How and When You Should Wear a Tuxedo

How and When You Should Wear a Tuxedo

Congrats — you’ve been invited to a special event! Now for the real question: what to wear? This might be your shining opportunity to break out a tuxedo, but you don’t want to show up overdressed. And if you are supposed to wear a tux, how do you even go about wearing one while staying true to your personal style? At The Lapel Project, we hear these questions frequently. We’re breaking down the types of tuxedos, how to know when to wear one, and tips for styling!  

Types of Tuxedos

There are various types of tuxedos, and they’re generally suited for different special occasions. For example, traditional “black tie” tuxedos are what we usually think of when we think of tuxedos. They’re what people envision when you hear the phrase “penguin suit.” These are acceptable for most events where a tuxedo is the requested attire. 

But did you know there are even fancier suits? For ultra-formal events, a white tie tuxedo may be required. This type of tuxedo has a more linear shape and cuts back toward the body.

When to Wear a Tuxedo

Knowing when to wear a tuxedo may seem complicated, but it’s actually pretty simple! Wear one when you’re asked to wear one on the invitation. Black tie events like galas and major charity events typically have tuxedos in the dress code. Some weddings are black tie, as well, but in most modern weddings, the only person expected to wear a tuxedo is the groom. If the invitation says “black tie,” “white tie,” or “formal,” plan to wear a tuxedo. 

How to Wear a Tuxedo

Now that you’ve determined that you need to wear a tuxedo, your next step is finding one. If you’re on a budget, buy a tuxedo that’s just about your size (but not tighter) and get it tailored to fit. If you have the money, however, go with a custom tailored suit that will fit perfectly from the start. Custom suits are the perfect way to express your style while getting TLC from expert tailors who can advise you with what looks good.

From there, look for matching accessories and shoes. If you’re not sure what will match, look for color matching guides online. Common tuxedo accessories include cufflinks, bowties and loafers. Another accessory to consider is a set of removable lapels. Removable lapels give you the option of changing up the style of your tuxedo. This makes your tuxedo more versatile and allows you to wear the same tuxedo on multiple occasions.

Tuxedo Etiquette Do's and Don'ts

If you’re still unsure of when and where to wear a tuxedo, here are a few common do’s and don’ts: 

  • Do: Follow the dress code specified on the invitation.
  • Don't: Wear a tuxedo to a casual event.
  • Do: Choose a black, blue or ivory tuxedo depending on the event.
  • Don’t: Opt for a shirt that’s any color but white. 
  • Do: Wear a bowtie, preferably a black silk one.

Knowing when, where and how to wear a tuxedo puts you one step ahead in the men’s fashion game. Using the tips outlined in this blog, you should be all set for your next formal event. And with the help of removable lapels, you can be set for many events to come. The Lapel Project aims to make men’s fashion accessible, affordable and flexible with black tie alternatives and staples. Connect with us online to get started.

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