For centuries, the idea that relatively simple black trousers, completed with a black jacket could be considered men’s formal wear. Below, readers will find a complete tuxedo buying guide, the components of a complete tuxedo and how to choose the right tuxedo for the right event.
The suit that we consider to be so formal today actually began as an informal lounge suit in 19th century in England. The tailors of London’s Savile Row, where even today men come from around the world for the best custom-tailored suits, began using the fabrics of the formal tailcoat to create a shorter jacket suitable for informal dinners. This "informal" dinner jacket was the predecessor of the tuxedo.
Basic Components of the Tuxedo
A complete tuxedo consists of six basic components: the jacket, trousers, waistcoat or cummerbund, tie, dress shirt, and shoes. Here’s a closer look at each of these tuxedo components.
The only jacket that can "properly" be called a tuxedo jacket has a single-breast. The breast lapels, however, come in a variety of styles.
Tuxedo trousers traditionally have no belt loops and no cuffs. Although some tuxedo trousers today do have belt loops, it is more common to use suspenders to hold up tuxedo trousers, which are then hidden beneath the waistcoat or the jacket. buy a tuxedo , like tuxedo jackets, are usually made of wool, polyester, or silk. The trousers’ only decoration is a simple vertical stripe along each pants leg, made from the same material as the jacket’s lapel.
Tuxedo Waistcoats or Cummerbunds’
The wide band of the cummerbund is meant to be worn with pleats facing up and is traditionally made from the same material as the tie. These days, waistcoats, which are formal vests, are worn with tuxedos as commonly as cummerbunds. Waistcoats come in a wide range of styles, from the very formal to brightly-colored waistcoats for the modern dandy. Conservative waistcoats are frequently chosen for weddings; brightly-colored waistcoats are often seen at high school proms. Both the cummerbund and the waistcoat are designed to hide the top of the trousers.
There is perhaps nothing more iconic when it comes to tuxedos than the black bow tie. Black bow ties, however, are no longer the only acceptable neckwear option for the tuxedo. Although the black bow tie is certainly the most formal and should be chosen for the most conservative occasions, a maroon bow tie adds a bit of color to a traditional black-and-white tuxedo or to a white tuxedo without appearing too informal.
The Dress Shirt
Traditional tuxedo dress shirts are bright white. With some contemporary tuxedo designs, dress shirts match the color of the jacket. As with jacket lapels, dress shirts vary depending upon the collar style.
Most wing collar shirts today have attached, turndown collars, with the collar either spread or semi-spread. The spread collar is wider and flatter than the semi-spread collar.
The semi-spread collar has a more vertical shape and rides slightly higher on the neck.
The front of the dress shirt for a tuxedo is usually pleated. For contemporary tuxedo wearers, narrow pleats are the most common preferred style.
The Dress Shoes
Tuxedo wearers can sometimes spend so much time getting the tuxedo itself perfect that the tuxedo shoes are treated as an afterthought. The right dress shoes, however, complete the perfect tuxedo.
Until the 1950s, the only truly acceptable shoes were black patent leather. These days, calfskin shoes, if extremely well-polished, are also acceptable. There are two main styles of formal shoes to wear with tuxedos: the slip-on pump and the lace-up Oxford.
Black tux, white shirt, black bow tie they are back in a big way. There’s nothing quirky or dangerous about this outfit, and that’s okay. Opting for a classic doesn’t make you a square; it makes you a gentleman. And let’s not forget how easily a velvet tuxedo can set you apart from the rest.