A Guide to When and How to Wear a Tuxedo

A Guide to When and How to Wear a Tuxedo

The tuxedo: a timeless symbol of sophistication and elegance. But navigating the world of formal wear can be tricky. Fear not, gentlemen! This guide will equip you with the knowledge to confidently rock a tuxedo at any black-tie event.

When Does the Tuxedo Shine?

Black-Tie Events

correct dress code to a black tie event, how to wear a tuxedo, | Phill  Tarling

This is the tuxedo's natural habitat. Look for this dress code on invitations to galas, awards ceremonies, charity balls, and fancy weddings (especially evening ones).

Formal Occasions:

Wedding Guest Suit Outfit For Men – StudioSuits

If the invitation specifies "formal," a tuxedo is usually a safe bet. However, if you're unsure, err on the side of caution and check with the host beforehand.

Tuxedo Time Travel: Traditionally, tuxedos were strictly evening attire. However, modern etiquette allows for a bit more flexibility. If a wedding ceremony transitions from afternoon to evening and the invitation mentions "formal attire," a tuxedo is perfectly acceptable.

Avoid wearing a tuxedo for daytime events, even if they're formal. Opt for a morning suit or a sharp suit instead.

Tuxedo Essentials

Now that you know when to wear a tuxedo, let's break down the key components:


Mens Paisley Tuxedo Blazer And Waistcoat Brocade Dinner Jacket Satin Black  Blue - No Trousers

Look for a well-tailored black or midnight blue jacket. Classic options include shawl lapels or peaked lapels. Single-breasted is the most common style, but double-breasted can also be appropriate.


Men's Black Dinner Suit Tuxedo Trousers NEW £24.99 - Tweedmans

Matching black or midnight blue trousers with a satin stripe down the leg are a must. Ensure a proper break (the fold where the trousers meet your shoes) – ideally a slight fold at the top of the shoe.



A crisp white dress shirt with a wingtip collar is the go-to choice. Ensure it fits well and the collar points peek out from under your jacket.

Bow Tie:

Decoding What “Black Tie Dress Code” Means

Black is the safest bet, but a midnight blue bow tie can complement a blue tuxedo. Opt for a self-tie bow tie for a touch of sophistication.

Cummerbund or Waistcoat:

Choose one, not both. A cummerbund is a pleated sash that sits around your waist, while a waistcoat is a vest-like piece that adds a touch of formality.

Accessorize Wisely:

  • Shoes: Patent leather oxford shoes in black are the traditional choice.
  • Socks: Keep them black and dressy.
  • Pocket Square: A white linen pocket square adds a touch of personality.
  • Cufflinks and Studs: Opt for simple and elegant designs.
  • Watch: A classic watch complements the formal look.

Remember: A well-fitting tuxedo is key. If you're unsure about tailoring, get it professionally done for a polished look.

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