“Tuxedos don’t go out of style; tuxedos are style.” According to Glenn O’Brien of GQ (The Style Guy), and we tend to agree!
At H+Co we love the classic style of a tuxedo and the way our customers feel when they try one on. But before we begin, let’s set the record straight. Tuxedos are not suits.
There is a difference, and an important one at that, so if you want to learn how to get the look right, read on.
The tuxedo is not just the reserve of James Bond and Mr Gatsby, and as we approach Christmas (sorry, too early?) there will be plenty of events, which require this classic garment.
The main difference between tuxedos and suits is whether or not they use satin. A tuxedo will traditionally have a beautiful satin detail on the lapels, like the Joe Black Riviera jacket pictured above. This is a contemporary classic dinner jacket, delivering sophistication and simplicity in equal measure, exactly what you want in a tuxedo. We also have two elegant classic tuxedos in our Cambridge collection. You can check them all out here.
The tuxedo has always been a style winner and it’s not just for men either. Yves Saint Laurent created the iconic ‘Le Smoking’ jacket in 1966 and it has continued to be a popular feature in many women’s wardrobes. Over the years women have been seen to show off their elegance in a tuxedo which is perfectly fitted to their unique shape.
So the question is, when should you wear one? Typically, the tuxedo is saved for only the most special of occasions. Many people wear a suit every day but how many turn up to work in a tuxedo? Go for something different. Whilst you might look smart in your suit at an event, a tuxedo is sure to be a head-turner.
That said, there are of course certain rules that you need to follow when wearing a tuxedo. If you’re going to do it, you might as well do it properly. If you’ve had an invitation for a black tie event and you need some help to prepare, here are our tips to help you follow the sartorial rules:
Wear tuxedos only in the evening
If the event is a daytime affair, leave the tuxedo for another day. Tuxedos are to be worn in the evening after 6pm where they can really shine.
There are always exceptions to every rule, and the exception in this case is weddings. Occasions don’t get much more special than your wedding day, so whatever the time of your wedding, you won’t go far wrong in a snappy tux.
Don’t wear a belt
Wearing a belt with a tuxedo breaks up the line that your eye follows from your jacket to your trousers. This can make you look shorter, stumpy and also distract from the whole aesthetic. Belts are rarely formal enough for this look and can bring the tone of tuxedo down. Instead choose braces or have your trousers altered to make sure they are the perfect fit.
Always wear a white shirt
If you’re wearing a tuxedo, shirts must always be white and have a collar that has been specifically designed for bow ties. If you’re tempted to wear anything but white, don’t. Save the coloured shirt for your other suits and let your white shirt have its moment. If you do want to add some extra detail have a look at our pleated or panel front shirts. This one from Joe Black is a modern take on a vintage classic. https://handco.com.au/product/joe-black-royale-fc-dinner-shirt/
And please make sure your white shirt is just that – white – very white! Don’t let your look down with any old white shirt that’s been hanging around your wardrobe. It needs to be crisp and fresh and enhance your tuxedo ensemble perfectly.
It’s all in the fit
If you don’t go to too many special events, it might be tempting to hire a tuxedo, but they rarely fit well. How many gents have you seen looking uncomfortable in ill-fitting tuxedos. You need to take full control of your style when wearing a tux and wear it with supreme confidence – you need to wear tuxedo – don’t let it wear you. Give a little time to the selection and fitting process and you’ll feel every bit as in control as Mr Bond himself.
And with a look this timeless, a tuxedo is an investment that is well worth making.
So, are you a tuxedo convert yet? We can help you find perfect sartorial look for your special event.
Book an appointment with us at H+Co and experience our quintessential, old-school service…