When the occasion calls to wear a tuxedo, you want to look your very best. Whether it’s a rental or one that you own, we’ve got tips for how to wear a tux well.
How to wear a tuxedo well is easy with these important yet simple tips.
It’s a black tie event so you’ve got to wear a tux. It may have been a while since you last wore one but don’t panic! We’ve got you covered! Whether renting one or considering one to purchase, you’ll want to know the secret to wearing a tux well.
- No matter what your body type is, the jacket should taper slightly at the waist. Comfort is essential so go with a regular fit—stay away from a slim or tight fit, especially if you’re muscular or simply plan to do lots of dancing.
- Back vents are necessary for mobility and come in single or double versions.
- Choosing the number of buttons on a jacket should depend on your build, not your preference. One button is considered the “universal” jacket style that looks well on most men, especially those who are tall and muscular. Two and three button jackets are better suited for shorter men or guys who are tall and slender.
- Follow the bottom button rule: leave the bottom button undone unless it’s a single button jacket. In that case, keep it buttoned.
- Shoulder pads tend to “beef” up guys who are slender. They should not extend past each shoulder or the jacket will appear to be too big.
- Peak and notch lapels make shoulders appear wider for the slender man, no matter his height.
- Shawl collars provide a more contemporary look, especially as black trim on colored jackets. They elongate the body by drawing the eye away from the man who is muscular and has broad shoulders.
- Tux pants should always have satin trim on the outside of the legs.
- Most rentals have adjustable waistbands while custom tuxedos are made to your own measurements for a perfect fit. Just allow for some “breathing” room to accommodate for those desserts you can’t pass up.
- Pleats or no pleats? Pleats allow for extra room but having no pleats presents a modern look—especially for the guy who is tall and thin.
- Muscular guys should sport narrow pant legs while short, slender men need a fuller leg.
- Pants should break slightly over the top of the shoe and angle downward towards the back. Wearing dress shoes to determine pant length is an absolute must!
- Tuxedo shirts are easily identified with their pleats or wing tipped collars. Pleats come in various widths and both styles have studs—usually four—instead of buttons. Flat front shirts provide a more contemporary look.
- The collar’s wing tips go behind a bow tie, not on top of it.
- Shirtsleeves should show one quarter to one half inch beyond the jacket sleeve. French cuffs are the ultimate choice as you can show off classy cufflinks.
- A custom shirt affords you the opportunity to have convertible cuffs that provide buttonholes for normal buttoning or using cufflinks.
Vest vs. The Cummerbund
- When wearing a vest that has more than four buttons, leave the bottom button undone. Otherwise, button up.
- Much like a shawl collar, a vest worn with a narrow tie draws the eye upward. For short or tall men who are muscular, it provides a slimming effect. For the short man who is average or slim, it makes him look taller.
- Choose a cummerbund over a vest if you’re tall and thin. It draws the eye away from your height as it visually broadens your frame.
- Always wear a cummerbund with the pleats facing up.
- Please don’t wear a cummerbund with suspenders!
- Ordinary dress shoes just won’t cut it when it comes to wearing a tuxedo. Patent leather or polished calfskin shoes for rental or purchase are a must.
- Stash the chunky sports watch away and go for a dress watch that’s more slender.
- If boutonnieres are required, be sure to wear them on the left lapel.
When an invitation says, “Black tie optional,” it implies the event will be pretty formal. Expect most men to wear a tuxedo but a special occasion custom suit is always an option.