Menswear has evolved significantly over the past several years, and there are now more options than ever. However, when it comes time to dress up for a formal event, the go-to choices remain a suit or tux. Men’s suits and tuxedos are similar in many respects, but each has distinct qualities. Here’s a guide to help you decide which is ideal for your upcoming occasion.
Tuxedos have a uniform style that contains a single button closure and is almost always black, though some modern designs come in tan, grey, and blue shades. Tuxes and suits are made predominantly with the same materials, like wool. However, tuxes have distinctive satin buttons, lapels, pocket piping, and striping on the side of each pant leg. Most tuxedo jackets have shawl lapels rather than notch or peak lapels, which are considered more casual. Moreover, tux lapels rarely have a boutonniere buttonhole. Tuxedos have jetted pockets, rendering them nearly invisible save the piping.
Cummerbunds, waistcoats, suspenders, and bowties are standard tuxedo accessories. High-stance vests and long ties are also acceptable. They’re almost always worn with a clean white shirt and black patent shoes.
Men’s suits are considered more casual than tuxedos, although many are still appropriate for formal events, like weddings. These garments are available in various designs, hues, and patterns and offer more flexibility and versatility in terms of design and styling.
Suits usually contain pocket flaps or patches and a boutonniere buttonhole at the lapel. They can have between one and three button closures at the front, with buttons made of bone, plastic, or covered in fabric.
These garments can be dressed up or down and worn with or without a vest or suspenders. Long ties and bowties are appropriate, though the former is a more common choice. You can also pair men’s suits with dress shirts in solid colors or patterns and shoes, like loafers or Oxfords.