Here’s our guide on how to nail this elegant and sharp look.
1. It should be well fitted
This might seem obvious, but you’ll be surprised how many men don’t follow this rule. Ideally don’t buy a tuxedo off the rack, this is a sophisticated look and the tuxedo should be tailored to fit your body shape. A well-cut tuxedo really helps you stand out in a crowd. Remember a tuxedo is a formal look, so it shouldn’t be loose or big in any way. Make sure that you are able to move your arms comfortably and the jacket should sit comfortably on your shoulders without any pulling, tugging or creasing. Also, the shoulder pads shouldn’t jut out. And half an inch of your shirt cuff should peak out of your jacket sleeves, just enough to flash your cufflinks.
2. The dress shirt should be white
If you want to nail your tuxedo look, then go for a white dress shirt; it creates a smart contrast when worn with a black jacket. This colour combination oozes class and style, and you can’t go wrong with it. When it comes to the shirt collar, there are two options—winged and turned down. Both look really good with a tuxedo. Traditionally winged collars were worn for strictly formal events, while turned down collars were worn for less formal dos. Also, a pleated front is not imperative, yet it gives a more formal, traditional look. When it comes to cuffs, the French cuff is standard.
3. Always wear a bow tie
A tuxedo is meant to be worn with a bow tie, don’t try to experiment and wear a necktie if you’re new to tuxedos. A bow tie enhances the sharp white V created when the coat is buttoned up, and gives a clean sharp look. The V also makes your shoulders appear broad and your waist slim.
4. Go for either black or midnight blue
Black and white is a timeless contrast that looks sharp and underscores the formalness of the occasion. It’s a classic look that automatically ups your style quotient. While black is a staple, if you wish to experiment, start with midnight blue. It looks darker under artificial light while at the same time providing a bit of an edge to your look.
5. Pay attention to the details
Just choosing a colour and jacket cut is not enough. You also have to pay attention to the buttons, lapel, pocket flaps and pocket squares. If you’re choosing a single-breasted jacket then make sure it has only one button with either a shawl collar or a peaked lapel (both are standard ones in single and double-breasted jackets). Also, go for pockets that are jetted as the flap ones give a sporty look. When it comes to pocket squares, white, preferably silk, is your best option.
6. Wear formal pumps or black Oxford dress shoes
When attending a black tie event, it’s important you’re dressed right from the top of your head to the tip of your toes. That means your shoes play an important part as well. Formal pumps, also called court shoes or opera pumps, have a black ribbon tied into a bow across the top. However, Oxfords are now more popular with tuxedos. A highly polished Oxford dress shoe really nails the look. It’s great for formal occasion and can be worn with other suits as well.