When we think of a suit or tuxedo, the first thing that often springs to mind is formal wear or a black tie event. For events and scenarios where formal attire is required, either a suit or a tuxedo will fit the bill.
So what are the main differences between men’s suits and men’s tuxedos? And is one a better option than the other?
That’s what we’ll discover in this post.
What Defines a Tuxedo?
Mostly it comes down to the style of the jacket, although other accessories – such as cummerbunds – also play a role.
Tuxedos can be work with either a bow tie or a regular tie, but often a bow tie is the best choice.
These days tuxedo jackets come in a variety of colours, but the staples still remain black and a dark blue.
Let’s list some more key features of the tuxedo jacket:
- Tuxedos have jetted pockets
- Jacket lapels are shawl or peaked and are made from either satin or silk
- Often tuxedos are only worn with white shirts that have studs
- Waistcoats are a common accompaniment for a tuxedo, along with cummerbunds
- Patent leather slippers rather than regular leather dress shoes are the preferred show to match with a tuxedo
Tuxedos Are More Suited To Evening Wear
A tuxedo is usually an item of clothing that is worn after dark. While many men wear a suit to the office or other daily functions, you don’t often see a tuxedo out in the sunlight.
Possibly the only exception would be a daytime wedding, where the groom (and possibly his entourage) are all dressed up in tuxedos for the momentous occasion.
Tuxedos Require An Occasion
Unlike suits, which can be worn for business, work, or even leisure at times, tuxedos are on another level and really require an occasion for them to be worn without looking out of place in a fashion sense.
Let’s quickly tick off just some occasions where a tuxedo is the best dress option for guys:
- Award’s ceremonies
- Cocktail parties
- Black tie events
- Costume parties
- Charity events
- Artistic performances
With the last one on the list, the wearing of a tuxedo could apply to both performers and members of the audience alike.
Suits Are Far More Versatile Than Tuxedos
Because suits are a more versatile fashion item than a tuxedo, owning one or more suits is definitely worth it. Men’s suits come in a large variety of styles, cuts and colours these days. You can wear them casually or formally, depending on your circumstances.
We mentioned earlier that you really need to be attending specific events and occasions for a tuxedo to work, but if you find yourself in a position where you semi-regularly attend events like those mentioned, then owning a tux (as opposed to renting one) is definitely worth serious consideration.
Another thing with suits is you can mix and match fashion styles more. For example, you can wear a suit jacket with a T-shirt or jeans, but you wouldn’t do that with a tuxedo jacket.
Tuxedos are very formal and really the epitome in high fashion when it’s called for really dressing up for an occasion. Therefore, there are a lot more limitations placed on what you can do with a tuxedo as far as mixing things up goes.
Tuxedos Generally Cost More Than Suits
When it comes to buying a tux, you really want one of high quality. The idea of a tuxedo is to look your absolute best, and you likely won’t achieve that if you opt for a cheap tuxedo.
While there are many expensive suits on the market, you can often buy a great looking suit for a very reasonable price. To achieve the same quality in a tuxedo, very likely you’ll be shelling out more cash. If you use the tux regularly though, it’s definitely worth the investment.
Ideally the modern man will have a range of suits and at least one tuxedo in his wardrobe, so there’s an outfit to suit every occasion, smart casual or formal.
A great wardrobe isn’t achieved overnight. It’s all about adding fine pieces of clothing one or two at a time. Before you know it you’ll have the best dressed wardrobe in town.