A Guide to the Different Tuxedo Styles

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Tuxedo Styles

A tuxedo is a dressy outfit with a jacket, pants, shirt, and accessories. It’s traditionally worn at formal events with black-tie dress codes.

The lapels on tuxedo jackets can be peaked or shawl style. A peaked lapel extends upward to form a peak that points toward your shoulders, and it’s always a good choice.

Classic

The classic tuxedo is a gentleman’s most elegant and formal outfit. It’s the preferred attire for red-carpet events, high-society weddings, and benefit galas.

The jacket typically features silk satin detailing, including lapels, striping, and button piping. Shoes are traditionally black, patent leather, or sleek calfskin, either with a cap toe or loafers.

There are two primary lapel styles: peak and shawl. While peak lapels drive attention upward and broaden the shoulders, shawl lapels have a more modern, sleek look. Both are suitable for black tie events, but you may choose one based on your style and the event’s dress code.

A tuxedo shirt usually features a traditional wing tip or spread collar to accommodate bow ties. It will also feature French cuffs to allow you to wear cufflinks. You can visit a tuxedo rental in San Francisco.

Modern

Nailing the tuxedo look requires you to balance a few different factors. You must consider your style, the event’s dress code, and how you want to look in photos. But it would be best if you also were smart about choosing your shirt, which is the unsung hero of any formal outfit.

You’ll need a shirt with either barrel or French cuffs, and it should be a white or black fabric with a smooth luster. You can pick from various styles, including plain, stripe and satin. You can also get a covered placket, which is like a front placket but goes over the buttons rather than letting them show.

Then, you can choose your lapel style that matches different tuxedo styles. Shawl lapels are modern, rounded, and typically seen on tuxed and dinner jackets. Peak lapels have sharp corners and are more traditionally associated with suit styling. You have the option to choose between single-breasted or double-breasted waistcoats.

Traditional

A tuxedo typically has a covered placket (like a traditional front button-down shirt) and French or barrel cuffs that require cufflinks. It also has black shoes, traditionally a plain-toe balmoral style in which the eyelets are cut directly into the leather rather than sewn onto the uppers.

Tuxedo trousers have a stripe of the same fabric as the lapels running down the outseam. They also don’t have belt loops, instead opting for waist tabs to maintain the clean lines of a tuxedo.

The framed lapel is another classic feature that makes tuxedos look classy and elegant. It’s a narrow trim that frames the face of the lapel rather than covering it entirely and is a hallmark of a world-class tuxedo.

Finally, a tuxedo typically has contrasting satin detailing on the jacket’s buttons and buttonholes, the pants’ leg stripes, and the cummerbund’s waistband. Depending on the occasion, the outfit can be complemented with a bow tie or a necktie.

Casual

For less formal people, a tuxedo jacket can be paired with dark denim and a dress shirt with a spread collar. The cuffs on the dress shirt can be either barrel or French, depending on the event and preference. The latter requires cufflinks for proper wear, while barrel cuffs work with various styles.

Choosing a fabric for your tuxedo is also essential. All wool gives a matte appearance, while velvet and silk introduce a subtle sheen to your ensemble.

Finally, you can pick between peak or shawl lapels. The former is more sleek and sophisticated, while the latter is a classic choice for black tie attire.

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