Men’s tuxedos are so much more than your atypical black bow tie, cummerbund and black jacket – the range of styles and fashions available today is phenomenal. To learn more about the types of tuxedos available and for the events and functions for which they’re suitable – keep reading.
The Traditional Tux
The traditional tuxedo is a black, single-breasted, wool suit with either shawl or peaked collars. Often, the lapels are made from satin and the buttons are also satin-covered. Depending on the style, the outward side seams of the matching pants may also feature a single inch-wide satin strip. The bow tie is always – or should always – be black.
English dinner jackets often only have one button, while American styles feature 2 to 3 buttons. This type of traditional tuxedo would be appropriate for any black tie or formal event. A traditional, black tuxedo is also typically only worn in the evening or at night and is not considered appropriate daytime wear.
Tails are extremely formal and typically only appropriate when attending a dinner with the Royal Family. The long tailcoat fashion is waning and rarely suited for most events. That said, if you’re invited to a “white tie” affair, then it’s expected that you will wear a black tailcoat with silk lapels.
The Morning Suit
Like tails, the morning jacket is formal, but it’s designed and intended for daytime wear. For example, an afternoon wedding is appropriate for this long jacket with a wide, forked tail. If you decide to wear a morning jacket to your wedding, you should change before the evening reception into a traditional dinner jacket.
A cummerbund is not a compulsory tuxedo accessory. Today, many contemporary styles depend on vests and waistcoats to add a splash of color or pizzazz to the traditional tux. Remember though, a waist coat is only intended for single-breasted jackets and should never be worn under a basic suit.
Contemporary and Modern Tuxedos
Depending on the event, ultra-modern or contemporary tuxedos can be very fashionable and appropriate. That said, for an ultra-formal event, you may want to stay away from Mandarin collars and other modern design touches that may come across as inappropriate.
Accessories and Accent Pieces
Walk into a men’s formal shop and you’ll often see a wall of accessories such as canes, gloves and hats – all designed to go with the traditional tux. However, these items are rarely appropriate and should be avoided at all costs as they’re often seen as making a mockery of the event’s formality. Instead, opt for a colorful handkerchief or a short scarf.