however, is more casual and fitting for professional settings and daytime events.
Getting Properly Measured
Now that we understand the differences between a tuxedo and a suit, we can move onto measurements.
Let's be honest: tuxedos can tend to look all the same -black jacket with a bow tie and white satin buttons.
The key difference in finding a tuxedo that stands out from the rest lies in the fit of the jacket and the trousers. Ensuring your tuxedo fits like a glove is what is going to separate you from the rest of the pack. This is where you'll notice the most significant difference between owning or merely renting a tuxedo.
When it comes to finding the perfect size, small, medium and large just isn't going to cut it. Instead, be sure to locate a menswear boutique that will spend the necessary time getting all of your measurements.
This includes measuring the neck, the chest, shirt sleeve, waist, pant length and coat size. The fit should remain true to size while also providing you with the necessary room to move.
If you're looking to step your tuxedo one step further, invest in a custom tuxedo. This will take all of your personal measurements and result in a tuxedo that is true to you.
Choosing the Colors
You can never go wrong with a classic black tuxedo. This is especially the case if you are looking for "the one" that is going to be your official tuxedo for special occasions.
It's also important to note that some events may specifically call for a black tuxedo. This is usually marked by a dress code reading "black tie".
Remember, you can also incorporate more color into your classic black tuxedo with different bowties, tuxedo shoes and further accessories such as pocket squares. This will help differentiate wearing that same suit to a number of different events.
However, there will also be formal occasions that allow for a little more creativity. Or, let's say you are on the hunt for a second tuxedo to add to the collection. This is where the non-black tuxedos come into play. This can be anything from midnight blue to charcoal grey and deep maroon.
Choosing the Right Jacket
When it comes to a tuxedo, the jacket is the frontrunner. It's the first aspect of the tuxedo that will be noticed by others and therefore the most important part of the equation.
Generally speaking, tuxedo jackets are made from wool or velvet. However, modern variations are becoming more popular.
Aside from the material, there are four main elements that you are going to want to focus on when choosing the right jacket:
- Lapels - Lapels are the vertical folds of satin on the front of the jacket. With lapels, you can choose from peak lapels, shawl collars or notch lapels. Each label indicates a different level of formality.
- Buttons - For buttons, you can opt for plain black or the same color as the lapel.
- Vents - The vent of a jacket refers to the vertical slit at the back. Jackets can come unvented, single vented or double vented. An unvented jacket may be considered most flattering, though it can feel more uncomfortable.
- Pockets -On the outside of the jacket you should see three pockets: two in the quarters and one on the breast.
Choosing the Right Trousers
The key to choosing the right trousers is opting for two things: proper fit and simplicity.
With modern day suiting, a more tight and personal fit is becoming the preference with trousers. That means a rise in popularity with pants that are tailored shorter and with a tighter fit.
Generally speaking, the fit should be gently tapered and the waist should sit slightly higher than a regular suit. Also be sure to opt for side-adjusters and not belt loops. If you plan to wear braces, seek trousers with buttons inside the waist as opposed to wearing clip-on braces.
The material of the trousers should perfectly match the material of the jacket. The outer seams of the trousers should be covered by a strip of the same material as the jacket facing. This is called the braid and what differentiates tuxedo trousers from suit trousers.
Selecting the Accessories
Now that you have your jacket and trousers, you can move onto the accessories. This includes anything from socks and shoes to a white collared shirt and formal cummerbunds.
This is where you can choose to opt for a classic style or have a little more fun with it. For the most classic look, trousers are worn with tall and thin black socks. They are also accompanied by specific tuxedo shoes that differ significantly from a simple dress shoe.
A white collar shirt is almost always paired with the jacket. This differs from the standard collar shirt in that it incorporates a bib, studs, and cuffs. A cummerbund may also be worn and is a sash-like material that wraps all the way around the waist.
The Details of How to Buy a Tuxedo
If you were once wondering how to buy a tuxedo, that is now an issue of the past!
While some choose to rent a standard tuxedo, choosing to invest in your own tuxedo is always a smart investment.
After all, a properly made tuxedo can last for many years to come and can serve as the "go-to" for any special occasions. And, after carefully choosing the right color combinations and patterns, most evening wear will never go out of style.
Interested in learning more about formal men's wear? From choosing the right patterns to documenting the best suits for summer, we cover it all. Visit our blog to learn more!