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5 Common Tuxedo Accessories and How to Wear Them

Unless you’re James Bond, you probably don’t wear tuxedos all that often. If you are new to the tuxedo game or simply have not worn one in a while, you probably need a few pointers to keep you abreast of how to properly wear and accessorize your tuxedo. The good thing about “Black Tie” apparel is that the rules are pretty straightforward, so as long as you follow them you will be appropriate for your event. Wearing a tuxedo in and of itself yields an appearance of formality, but accessories are what ultimately tie the look together and add personality. Here’s a list of the most common tux accessories and a guide on how to properly wear them.

  1. Bowtie

One of the most classic tuxedo accessories is the bowtie. When one imagines black tie attire, the bowtie and satin collar are the first things to come to mind. There are basically three types of bowties: self-tie, pre-tied, and clip-on. Opt for the self-tie, as the clip-on and pre-tied options always seem to appear a little too perfect to be original. It’s not easy to tie a bowtie but there are tons of online tutorials to help you produce the perfect bow.

  1. Studs

When it comes to Black Tie, every little detail matters… even the look of the buttons on your shirt. Generally, when wearing a tux, you should replace your standard shirt buttons with tiny round buttons, called studs. Studs, unlike, the bowtie are pretty easy to get the hang of. All you have to do is look for the small stud hole next to the standard buttonhole on a tuxedo shirt. Insert the front the stud from the inside of the shirt, and push it through the stud hole. The last step is to simply push the stud through the standard buttonhole.

  1. Cufflinks

To accompany studs, you need cufflinks to hold the stiff cuffs of your tuxedo shirt together. The color of your cufflinks should match the color of your studs. Cufflinks are typically gold or onyx for Black Tie wear.

  1. Vest or Cummerbund

The cummerbund is probably the least popular accessory on the list as it is commonly replaced with the vest. Cummerbunds, however, are a debonair alternative and give off a very classic and dapper look. The purpose of a cummerbund is to cover the waist area where bunching of the shirt from being tucked into trousers is inevitable. Cummerbunds should be worn at the natural waistline with pleats facing upwards. Ideally, the fabric of your bowtie and cummerbund should match.

The vest is an alternative to the cummerbund when it comes to tuxedo attire. Either one is typically acceptable; it really just depends on your personal preference. As with the cummerbund, you will want to match the color of your vest with the elegant black color of your bowtie.

  1. Pocket Square

Last but not least is the pocket square. Pocket squares add a subtle contrast to the rest of your outfit, as its color is typically different than the color of your tuxedo jacket. White linen or cotton are ideal fabric choices. Just as with the bowtie, you should know how to properly fold your pocket square. You certainly cannot get away with simply stuffing a poorly folded or unfolded square into your pocket. In modern male fashion, the square fold of the pocket square is a little more relaxed than that of its rigid ancestor. The edges no longer have to me as meticulously aligned as they used to be. A slight angle and relaxed edge will give you a modern spin on a classic look.

If you follow these few rules for tuxedo accessories, you’re sure to be dressed to impress at your next Black Tie event.